Marketing campaigns, when done incorrectly, can be difficult and expensive affairs. Each mistake you make can cost your small business not just money, but time. However, there are certain mistakes that will ripple past the clock and your bank account. These mistakes are the most dangerous ones of all, and the ones you should be aware of at all times. Here they are:
1. Not Marketing at All
The worst marketing mistake you can make in my opinion is not marketing at all. If you are not marketing today, you won’t have customers tomorrow. Most people that aren’t marketing fall into one of three categories; they don’t have time (which just results in perpetuating a feast to famine cycle, they only market when they don’t have customers) they don’t know where to start (start by committing to do something regularly, like this mailer I write) or they are just plain scared of making mistakes (get some help from a pro to guide you, it’s a worthwhile investment). But whatever you chose to do, do something regularly. Consistency reaps rewards.
2. Working with Inaccurate Data or No Data at All
No decision based on bad data (or even worse – no data!) will work out. Entire campaigns can be made useless if you do. You can end up with a ton of traffic that doesn’t actually turn into sales. There’s often no way to recover from this kind of mistake, especially for a small business on a tight budget.
This is why testing creatives against control audiences is so important. Getting clean, good data is critical in making sure you’re making the best decisions possible. It can also inform you which of your strategies is actually working and which ones you need to cut out. Thanks to Google Analytics, Facebook analytics, and a host of other technical developments, marketing professionals have access to an unprecedented level of audience insight. You can make way better and more targeted marketing decisions these days than ever before. When in doubt, use this equation – good data = good results.
3. Letting Your Marketers Work in Bubbles
No marketing campaign should be developed in a vacuum. But shockingly, I see so many that are. It may work in principle, but in practice it’ll often miss on plenty of marks, on both sides. Without input from other departments and sources, they may as well be flying blind.
To create a thorough and effective marketing campaign, your entire company must come together. Marketing must be aided and shaped by customer feedback (essential), as well as future development plans. It’ll make sure that they’re promoting products people actually care about, rather than letting personal feelings and opinions determine the tone of the campaign. When in doubt, ask your customers.
4. Never Promise Too Much at Any Point
As a way of life, I tend to under promise and over deliver. It’s a safe equation. Overpromising is the silent killer of campaigns. Sure, a brave tag-line or big promises can get people through the door, and it might even generate sales, but you’ll also have a lot of customers who will leave disappointed.
Sure, it is often far better to under-promise and over-deliver, but that’s easier said than done. That comes with its own set of complexities. You have to promise just enough to get people to pay attention to your small business, but not so much that you’ll have trouble meeting or exceeding their expectations. You should also make sure not to promise anything that you can’t deliver, no stretch is worth that fatal flop.
Consistency is a key aspect of both marketing and sales. People will keep coming back to your business if they get the same experience every time, and a strong marketing, public relations and branding campaign will reinforce the idea that they’ll get exactly what they expect from you. Unfortunately, inconsistency can creep up on you in the best of times. Only by staying vigilant can you keep your message on point, accurate, and consistent.
6. Not Marketing to Mobile
Most of your users and customers are likely on mobile devices. It’s a big shift that many companies still haven’t fully embraced. Even Google has made changes to their results page and search algorithm, giving benefits and special treatment to mobile-friendly sites. If your campaign isn’t geared to take advantage or account for this shift in device usage, your campaign will fail. It will get customers, but in all likelihood, it will miss the majority of your market.
Your business can recover from many marketing mistakes, but these can set you back far enough to make you feel overwhelmed by your marketing and just plain stinky. Keep an eye out for them at all times, your marketing will do its job, and then you can do yours.
If you need guidance or assistance with your publicity or marketing campaign, feel free to reach out. We are here to help!