There are many marketing mistakes that businesses make, but there are a few that seem to come up again and again. In this article, I'll share the seven most common marketing mistakes I see businesses make and offer some tips on how to avoid them.
Reactive marketing is a common problem among businesses, big and small. Without a clear marketing strategy, businesses can constantly react to the latest trends, ideas from employees and changes in their industry instead of being proactive and matching their marketing tactics with their objectives. This reactivity can lead to missed marketing and sales opportunities, wasted resources, and frustrated customers.
A clear marketing plan gives businesses a roadmap to follow, so they can stay focused on their goals and avoid getting sidetracked. It also allows businesses to allocate resources more effectively and measure their progress over time. Without a marketing strategy, businesses are guessing what works and what doesn't – a recipe for disaster.
If your business doesn't have a marketing strategy, now is the time to get one. An excellent place to start is by identifying your target market and key goals for the business so you can align your marketing channels.
Trying to Please Everyone
Your products or services may technically be for many types of people. However when you are marketing you need to focus on your key target audience. Although you may think that the more people you can please, the more sales you will get, this is often not the case.
Businesses are much more likely to succeed if they focus on a specific target audience in their marketing efforts. This allows them to create a product or service that meets the needs and wants of their target market. As a result, they can generate more leads and grow their business much more effectively.
Here's one mistake I see a lot: ignoring data (or simply not collecting it). Though every business is collecting data these days, when it comes to leveraging that insight, very few are doing it, and even fewer are doing it well. So take a moment to consider what data you collect about your customers and where you store this information. Are you able to do anything helpful with this information?
Remember, it's not how much data you're collecting. It's what you're doing with it that matters. The first step is to collect crucial information that will help in decision making, the next step is to regularly look at the data and use the information to make better decisions in your operations, sales and marketing.
Only Looking at Net New
When you're only looking at net new customers, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to upsell and cross-sell to your current customer base. Not to mention, you're also missing out on valuable feedback that could help turn your customers into advocates.
If you want to grow your business, you need to focus on more than just acquiring new customers. You need to ensure you're keeping the ones you have and turning them into promoters. In your marketing plans, remember to have channels outlined on how you will communicate with your current customers.
Not Gaining Expert Opinions
A marketing strategy is vital whether a business is starting, or at a growth stage. An easy way to ensure your marketing strategy is as effective as possible is to lean on an expert. However, many organisations make the mistake of not doing this, instead relying only on the opinions of their owners and internal staff.
There are several dangers in not gaining expert opinions on marketing efforts. First, it can lead to stagnation, as businesses may be reluctant to try new things or challenge what seems to be working. Second, it can create an echo chamber effect, where only ideas that conform to existing beliefs are heard. And finally, it can deny a business of much-needed fresh perspectives.
Outsourced marketing can be a significant asset for any business when done correctly. By bringing in consultants with fresh eyes and expertise, businesses can ensure their marketing efforts are as good as they can be.
You Don't Have the Basics
Different marketing elements may be considered the 'basics' depending on your business and industry. However, here are four that I see most often.
You're already behind your competition if you don't have an up-to-date website. In today's age, potential customers expect businesses to have an online presence, whether they heard about you through Google or via a friend's referral. If they can't find you online, prospects will often take their business elsewhere.
Branding is more than just a logo. Branding outlines your brand's story, tone of voice, primary and secondary logo, brand marks, colours and fonts, and additional branding elements. Unfortunately, one mistake I see with most small businesses is that there is a logo and a colour pallet, but there is no proper brand strategy behind it.
Google Business is the profile on the right-hand side of Google Search and Maps. Google Business helps potential customers find your business when searching for services or places in the local area. Google Business also ties into your SEO efforts as it helps with visibility on the SERP page.
This is the most common; although a business might have all of the above, they often don't have a written plan. A planning document is an essential marketing document that all businesses should have, big or small.
Not Looking At Marketing as a Whole
When people think of marketing, they usually think of marketing in terms of promotions. However, there are more facets to marketing than promotion. You may have heard of the four or seven Ps of marketing.
A BIG error I see businesses make in marketing is that the six Ps over and above promotion are overlooked. Take some time to look at all seven components. For example, is your price reflective of your service offering or product, does your store reflect your brand and values, and are your people trained correctly? All of these factors can impact how people think about your business.
Businesses can prevent making many mistakes by engaging a marketing expert to review their marketing or lend a helping hand when projects get too much for internal teams.