brian flook, internet marketing md

Marketing is one of the most important investments for any business. Without it, your customers may never know about your brand, your products or why you’re better than your competition. But, deciphering the variety of options for your marketing strategies can be overwhelming.

To help you navigate the tricky business of marketing, we’re kicking off a new blog series called “Ask the Expert: Maryland Marketing Q&A with Brian Flook.” This reoccurring series will feature frequently asked questions and concerns that business owners have about their marketing efforts, answered by Power Marketing President/Owner Brian Flook. With more than 20 years of professional, front-line experience with one of the top marketing firms in Maryland, Brian shares his advice on marketing solutions that deliver results.

Let’s get things started. In our first Q&A, we asked the man behind Power Marketing his thoughts on common marketing mistakes businesses make. Here’s what Brian had to say.

Q: What’s the first thing all businesses should do when they sit down to plan their marketing strategies?
A: The most important aspect of your marketing strategy is your customer. There can be no truly effective marketing without a clear understanding of the customer and what is compelling to them. Any effective marketing message — whether it’s a headline, subject line, imagery, body copy or a title meta tag — must first consider the customer and what motivates them. Otherwise, you’re just talking to yourself.

Q: What’s one “classic” marketing mistake you’ve seen many businesses make?
A: Not understanding their customers and what compels them. Too often, businesses create marketing that doesn’t fix a problem that a real, live person actually has. If there is no problem that needs solved, then there is no need for the product or service.

Another common mistake is trying to become everything for everyone, everywhere. Every campaign has budgetary limitations! Therefore, you must focus. Don’t try to solve every problem for every customer type. Focus on one problem and target the campaign to solving that problem. The more focused, the better.

Q: What is the backbone of a strong marketing campaign?
A: A good marketing campaign must first look at the customer, secondly decide what problem the campaign is solving, and then create messaging that solves a problem and matches a compelling need for the customer. You must understand your media, too. What form of outbound or inbound marketing are you going to utilize? It’s better to dominate two media outlets — let’s say email marketing and radio — than to spread out your budget too thinly over too many media outlets.

This is the first in a series of Q&As with Brian Flook. If you have a Maryland marketing question you’d like to ask feel free to email Brian directly!