marketing mistakes

Commonly Made Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

There is a never-ending list of ways businesses can improve their marketing strategies. These lists make it easy to focus on what to do, though they seldom spend enough time placing emphasis on what not to do. Even the most experienced marketing executives trip up sometimes and make easily avoidable mistakes. We’ve identified some of the most commonly made mistakes in the industry to help you circumvent them. If you’ve already made some of these mistakes, don’t worry – we’re here to help you learn from them.

Poor research and a lack of testing

Making assumptions about your customer base is a surefire way to miss goals before you’ve even given yourself a chance of reaching them. Before the launch of any project or marketing campaign, devoting the resources to developing an informed understanding of your audience that is founded in substantial research can save you valuable time and money down the line. Having an idea of how your products and services will perform once your campaign is launched will help you set realistic and attainable goals. By identifying and eliminating ineffective ideas before they see the light of day, you can focus your energy on more promising aspects of the campaign. Given the multitude of research tools available to marketing executives today, there is no excuse to skimp on feedback surveys or trivialize trend analysis.

Broad targeting

A symptom of poor research is often targeting too broad an audience. In the age of targeted advertising, there is a wealth of data available to businesses that aid in the development of structurally sound customer profiles. As with inadequate research, making assumptions about your anticipated customer base is a common mistake that often overlooks the reality of your pre-existing clients and their loyalty to your brand. Worse, you risk losing them because you’re too busy chasing unrealistic leads. To avoid this, pair your research insights with your comprehensive customer profile and you’ll be far more likely to reach your campaign goals.

An unspecified USP

Your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition, is a single statement that sets you apart from the competition. It should make clear the gap in the market which your products or services fill, and directly address the needs of consumers in a way that your competitors are unable to. It is surprisingly common for businesses not to prioritize devising a strong USP. And yet without it, your customers will struggle to pick you out of a crowd of brands who are also competing for their attention. It is not enough to claim you are the best in the business. Rather, explain why this is the case, and how you set yourself apart from the rest of the industry. A USP is a crucial aspect of keeping your operations focused as it functions as a constant reminder of your target audience.

Devaluing customer retention

This is arguably the easiest mistake for marketers to make. Because burgeoning businesses are so often concerned with attracting new customers, they often miss valuable opportunities with their pre-existing ones. The potential growth of revenue by way of repeat business is certainly worth making a priority given that customer acquisition isn’t nearly as affordable or reliable as marketing to returning clients. In fact, selling to a new customer is five times as expensive as selling to an existing customer. In order to ensure that you are covering all segments of your market, try and match the resources used on gaining new clients to the resources used to take care of your pre-existing business.

Unwillingness to invest

We’ve all heard it before: you need to spend money to make money. And yet, clichés are clichés because, more often than not, they ring true. In a recent Score study, small business owners who listed marketing strategies as one of their top priorities also admitted to devoting negligible portions of their budget to actual marketing implementation. In retrospect, the majority of said business owners wished they had allocated at least twice the initial marketing budget prior to launch. While it is understandable that businesses opt to prioritize more pressing matters such as rent payments and payroll, undervaluing the capacity of effective marketing to reap long-term benefits to revenue and brand loyalty is certainly a missed opportunity.

Forgetting to track performance

While many businesses necessarily turn to data to devise their upcoming marketing campaigns, they often overlook the importance of tracking performance to date. The insights that tracking performance can offer are invaluable when it comes to setting realistic goals for imminent projects, as well as identifying areas for improvement before launch. Real-time insights into business performance make it easy to avoid unpleasant surprises and instead ensure that you are constantly in the know.

Resistance to change

Businesses, just like humans, need to adapt in order to survive. And, just like humans, some businesses often resist change in the name of staying in their comfort zones. But by doing so, they miss out on the valuable potential of change to beget growth. Resistance to new technology and marketing strategies puts you behind those more willing to experiment with different revenue channels, whereas businesses who are more open-minded to change are opening themselves up to a wider audience and greater potential profits as well as keeping up with the competition.