You know the old phrase… “to err is human”. This simply reflects the fact that everyone makes mistakes (including marketing mistakes) and, being human, there’s not much you can do to prevent doing so.
When it comes to your marketing approach, to err is common, but there are things you can do to avoid several frequent marketing mistakes that increase out-of pocket-expenses and/or decrease revenue.
Confusing tactics and strategy
A tactic is a vehicle, a strategy is the road map to reach the final destination. If you focus only on the vehicle it may seem to be working well even if you are driving around in circles. But you never get anywhere. Make sure your plan is carefully mapped out before you choose the right vehicle.
Failing to maintain brand consistency
Your customer engages with your product and message at multiple points of contact. If you do not have a consistent look, tone and feel, they may not recognize the same origin for each message. When this happens you are wasting part of the cost to obtain the exposure. Look at your message from your customer’s point of view and make sure the source of the information is obvious.
Falling in love with features
You may think it’s great your team came up with or found new technology to enhance your product/service and you want everyone to know about it. Unless your customer knows the benefit of this new technology, the impact of the improvement will be lost. Always focus on the benefit first. Your customer will remember you for how you make their life better, not the technology that makes it possible.
Take, for instance, your website. Too many pop ups and calls to action often lead to confusion, frustration, and lost sales. Remember, your customer came to the website to shop for home furnishings. If they want more information, they will seek it (via email sign up, text, phone call, email, etc). Just because it can, doesn’t mean it should. Don’t get enamored with the shiny object that promises increased conversions. Think through the customer’s shopping experience. Is it easy for the customer to find information about what you sell? That is the only question you should be asking.
Forgetting about clutter
We are sometimes so enamored with a carefully crafted message, we forget that our customers are bombarded with so many messages that most are not really seen, let alone retained. Your customer is not waiting for your message no matter how good you think it is. Create outstanding messaging, of course, but also make sure it is seen on different platforms, during different parts of the day and over an extended period of time. This increases frequency which increases the chances of being seen and remembered.
Not coordinating marketing elements
Marketing consists of multiple disciplines. The old school catechism is “product, price, place and promotion.” One common mistake is allowing the disciplines to operate only within their own “silo.” This kind of tunnel vision destroys effectiveness. Make sure all marketing disciplines are coordinated and all pointed toward the same goal.
For an example, I am going to put this record on repeat and mention your website again. If your website does not showcase your current campaign, then you’re flat out missing the customer. The customer is visiting your website first. You spent a lot of dollars to drive traffic, and if your website doesn’t showcase your brand, products, and why, the customer will 100% go somewhere else.
Tracking effectiveness based only on revenue generated that weekend
We live in a highly connected and data driven world. Seeking out marketing vehicles and tools that give you the opportunity to attribute your success, whether through lifts in website visits or physical sales attribution, allows you to find areas to invest your resources and also gives you the blueprint for what not to do. Leaving trackable properties up to the same metrics we track with mass communication tools (print, TV, radio) doesn’t hit the tipping point of how successful you could be today.
Use the organic landing pages that are generating on your website as a blueprint for what you should focus on from an advertising and merchandising standpoint or where you need to stock up in the future to satisfy the needs the consumer is telling you about today.
In today’s marketing world, it is harder to work smarter, but the investment in trying to find a way to work smarter will probably lead to increased market share and potential.