THE 10 MOST COMMON MARKETING MISTAKES,
AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
If you want to run a successful business, you need to master the skill of marketing. Marketing is how you make your business known, attract customers, and entice them to return again and again. Marketing trends are always changing, and the methods that worked to build your business yesterday might be outdated tomorrow. That can make it tricky to figure out exactly what you should do. However, there are several significant blunders in marketing that businesses continue to make, even as the broader trends shift. If you want to make a great impression and increase your revenue, you need to avoid these ten common marketing mistakes.
1. Using Inconsistent Branding —
You need to establish your brand when you’re marketing. What kind of business are you? What approach do you take, serious and to-the-point, or light-hearted and jokey? Are you high-end or affordable? In what does your company believe? You need to be consistent in these areas and continually show off the same logo, tagline, and style. That tells customers who you are and makes you recognizable. Businesses that fail to do this are forgettable, so don’t be one of them.
2. Marketing To Everyone –
A more significant target audience equals more potential customers, right? Well, it doesn’t. If your marketing strategy tries to attract everyone, it’s not focusing on the people who might be interested in buying from you. Generic marketing campaigns that pitch products to everyone usually fail to attract the real target demographic. Figure out who you’re making your product for and get it in front of those people. Once you’ve got a strong customer base with them, others will start to find you too.
3. Making Unfounded Assumptions –
Do your research. Acting on assumptions about your target audience is a huge marketing mistake. Say, for example, that your target audience is college students. Maybe you think that all college students love partying; that could even be true. But perhaps the kind of students likely to be interested in your product are homebodies who might feel turned off if you inaccurately market to them as party animals. You need to do the research and figure out what your target audience wants so you can market to them effectively.
4. Failing to Establish Your USP –
What makes your business unique? You’ve probably figured out your unique selling point already. But it’s not you that matters – your potential customers are the ones who need to know your USP. Your marketing campaign needs to show customers what makes your business special and convince them to choose you instead of your competitors. If you aren’t showing off your USP when you’re marketing, then you’re doing it wrong.
5. Copying Your Competitors –
Too many businesses simply copy their competitors’ marketing campaigns, slotting in their own logos and calling it a day. But this could be a serious mistake. Firstly, it assumes that your competitors are doing it right, which you don’t know unless you have access to their outcome data. Secondly, what works for them may not work for you. The size of a business, its location, and its history can all affect how marketing works. Take hints from your competitors, but don’t blindly copy them. Do your research and figure out a strategy that suits you.
6. Lacking Personality –
Just getting your name and your logo out there is good, but it’s not enough. Right marketing strategies take personality into account too. What is your business like? How can you communicate that to customers? Customers want to know that the companies they buy from aren’t just corporations. They want to feel a human connection, so you need to give it to them. Show some personality and heart in your advertising and people will find your business far more appealing.
7. Ignoring Social Media –
Plenty of businesses believe that their core audience isn’t active on social media, but that just isn’t accurate anymore. The majority of people in pretty much every demographic are active on social media now. It’s a free, wide-reaching way to advertise and interact with potential and returning customers, so why wouldn’t you use it? Whoever your audience is, these days, a large chunk of them are active on at least one or two social media platforms, so find them. Failing to market on social media is an absolute no-no.
8. Snubbing Bad Reviews –
Bad reviews can bring you down. In this online age, it’s all too easy for a customer to get online and blast your business if they’re unhappy with some aspect of it. Many companies choose to ignore bad reviews and focus on the positive ones, but that’s a big mistake. By responding to and addressing negative (but polite) reviews, you get the chance to apologize to the customer, explain yourself, and offer to make amends. That could turn a bad experience into a good one for that customer and each person who reads the review in future.
9. Tracking The Wrong KPIs –
In marketing, key performance indicators matter. You probably want to know how many people are clicking on your website, or how many people are subscribing to your newsletter, or how many people are following you on Facebook. All too often, however, businesses track the wrong KPIs and get confused about how their marketing efforts are working. KPIs for traditional marketing and online marketing, for example, should be different. Similarly, followers matter in online marketing, but why would you spend all your time online if those followers aren’t translating into increased revenue? Figuring out the right KPIs is vital.
10. Failing To Get Involved –
You need to show your customers that you care. People warm up to businesses which show a human side, so being kind is good for the world and good for business. Get involved with the local community or the online community around your product. Offer discounts for people who might need them. Donate to a charity related to your business. Giving back gets your name out there, shows good will, and gives customers a reason to choose you, so don’t fail to get involved in this way.
Entrepreneurs often imagine that a good marketing strategy needs to include all the newest trends and fall into the trap of making these marketing mistakes along the way. Sadly, they’re all too familiar and can damage your business. Check out your current marketing strategy to ensure these issues aren’t present and work to avoid them in future. After all, preventing mistakes in the first place is far better than fixing them later on.