The other day, I spotted a local business using a free (Gmail) address for its company email and a mobile phone number as its principal office number.
Marketing mistakes are pretty standard.
Starting and running a small business is hard enough without making marketing mistakes that can set you back weeks or even months.
Sometimes, your marketing mistakes will be significant enough to stop your business dead in its tracks.
This post will look at the most significant marketing mistakes you can make and how to avoid them. Let’s get started!
1 – Not having a clear goal or strategy
My favourite element of marketing is content production, the tactical stuff.
But marketing starts much earlier with strategy.
Unless you have a clear goal for your business and a defined marketing strategy to achieve that goal, you are unlikely to succeed.
Even if you do succeed, you may have no idea you have achieved your goal unless you have a clear plan in the first place!
Before going into battle, know what you are setting out to achieve.
Clarity of strategy will also make it dead simple to make tactical decisions with your marketing.
2 – Not measuring results
The brilliant management theorist Peter Drucker is often credited with the saying:
What gets measured gets managed.
Which elements of your marketing are you measuring?
Measurement focuses on activity and ensures that the right people are responsible for taking action.
You can (and probably should) keep this marketing measurement simple, with a basic spreadsheet to track several core metrics each month.
Make the time to review these marketing metrics and change your approach if the numbers are not reflecting the effort.
3 – Underestimating the competition
There’s a delicate balance to be had in business.
You don’t want to become obsessed with your competition, but it’s probably unwise to ignore them.
Identifying and monitoring your competition is an integral part of any marketing strategy.
Make sure you keep your ego in check during this process; for some entrepreneurs (myself included, in the past), it’s easy to assume that you have no competition because you are the greatest at what you do.
Dismantle that belief system immediately.
A competitor lurks around the corner in any business, waiting to snatch away your best customers.
Never underestimate your competition.
4 – Not creating a brand identity
Branding is about more than your logo.
It’s the very essence of who you are as a business and what you stand for.
Branding is the perception you leave with your customers. It’s what they say about you when you’re not around.
You can either allow your brand identity to evolve by itself or grab the branding bull by its horns and create something a little more considered.
Creating your brand identity and documenting each element of your brand can drive consistency into your marketing and messages.
A strong brand can’t save a weak business, but a weak brand can bring down a strong business.
5 – Not engaging with customers and followers online
The world has changed.
When we ask for referrals these days, we don’t do it how we used to.
The first place most customers (including your prospective customers) look for a referral is online.
Unless you have your bases covered on local listings and social media, you won’t be in the running.
Those who despise social media for moral reasons can’t ignore this reality; without a comprehensive online presence, you are holding back your business growth potential.
It’s not enough to regularly post content to your website and social channels. You need to engage with your followers too.
That means replying to their comments, commenting on their content, and being a generally helpful presence regarding matters relating to your expertise.
Make time for this online engagement; it’s precious.
No marketer is perfect, and even the most experienced marketers can make mistakes.
This blog post outlined some of the biggest marketing missteps you can make. Are you guilty of any of these?
If so, don’t worry – there’s still time to fix them! Just take a look at your marketing strategy and see where you might be able to improve.
Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you’ll be on the path to making fewer marketing mistakes and seeing better results from your campaigns.
Thanks for reading!