Common marketing mistakes to avoid

Unfortunately, marketing is not an exact science, and there is no magic formula. However, there are some common marketing mistakes which, if avoided, will help make your marketing successful.

Common marketing mistakes to avoid

1. Targeting everyone

Not everyone is your target customer. And trying to market to everyone is guaranteed to make your marketing fail. This approach is expensive and ineffective because you can't communicate with everyone in a way that will resonate with them.

For example, a photographer might think that anyone who wants a professional photograph is a target customer. However, a bride seeking a wedding photographer will have very different needs to a business looking for corporate headshots or a holiday lettings company wanting lifestyle shots of their holiday cottages.

So, hone down on who your ideal customer is. The more specific you can be, the better. When you genuinely know and understand your target customer, you can address their particular needs, market to them directly, and communicate with them in a way which will make them want to take action.

2. Unclear branding

Your brand is the reason customers buy from you. It communicates to them the experience and benefits they will enjoy when shopping with you. For example, think about two major high street brands - John Lewis and Primark. These two retailers have polar opposite brands, and you will, I'm sure, have a very clear image in your head of what experience they offer. However, they both have a very clear brand offering.

Weak or inconsistent brands fail because consumers don't know what they're getting.

The first stage in branding is understanding what your business stands for and what makes it unique. Then ensure that everything customer-facing (e.g. your visual identity, tone of voice, website presence, marketing literature, telephone answering, social media etc.) emulates your brand. 

3. Inconsistency

Marketing is a slow-burn process, so it needs a consistent application to be a success. Stopping and starting or constantly jumping from one activity to another won't yield results. Instead, devise a marketing plan that fits your budget and objectives and implement it.

4. Me, me, me

Littering your marketing collateral with "I" and "we" will be a major turn-off for prospective customers. Instead, talk to their problems, demonstrating how your product or service could be a solution. And always focus on benefits, not features.

An energy-efficient heating system that will "keep you cosy and warm through the winter without straining your finances" is more attractive than an energy-efficient heating system that "uses less energy".

5. Failing to evaluate

As I mentioned above, marketing isn't an exact science. So, it's important to regularly evaluate your marketing to determine what's working and what's not. For example, ask customers how they found you, interrogate your Google Analytics, monitor the open, click through and unsubscribe rates of email marketing campaigns, and check your social media stats. Then, keep on top of the data so you can make informed decisions about your marketing moving forwards.

6. Ignoring your customers after the sale

It's much easier to secure sales from existing customers than from new ones. And even if your product or service is not something that customers buy frequently, you want your customers to recommend you to their friends and family. So look after your customers.

Make sure your after-sales process is as good as your pre-sales. And regularly review your customer database to see if any customers might require special treatment. Also, building a customer feedback process will make your customers feel valued and provide helpful insight to improve your offering.

7. Old "news"

What impression do you get when you click on a website's news page only to find the last post was several months or even years ago? Avoid your customers feeling the same by keeping your news page, and social media feeds up to date. As well as showing that your business is active, it will also help with your organic listings on Google.

8. Overstretching

Many marketing options are available to you, but that doesn't mean you have to do them all. Instead, select the activities most appropriate for your target audience and that you have the resource to manage. It's always better to do a few things well than several badly.

9. Putting all your eggs in one basket

Focusing solely on one marketing tactic is as damaging as stretching your marketing too thin. This mistake is particularly troublesome if you depend on a third-party application as the source of your marketing. For example, if you rely on one social media platform for your marketing and your account gets hacked or blocked or the rules of engagement change, your one income-generating source is lost.

Integrating several marketing activities into an overall marketing campaign is generally more effective. 

Marketing is often a case of trial and error, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you'll hopefully avoid too much error! But if you need some expert help, please get in touch.

Straight Marketing
Tawny Bank, Maer Lane
Exmouth, Devon

01395 901116
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