The social media platforms and ever-advancing technology available has made it virtually impossible for businesses to escape scrutiny in the unforgiving world of modern marketing.
A controversial campaign can quickly become the be all or end all for companies in any industry. Marketing mistakes are easy to come by, and 2017 certainly had its fair share of blunders. From the ill-advised Pepsi campaign starring Kendall Jenner, which appeared to appropriate the Black Lives Matter movement, to Dove’s questionable ‘Real Beauty’ curvy bottle campaign. It seemed like a week wouldn’t go by without a cringe-worthy marketing miscalculation coming to light.
So, in the interest of avoiding your very own marketing mishaps, we have put together a comprehensive, fail-safe list of the 7 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid…
- Do Not Use Generic Copy
Be honest with yourself. If you’re regularly creating lacklustre copy and posting it on your company website or social media, stop – right now. What sort of result are you hoping for? Pushing generic content will only deter readers, making any further marketing efforts practically pointless. While it might be tempting to replicate the marketing strategies of globally successful companies, don’t. Rule number one of marketing: Stop trying to please everyone. Your product/services cannot possibly be all of the things to all of the people. “Become the go-to business for the micro-niche gap in the market you reside in.”
For example, Birkenstock sells one product really well, they are not necessarily for everyone but that does not mean they are unsuccessful. Identify your niche and work out how you can implement this in your written content.
- Fully Understand Want vs. Need
It is common knowledge among businesses of any nature that consumers are more likely to buy what they want – not what they need. Instead of trying to determine WHAT it is you are doing for your customers – delve deeper into working out WHY your customers are coming to you specifically and why they return. What is it you can offer them? Why are your products or services preferable to that of your competitors? If you can determine your customers’ biggest pain points and are able to solve their problems FOR THEM, they will buy from you without question.
- Stay Away from the Wrong Channels
There are countless channels to utilise in marketing efforts to engage with your customers, but what if you are using the wrong ones? A common mistake made by companies all over the world is misjudging the best social media platforms suited to the particular demographic they are hoping to reach. Who is your audience? Where can you grab their attention? What do you want to say and can this be said correctly and concisely on your chosen channel? Kate Murphy, Director of Strategic Relations at Crowdtap strongly believes that “consumer research, along with simple concept/creative testing with your target audience, should be a crucial part of a campaign process.” We wholeheartedly agree. Try not to become trigger happy, because posting online before fully understanding your audience can have catastrophic results.
- Chase Your Competitors
Don’t just acknowledge your competition, work out what it is they are doing well and not so well, and pick these things apart. Any successful business owner will admit how recognising exactly what your competitors are doing is a crucial component for any company in their quest to become the best in their industry. Take cues from your competition, learn from their successes as well as their failures in order to find ways of doing it better than they do it. It is important to refrain from getting caught in the trap of replicating their efforts in hopes of getting more attention or more impressive results.
- Don’t Forget to Record Results
This is a simple, yet vital step that must be made in order to measure the success of any marketing venture. It is easy to get carried away when a campaign is going well or losing enthusiasm when things are doing badly. In both scenarios, documenting each step of the way is very important. By doing this you will consequently become better prepared for next time, as well as possessing a comprehensive case study to reflect back on. Another benefit of recording results is how it allows you to analyse the success of previous marketing efforts with both current employees and future recruits who may not have worked on that particular project, but would benefit from studying the outcome……and breathe.
- Do Not Confuse Tactic with Strategy
Many companies implement ineffective marketing tactics because they are focusing on an approach without first establishing their overarching strategy. Marketing is complex and requires the deployment of multiple tactics, taking considered steps towards a strategic overall goal. Remember, a tactic that works today is unlikely to continue to work without a clear understanding of how it fits into the marketing ecosystem set up to achieve the desired result.
- Keep It Consistent
The final mistake to avoid making is the publishing of incoherent or inconsistent messages. Appearing consistent and creating a specific tone or brand language that your company can become recognised for is the most effective way to achieve good results. Sporadic, random messages will never achieve the right level of consumer interaction, and dos not resonate with customers nearly as well as well thought out and engaging marketing content.