We never seem to learn. Whether an organization is flourishing wildly, or fighting for its survival, the biggest marketing mistakes are constant. When economies are flourishing, business can absorb mistakes more easily. But when the bottom falls out, the following five marketing missteps can mean organizational death.
#1 Marketing Mistake: No Plan
80% of businesses fail in the first year. Coincidentally, 80% of small-midsize businesses have no plan. A marketing plan is the largest component of a business plan. Why? Because marketing is designed to drive sales and revenue. If there is no plan, decisions are primarily random. They are driven by circumstances and personal preferences. When there is no plan, tactics have few or no metrics to track success, and are as likely to fail as to succeed.
#2 Marketing Mistake: Confusing Tactics with Strategy
Some of you are well aware of the difference between a tactic and a strategy, but when we begin building our marketing, we forget! We begin treating each piece as if it were a stand-alone. A website, social media posting, tradeshows, networking, press releases, blogs, videos, podcasts, white papers – all are tactics. A marketing strategy integrates them together for a powerfully consistent and coherent brand message. No tactic exists in isolation from any other. The question is – how are they working to create clear action?
#3 Marketing Mistake: Selling Too Hard (or Too Soft)
An uninterrupted stream of ads, without offering something really timely, affordable, useful or educational, quickly loses interest. Conversely, providing useful, timely and educational content without a clear call-to-action is pointless. It is important to be visible and present with your customers, in a way that is meaningful. It is equally critical that they know the best way to engage you when they are ready.
#4 Marketing Mistake: Focusing on Features and Benefits
Without going into the whole drill vs. hole sales analogy, remember you aren’t selling your service or product. You are selling your solution to solve a validated need. The transformation must be the center of every touch point. To know what transformation is in the eyes of your customer, you must get to know them, and that means first, stop talking about you.
#5 Marketing Mistake: No Metrics
Marketing is both an art and a science. The art is in the carefully crafted headline and subject line. It is also present in the emotionally evocative imagery and color palette. All that “art” is very important. However, without a target to shoot for, or beta-testing your social and digital content, monitoring your leads and engagements, then checking all of it against your target results – you are just playing in the paint box.
Instead, get scientific. Make considered assumptions, set a target, measure results and then adjust your approach as you go. Yes, you will be learning real time, but at least you will be learning. That’s the path to growth. It’s how science is done, with research and testing.
To find out how you can avoid these mistakes and others that are undermining your business success, email us at hello@ insideoutsmart.com.