Marketing is an all-consuming process. It involves a lot of big picture thinking but at least as much sheer hard work to succeed. You have the dual responsibility of building a brand and bringing in leads. It is very difficult to balance both these sides in the early stages of an organization, given the constraints of that stage. However, as you grow, many of those early mistakes start to become big headaches for you.
Even the most exceptional marketers make mistakes. The goal, though, is to constantly be on the move and to understand why these mistakes happened and then implement the necessary changes to avoid them. This involves frequently pausing to reevaluate the processes and results to tweak the future course of action. As the environment around you keeps changing, you have to be on the constant lookout for new ideas and changes to the old ones that will help you stay on top.
Looking around you and seeing what other businesses are doing is a great way to understand what you are not doing, or what you are doing wrong. Here’s a little something to help you: some of the greatest marketing mistakes that we see companies around us make.
Focusing On Just Leads And Not Brand
This is one of the biggest mistakes that organizations make, especially in an early growth phase. The goal here is obviously to create new business opportunities with marketing, and the activities tend to focus heavily on lead generation and not enough on brand building.
You may be running a lot of social and search campaigns, leading to landing pages on your website, but nothing much else happens on the website. The thing to note is that even if potential leads do come into the website, you need to give them enough content and information so that they know why they are there. If you present a website with not much content, you are likely to not convert much anyway.
Iit is also highly unlikely that your customers will convert the first time they come across your product or service. It takes multiple touch points on average to convert a customer. Without doing enough work on building a brand, it’s likely that your lead generation campaigns will not see sustainable success.
Written Down And Agreed Upon Plans
When you are a small business or a growing business, it is likely that the marketing is not as organized and planned as in other bigger organizations. But, whatever stage your business is in, having a written down plan helps you create sustained impact
Without a solid plan, you are likely to find yourself reacting to the market and the pressures of the business instead of being proactive. Having a plan also gives you a clear direction and milestones, which help you show real impact at the end of the year.
Not Paying Enough Attention To Numbers
One of the only ways in which you can know if your campaigns are performing well is to see what the numbers are saying. It is not just about checking the numbers at the end of the year, but also about regularly keeping track of the numbers to make sure you are on the right track.
Having a close eye on numbers also helps you to optimize your campaigns, uncover new opportunities, and see which channels and content are leading to conversions and which ones are not working. You can then allocate your budgets more effectively.
Being Reluctant To Share Value
A reluctance to share valuable content and information is a big roadblock in marketing-led growth. We live in an environment where there is no dearth of content and, in such a world, the audience can be engaged only through valuable content.
Many organizations sit on a huge amount of knowledge that they have amassed over the years, which would generate terrific value if they shared it, but they don’t. If you share content that is actionable and solves people’s problems, they are more likely to follow you and keep coming back and thus end up being your customer!
Not Investing In Technology
Marketing technology has grown leaps and bounds over the years, and all organizations should take advantage of this. Having a solid tech infrastructure allows your marketing function to deliver value to the right people in a more efficient way. It also automates a lot of manual tasks, giving you more time and hence more outcomes in the long run.
With SaaS and cloud-based services being mainstream, the cost of acquiring the tools has greatly reduced too. You can easily get the basic versions of these tools and, as you grow, you can upgrade to add more features.
Forgetting The Basics: SEO
No matter how much you grow, some things like SEO remain critical. You need to ensure that you are continuously working on this front to make sure that your website is ranked on top of the page.
Remember, the factors that are considered important in ranking decisions keep changing over time.
These change over time, but include:
- Content length
- Relevance and intent
- Graphics and general scannability
- Off-page factors
It is also important to focus on other aspects like link building and digital PR to make sure that you are on top of the SEO game.
Not Leveraging Your Current Customers
Not using your current happy customers by converting them into evangelists is one of the basic mistakes that organizations make. These customers are happy with your work and, with a nudge in the right direction, the case study that comes out of it can become a critical content asset for you.
Potential customers are interested in knowing the work you have done in the field and how you have solved problems for your clients. Having case studies and testimonials helps you to contextualize your work and also showcase some of your success stories.
Staying Off Video
Videos are hot. Many businesses are still staying away from video as a channel to share their content or talk about key issues. But! There is a strong consumer preference for videos both as a form of content and a source of information about products and services on offer. Without good video content, you are also missing out on being on YouTube, and the engagement it can deliver for you.
Not Enough BOTF Content
While a lot of effort goes into the more search-driven, top-of-the-funnel content, companies often do not pay enough attention to bottom-of-the-funnel content. These organizations are missing out on the power of content and its influence on the overall sales process.
Spending time understanding what kind of content works for the customers in more advanced stages of the decision-making process, and creating such content will help you speed up the process and nudge customers further towards closure.
Staying In Your Comfort Zone
Lastly, and on a more philosophical note, choosing to stay in your comfort zone is the biggest mistake any brand can make in terms of marketing. It is important to keep doing what works best for you, but if you are not constantly looking for opportunities to improve your marketing approach, or if you are reluctant to try out new channels and new formats of content, you are not doing your job.
The best marketing teams work outside their comfort zones, and push themselves and thus the entire business towards new ideas and new ways of looking at customer problems. Being fearless in experimenting with ideas, failing fast, and learning from this is the mantra you should adopt.
It is impossible to cover the length and breadth of marketing opportunities on offer to an organization. But it is possible to do the basics right and also to keep making changes. For marketing teams, this means some simple things: Providing value to customers in every piece of content, having the right structure and process in place to make the most of your campaigns, and regularly keeping track of what is going on.
The ones above are critical mistakes that any organization is likely to make in different stages of growth. But the biggest mistake of them all is not learning from these mistakes and doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Being ruthless in chopping and changing your strategy is the only way for you to remain on top of the game!
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.