Each year, businesses spend a lot of money marketing their companies with the one goal of increasing their sales. Unfortunately, a lot of this is wasted. These marketing mistakes mean that there is little to show for these expenses and as a result, the company typically cuts their marketing budget. Eventually, their sales pipeline collapses.
Here are the marketing mistakes to avoid and what to do instead:
1. A poorly defined target and message
Some companies are so eager to get started using any marketing tactic (advertising, social media, trade shows, etc.) that they begin with anything and send it to anyone. To avoid this marketing mistake, everyone can’t be the company’s customer. Defining the target prospect means identifying the specific pain points and characteristics of the consumer or business that will make a purchase. This demographic profile can include age, gender, income, occupation, marital status, hobbies and interests. For business markets, a target profile can include industry, revenue, location and number of employees. This is critical because a big marketing mistake is to invest a lot of money only to attract the wrong prospect.
2. Not testing first
Too many marketing dollars are typically spent on the initial campaign out of the sheer excitement of finally getting started. Once a decision is made to move ahead, many companies make the marketing mistake of going too big when they begin and then have no budget left to follow up with tactics that have worked. It is critical to test a targeted segment with a single tactic to see if it is successful before going on to other areas or increasing the marketing spend.
3. Not tracking and measuring results
There is an old saying that “I know that half my marketing efforts are working, I am just not sure which half!”. Before online advertising, business owners expected to make a lot of marketing mistakes since it was difficult to track which ad brought in the most prospects. This has all changed in the online world where every prospect interaction with any type of adverting and promotion can be tracked. It is important to find out what works and what does not work in order to scale any marketing efforts.
4. Taking no action as a result of marketing
The surprising fact is that a majority of leads generated by marketing are never followed up by sales people. This rates as one of the biggest and most expensive marketing mistakes that companies make. It makes no sense to generate leads of there is no follow-up! At the very least, there should be automated marketing campaigns within the company to further qualify the prospects and track the results.
5. No sustainable plan.
I remember I had a customer at one of the companies I started in the 1990’s who had finally hired a marketing director for their technical software company. I called this person, Joe on their first day and welcomed them to the industry. When I contacted him again the following week, he was gone. I asked the owner what happened. He told me they tried marketing for a week, but it didn’t work out!
Being successful in marketing has a lot to do with longevity of this effort. I believe that we actually can’t sell anything to anyone; we just need to be there when the customer is ready to buy. This means a sustain marketing plan over a long period of time which is tested and tuned to get the desired results.
What marketing mistakes have you made and what were your solutions?
Barry Moltz helps small businesses get unstuck. He applies simple, strategic steps to facilitate change.
Barry has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 20 years. He is a small business speaker, radio host and author of four books. As a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, he has spoken to audiences of up to 20,000 people. He is a regular guest on business radio and cable TV programming.