7 Marketing mistakes you must avoid at all costs

If insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results… Then how can we know what we should stop repeating over and over again?

Marketing is all about testing! No one knows what will work when it will work or why it works before testing it.

But, here are a few mistakes that all marketers should avoid:

Trying to market to everyone

It might seem strange, but you’re better off appealing to a small group of loyal customers than trying to attract everyone.

Think about it for a second… If you can’t succeed in the micro, what makes you think that you’ll succeed in the macro?

So in order to determine which specific target market you want to concentrate on, ask yourself these questions:

1. Who can we really help? In other words, out of all the different segments you can serve, is there one in particular that you can serve better than the others?

2. Who’s easily accessible?

3. What are their main pain points? Are they even aware that there’s a solution for it?

4. Do they have purchasing power? Are they the main decision-makers?

5. If we could only gain 100 clients this year, would we choose them? Why?

6. What do they dream of?

7. Why would they buy?

When you’re done asking yourself these questions, it is crucial to interview past customers so that they can confirm all of these assertions.

And remember! People can only know you for one thing. Make sure that this one thing is a solution to a specific problem.

Only following trends

Hoping on trends is a great way to increase your reach and make your content relatable. Although, *evergreen content should be your primary focus!

Evergreen content remains valuable long after it’s released. This approach also helps you repurpose content easily since the topic stays relevant.

This type of content accumulates organic traffic over time. The longer it’s published, the more site traction it pulls, and, you guessed it, the higher the ROI.

*Evergreen content is search-optimized content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers over a long period of time.

Only selling the benefits

Yes, it’s important to sell the benefits of your product. But what about the emotional benefits that your product provides?

We want to share this great excerpt from the book ‘’This is Marketing’’, written by Seth Godin:

Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt famously said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole.” The lesson is that the drill bit is merely a feature, a means to an end, but what people truly want is the hole it makes. But that doesn’t go nearly far enough. No one wants a hole.
What people want is the shelf that will go on the wall once they drill the hole.
Actually, what they want is how they’ll feel once they see how uncluttered everything is, when they put their stuff on the shelf that went on the wall now that there’s a quarter-inch hole.
But wait…
They also want the satisfaction of knowing they did it themselves.
Or perhaps the increase in status they’ll get when their spouse admires their work.
Or the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the bedroom isn’t a mess, and that it feels safe and clean.
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want to feel safe and respected.”

Excerpt from This is Marketing, Written by Seth Godin

In other words, people don’t only buy the end result but they buy an emotional transformation!

Not creating a customer journey map

A customer journey map is a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps your customers go through in engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, a retail experience, or a service.

This will allow you to identify gaps in pre-purchase and post-purchase communications.

So the goal here is to make every customer experience feel exceptional, regardless of whether they’re an existing customer or a prospect.

Seriously think about it, how can you know what to focus on if you don’t even understand how your customers behave and feel at specific steps of their journey? Customer journey mapping is especially helpful for small businesses that are competing against giants.

Download our free ebook to learn how to increase customer lifetime value: Top Digital Marketing Strategies for the Customer Lifecycle

Never asking for the sale

Our job as marketers is to simplify the customer journey for our audience. And modern marketers now understand that this can be achieved through content marketing.

Although, there’s a trap that you must avoid…

Way too many marketers tend to only create educational, entertaining, or inspiring content without ever asking for the sale.

It’s true that your content should provide value but it should also cater to all stages of the buyer’s journey.

So in other words, your content shouldn’t be all value or too salesy. You want to find the sweet spot somewhere in the middle!

Forgetting existing customers

It is statistically proven that it is easier to sell to existing clients than to new ones. It has also been proven that it is cheaper to market to your existing customers.

This is because the effort required to catch the eyeballs of new customers and convince them to do business with you is vastly greater than the effort required to get an existing customer to make another purchase.

Here are some best practices to help you retain existing customers:

  • Stay in touch with them on a regular basis through the channels that they prefer, including email, social media, direct mail, or personal follow-up.
  • Engage them with surveys that allow them to genuinely and confidentially give you feedback.
  • Offer them something special every once in a while: a discount, a coupon, an invitation to an event, or something else that they will appreciate. Unexpected and thoughtful gestures go a long way.
  • Say thank you. Everyone appreciates that.
  • Train anyone who has direct contact with your customers. They must be able to make the customer experience exceptional every step of the way, even during difficult interactions.

Most of these examples can be automated… To learn more about balancing acquisition and retention resources, read this research article.

Being too data-driven

Get it clear in your head, marketing is an art and a science. One can’t exist without the other.

Marketing is all about bringing a group of people from one emotional state to another. So instigating emotions is impossible to do if your team only bases their decisions on data.

That’s because data can’t capture the complexity of human behavior. Moral of the story? Data should be one part of the decision criteria, not the only one.

Adopt a “data-informed” attitude rather than a data-driven one!

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