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27 Mistakes To Avoid On Your Way To Marketing Greatness

Marketing is, by all accounts, one of the most vital strands of any successful business, regardless of its size or the nature of its operations. It is also the source of some of the most baffling and damaging mistakes said business can produce. The face of the operation to its rivals and its customers, the marketing department has a huge amount of pressure to make sure they are avoiding some of the most glaring errors in the business world.

We spoke to several leading individuals for their inputs on what these glaring errors are, and how any marketing group can avoid them.

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#1 Track Your Progress

One of the most avoidable marketing mistakes is ensuring you have accurate tracking of your marketing campaigns before you launch. I find that so many marketers are unaware of the process to successfully implementing analytics tracking. The first step is making sure analytic programs like Google Analytics are installed on your site, most people get this right. Once installed you will want to implement event tracking to track user conversions properly. If you run an e-commerce site, it's imperative you activate enhanced e-commerce tracking so your team can see which product SKUs drive the most revenue within your campaigns.

Finally, I recommend you activate custom audiences so you can begin to segment users by behavior and retarget them accordingly.

Contributor: Dean DeCarlo from

  1. Very informative, thanks for the tip!

#2 Be A Specialist

Small business owners make the same marketing mistake time and again. They want every single customer they can get, so they broadcast a long exhaustive list of every service or product. “We do this!” “We do that!” “We can do anything!”

Instead, early stage and small businesses should be specialists. They should focus their marketing on the one-to-three things that they absolutely knock out of the ballpark every single time. These key services or products should widely appeal to your ideal customer and solve a real problem for them.

Marketing then becomes a call and response of, “Hey, ideal customer are you having this problem?” with an easy to call to action when the customer says, “Yes!”. This is the kind of marketing that will get customers in the door and money in your pocket.

Contributor: Anja Smith from

#3 Email Marketing

One of the worst and most easily avoidable marketing mistakes I've seen is email marketers subscribing leads to regular emails without their permission. New email marketers may assume this is standard industry practice but it can land you in heaps of trouble with your email marketing platform and may lead to you being banned without a refund. Marketers should always receive permission before subscribing prospects not only to keep their email marketing platform but also to maintain a good public image.

If you stoop to subscribing prospects without permission, potential customers may wonder in what other ways you'll cheat the system.

Contributor: Nicolas Straut from

#4 Never Assume Your Customer

Never assume to know your customer or what they want and need. It’s easy to think that just because someone bought one of your products that they are interested in other similar ones. Truth is, there are so many cases where this wouldn’t be true. And your message to market match falls off a cliff.

Instead, ask them exactly what they want right now. Once you have that information your conversions will increase instantly. A great way to do this is to run surveys, embed them at multiple points in your campaigns, make them automated and run them continuously.

Contributor: Grace McKenzie from

#5 Be Consistent

The biggest and most avoidable marketing mistake I see small business owners make (and as the founder/CEO of a marketing company, I see this one almost daily) is not being consistent enough with your marketing.

Many small business owners will nod their heads and agree that consistency is the key to marketing success, and then proceed to greatly underestimate the amount of consistency they actually need and execute campaigns that last 2 or 3 months. But campaigns should be ongoing — daily, weekly, monthly — and analyzed and tweaked as you go.

Contributor: Joy Gendusa from

#6 Measuring Results

You should measure marketing results regularly. Without a keen eye on analytics and performance, businesses have a difficult time launching new marketing campaigns, making simple tweaks to marketing messages, etc. You should analyze the most common key performance indicators like unique visitors, page views, search engine traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate, etc. Keep in mind, these metrics that should always be linked to your business goals including annual growth rate, revenues, and more.

Contributor: Alexandra from

#7 Implement A Wide Range Of Tactics

Too often businesses only concentrate on one type of marketing tactics as well as their entire resources. In order to create an effective and successful marketing campaign, there is a must-have to utilize multiple platforms and tools to reach out to a much larger audience and a chance to engage with all your potential customers, instead of limited ones.

Contributor: Alexandra from

#8 Overspending

The most damaging and easily avoidable marketing mistake is spending more on advertising than you make. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who have no clue what their maximum cost per conversion is on ad spend. You simply need to figure out what your total profit is on a sale (after paying for everything except advertising - COGS, shipping, credit card processing fees, etc.), add the bare minimum that you need to pay yourself and employees (if applicable) and that is the absolute most that you can afford to spend on a conversion (assuming you or your employees don't work for free).

Contributor: Dave Hermansen from

#9 CTAs

One of the most avoidable mistakes I see marketers make is not providing CTAs in their blog content. Yes, the goal of a blog, or other pieces of content, is to provide the reader with value and knowledge, but it's also to interest them in your company. If you don't provide clear direction to the next piece of content they should read or action they should take, leads will simply leave your blog because they don't know where to go.

By adding CTAs in your blog content you can guide the readers through a content journey with your brand and hopefully get them into your database. It keeps them interested, gives them direction and leads them to the end destination, your database via a lead capture form.

Contributor: Nathan Heider from

#11 Customer-Focused

Most marketers know that marketing is about the customers, not you. It's about how your product or service can benefit the customers not the cool features that your product has.

However, most marketers have unconsciously created marketing campaigns that make it around them not the customer.

"We have done..."

"This month, we have accomplished..."

"We have received the award for Best Customer Support..."

You see it time and time again.

Contributor: Stan Tan from

#12 Millennial Experience

This is more than just knowing which hashtags are trending on Twitter or subscribing to a newsletter that sums up today's top news stories. Millennials like learning within their field so much that it's becoming an expectation in the workplace to continue learning. Keep in mind that if you bring a millennial on for marketing, a significant benefit of the job for them (and yourself and business) is encouraging continuous learning.

Millennials are a marketing must and it would be a mistake to not have their contribution.

Contributor: Deborah Sweeney, CEO from

#13 Keep Up To Date And Be Mindful Of Sensitivity

One of the most easily avoidable marketing mistakes is when brands appear to take advantage of tragic or sad current events for their own gain - even if it's in good fun.

This is easy to avoid by identifying current events and news topics that could potentially be sensitive topics for many people, and if brands do approach them, to do so in a way that focuses respectfully on the event rather than the brand's own products and services.

Contributor: Dustin Christensen from

#14 Ad Retargeting

The most avoidable yet common marketing mistake is to not use ad retargeting on platforms such as Facebook and Adwords. It's a lot more expensive to keep getting in front of new potential customers than to get in front of people that have already been exposed to you. Plus, it takes an average of 7 interactions for a person to be ready to buy from you.

Thus, retargeting is a way to get more quality leads without spending an astronomical amount of money, and too many businesses pass up on that opportunity.

Contributor: Elizabeth Bradshaw from

#15 Differentiate Yourself

No matter how unique you think your business is, someone else is probably doing something similar. To stand out in digital and offline marketing, you have to differentiate yourself from the competition.

It’s amazing that so many businesses still don’t take this to heart. They only become lost in a sea of competitors jockeying for a top spot on Google. Even well-worn industries like law firms have to differentiate by marketing specific legal niches.

Contributor: Mike Novak from

#16 Have A Plan

Never go into a marketing plan blind without having a plan by your side. Whether it’s placed in writing or in digital format, make sure everyone involved in the campaign has access to it.

Without having everyone on-board and understanding their marketing role, your campaign is going to turn into a jumbled mess. Cohesiveness across multiple digital channels is a must in a more complex world.

Contributor: Mike Novak from

#17 Make Use Of Social Media

You’d be surprised at how many companies still think social media doesn't matter. Even if it’s a playground for some, it’s a serious place to not only attract leads but also communicate with them.

It’s possible to gain metrics from social media as well if you do hashtag searches on Twitter and carefully observe conversations.

Creating compelling content on social media will always attract followers. Just don’t do hard sells to your followers and let them gravitate naturally to your content.

Contributor: Mike Novak from

#18 Bring More Personalisation

How many marketing emails have you sent with boring subject lines or lackluster content? Generic send addresses are another major faux pas in marketing.

Consumers want personalization in all marketing efforts. Thanks to automated marketing, it’s easier to do this without taking a lot of time. Simply recognizing recipients by name and knowing what they want will help you succeed in joining the personal marketing revolution.

Contributor: Mike Novak from

#19 Search Engine Language

In terms of digital marketing, one of the gravest and most easily avoidable mistakes is writing content for search engines rather than for users. Google and search engines have evolved a lot and moved away from giving preference to articles stuffed with keywords. In 2018, 2019, and beyond digital marketers have to focus on creating high-quality, unique content which provides real value to the users.

Although using keywords is still crucially important, this has to be done strategically, by using the focus keyword a couple of times throughout the article and then using related keywords.

Contributor: Daniela Andreevska from

#20 New Content, Daily

It is very important for your online marketing strategy to publish at least one piece of content every day. You should not push yourself to write content which is repetitive or of no use to your target audience, so you should find diverse topics which you can cover from different angles.

Contributor: Daniela Andreevska from

#21 Outlining Your Target Audience

It is really important to identify who are your key customers to make sure you use your marketing budget wisely. Why would a single person care about diapers or a happily married person about a great new dating service? It is really important to figure out who buys your products/services, especially since it became much easier to measure marketing results and generate custom audiences using online marketing.

Contributor: Zygimantas from

#22 It’s All About Timing

There is useless to post when your users are asleep. If you want to benefit, you should take into account time zones and the kind of audience you are going to serve. By finding out your personalized best time to post, you can hack the algorithm to increase your reach and get a higher chance to attract more users.

Contributor: Alexandra from

#23 Budget With Research

One of the biggest mistakes we try to avoid with clients is spending money on any form of marketing without proper research. Thanks to technology you can get data on potential customers in many ways. We always encourage clients to get this data to better understand who's interested in their product or service. When you do this you often see a higher return on your marketing investment. Without it, you will see inconsistent returns at best, if you see any return at all.

A bigger mistake is to think you are not spending enough money and instead of going back to the drawing board your increase your budget. Before spending any money on marketing be sure you have a reason with data behind it. Don't start a marketing strategy because it sounds nice, because you see other businesses doing it, or because you saw it an article. Everything business related needs to be specific to you. Do the research and with smart planning, the results will come.

Contributor: Chris Williams from

#24 Have An Online Presence

For any business today, you must have an online presence. Having an online presence doesn’t just include having a website. To increase your business’s reach online, you must be active on social media, message your customers, respond to reviews, share community events, and network with those in your industry.

Contributor: Holly Zink from

#25 Being Mobile Compatible

Part of marketing is having a user-friendly website that’s desktop, tablet, and mobile compatible. With everyone web browsing on their phones nowadays, not having a mobile compatible is a big marketing no-no! How are potential customers supposed to view what you offer if they can’t even see it? The best solution to this is to make sure you have a theme that is already mobile compatible or responsive.

Contributor: Holly Zink from

#26 Avoid Making False Promises

The number one marketing mistake I see companies make is promising something your product or service simply can not deliver. Marketing is about managing expectations and nothing can turn people off quicker than dishonesty. Overpromising is such a common marketing mistake because companies are under tremendous pressure to increase sales and satisfy stakeholders.

This makes the short term gain caused by stretching the truth seem appealing. Don’t be fooled, the long term ramifications aren’t worth the short term gain. Once people find out, your brand equity may never recover.

Contributor: Luke Wester from

#27 Messaging

The most common marketing mistake I see is in the messaging. Businesses focus on what they want customers to know instead of focusing what the customer actually wants or needs to know. For example, a business will write a blog about their exciting new product offering and how it came to be. That's only interesting to the company.

Instead, they should write about the problem the customer is having and present this new offering as the ideal solution. It's a subtle shift but it makes a huge difference in terms of marketing results. A focus on the customer overcomes a surprising number of marketing challenges.

Contributor: Emma G Rose Freemance from

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Written by James Metcalfe

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