Working with companies in a variety of industries means we encounter marketing mishaps on a regular basis. Regardless of their size or industry, it seems everyone has made a few mistakes with their marketing efforts. However, with the rapid pace of changes in the online digital marketing world, that’s not exactly a surprise. No matter how complex your marketing strategy or small your marketing budget, we put together a short list of common mistakes. Make plans now to put your mistakes behind you and start strong in the new year.
- Not tracking anything. This mistake is very common because businesses are often not sure what to track or how best to capture and use the data. What to track ranges from the basics like phone calls and foot traffic to technology performance such as your website, blog visits, and pay-per-click ads. If you are not tracking any activity, you will not know what is working or not working in your business. Take advantage of a tool like Google Analytics. This free service tracks your website visits and performance. Tracking can be simple and affordable. Not tracking can cost you a lot in lost revenue.
- Ignoring your competition. Similar to the tracking mistake, ignoring the competition could simply mean you don’t know what to watch. There’s no need to become obsessed, but researching the competition’s marketing efforts can give you great insight into what might work for your business too. Look at local competition, industry leaders, and companies in other parts of the country. Once you start paying attention to their tactics, you will see what they only try once, and what marketing tactics they use repeatedly. Great insight for very little effort or expense.
- You don’t know your audience. Even though this is a basic marketing practice, it is amazing how many companies make this mistake. Instead of taking the time to research and create a buyer profile, companies will simply cast a broad net out over anyone within striking distance. Again, the cost of not knowing your audience is greater than taking the time to understand who they are and what they need from you. Don’t be mislead by who you want your customers to be. Make sure you know who they actually are, then target more prospects that fit that profile.
- You don’t have a marketing plan. Many companies are busy marketing themselves every day but don’t have anything in writing to use as a guide. Limited time and budgets make it tempting to skip the ‘unnecessary’ step of creating a marketing plan. But this report from the Content Marketing Institute states that marketers with a written marketing plan were twice as likely to report that their marketing is effective. A solid marketing plan includes tracking performance, competitive analysis, audience profiles and a strategy for making all your efforts worth the time and investment.
The bottom line is that these are all expensive mistakes for your business. You are probably spinning your wheels, wasting time with tactics that don’t work, and losing customers and market share. Time to put these mistakes behind you and get off to a strong start in 2016.
Not sure where to start? Start with the easiest step – give our team a call.