These are the top six marketing mistakes that business owners make, in my opinion.
1. There is no marketing plan
Do you have a plan for how you’re going to market your business over the next six months?
And, can you put your hands on it when you need it?
Are you failing to plan or planning to fail?
Solution: Develop a marketing plan, either in house or, with the help of a marketing professional.
2. Not knowing who your target audience is
Can you define very specifically, who your target audience is for each product or service that you offer?
Not knowing your target audience is easily the most common mistake business make. While everyone may be interested in your products and services, you will discover that by targeting very specific subsets of customers, you will gain more business, more quickly.
Solution: Savvy and smart marketing decisions are based on knowing and understanding your target audience – right down to the nitty gritty detail.
Be as narrow as possible in your definition. Having less people to market to can be a strong advantage.
3. Who is responsible for marketing?
Is there a person in your business that is responsible and accountable for marketing?
If everyone on your team is responsible for marketing the business, then no one actually is.
Marketing by committee also doesn’t work. Yes, it’s important to take various points of view into account, but at the end of the day marketing is best assigned to someone who can be wholly accountable and responsible for it.
Solution: If you’re not finding the time or it’s not a strong skill for you, then consider outsourcing your marketing to an expert.
4. No tracking mechanisms
Do you have mechanisms in place for tracking the results of each marketing campaign you run?
If there’s no way to measure your results easily and cost effectively, how will you know whether a campaign was worth investing in?
In the era of digital communication, it is no longer enough to rely on our gut feelings, because keeping track of campaign results is constantly becoming easier and more cost effective.
Solution: Track your marketing with specific metrics.
My suggestions for ways to measure campaigns include:
- Using unique website pages, and tracking the results from each URL with programs such as Google Analytics
- For large campaigns, the use of unique phone numbers is sometimes appropriate
- Using specific coupon codes
- Advertising specific offers exclusively via one campaign
5. No consistent brand templates
Do all your business and marketing tools do justice to your logo and follow the same style guidelines?
It really does add to your credibility if your branding is consistent across all of your business and marketing tools.
Things to check as part of your marketing audit include your business cards, invoices, letterhead, websites, blog pages, and all advertisements, including any in the Yellow Pages.
Over time, it’s very easy to end up with numerous templates in your business. One day you create a fax form, the next day a sales letter, and then a week later an invoice. If you don’t think about these from a marketing perspective, all them may have your name and logo on them, but in fact look completely different.
6. Poor copywriting, spelling and grammar
When was the last time you went to a restaurant and spotted spelling mistakes on the menu? It’s a common mistake that I see at least once a week, and it reflects poorly on your attention to detail.
Solution: Check all of your content to ensure it’s at a professional standard. If copywriting, spelling and grammar are not your strength, then find someone to help like a marketing expert or professional copywriter.
Every business makes mistakes in marketing. If you get these six things right, you’re well on your way to successfully marketing your business.
Jo Macdermott combines 12 years of experience as a marketing professional with a down to earth, organised and honest approach. A broad background in the corporate world, along with her experience in small business marketing gives Jo the unique ability to work effectively with a range of different businesses and industries.