8 Of The Biggest Classic Marketing Mistakes That Brands Make
It’s to be expected that small businesses will sometimes miss the mark with their marketing efforts. But take heart—even seasoned marketing veterans with big money campaigns make mistakes, too.
By recognizing some of the most often-repeated marketing errors, your organization can avoid missteps and reap tangible results.
Here are eight classic mistakes to avoid.
1. Failure to target the market.
If your target market is “everyone,” you’ll never hit it. A company must specifically target the right audiences for its products and services. Know exactly who your customers and prospects are, and precisely what solutions they need from you.
If you’re purchasing a list for a direct mail campaign or placing advertising, ask to see demographic, psychographic, and purchasing behavior information. Then select only the mediums that are appropriate for reaching your target audience.
2. Pursuing the big-bang effort or one-shot communication.
An organization should never spend the majority of its marketing budget on one high-profile opportunity. Nor can it rely on a single communication effort. An effective marketing strategy must be delivered over a period of time through a variety of avenues.
Studies show that customers need to see or hear your marketing message several times before they truly become aware of it. Therefore, a single ad or one-time mailing will not garner the attention you need. Spread out your exposure and integrate your campaign.
3. Selling features instead of benefits.
“State-of-the-art technology, with triple-action power, and industry-leading quality” communicates nothing to the customer. Far too many businesses are focused on pushing their credentials instead of pulling in customers with information on how the company can solve problems and make life easier.
Place emphasis on the customer, not on your company.
4. Poor timing.
Often times a marketing campaign is launched just because the materials are ready, not because the audience is (promoting back-to-school in early July, for instance). Or it may be prime time for a product’s promotion, but the marketing isn’t geared up to support it. A good campaign requires adequate, advanced planning, and that includes proper timing.
5. Lack of consistency.
Do your various marketing materials look like they might have come from different companies? How many messages are your sending customers?
Companies can confuse and lose customers unless they promote a consistent look, feel, and brand message across every marketing tool – from ads to zingy slogans.
6. Failure to test.
What ads will be most effective? What price point is most appealing? The only way to know for certain is to test. Put ads in front of your audience and ask for their reaction, or rotate the two best ideas in media placement and see which pulls in more response. Try two different price points and see which sells more (it’s not always the cheapest). And remember, marketing decisions should always be based on what customers respond to, never on what pleases the boss or satisfies a management committee.
7. Neglecting existing customers in the pursuit of new ones.
The biggest asset to your company is its existing customer base. Rather than constantly chasing new customers, take advantage of the relationships you’ve already acquired. Continue to communicate and market to them by offering additional products or new services, and cultivate their loyalty.
8. Lack of patience.
Boredom is not a good reason to switch campaigns. You may be tired of your ads, but that doesn’t mean customers are. Campaigns need ongoing exposure over time to be effective. If a promotion is still working, stick with it until you see diminishing returns.
Key To Avoiding These Classic Marketing Mistakes
Marketing is one of the most critical aspects of building and running a successful business, but even the most simple mistake could slow down or bring a halt to your results. Today, many marketers deem marketing an art form, I, however, see it as a culmination of both art and science. The better you become at it, the more it will pay off.
One of the best ways to avoid making these classic marketing mistakes in a modern/digital world is to follow the basics. One of the most basic principles of marketing is simplicity otherwise known by the acronym K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid is an approach the can be called upon anytime there is doubt about a new offer, promotion, or strategy. The more complex it is, the less likely it would result in real traction.