5 Massive marketing mistakes to avoid

Want to make your company’s marketing more effective? Make sure that you’re not making any of these common but costly mistakes.

Not marketing online

Every business can benefit from marketing online. People of all ages are now using the internet to research companies. Building a website should be your first step – you can build a free website using the likes of WordPress without any coding know-how, or you can hire a professional website designer to whip something up for you.

Many people think that a website alone will do, but it isn’t nearly enough to make an impact in today’s digitally-savvy world. You should aim to build a strong online presence by branching out all across the internet. This could involve building a reputation through reviews on Trip Advisor or TrustPilot, building social media pages to further promote your business, getting people to promote you on blogs, as well as potentially looking into SEO (search engine optimisation) in order to boost the rankings of your website on search engines such as Google.

You can always hire the help of a digital marketing company. There are also individual companies dedicated to social media, SEO and reputation marketing if you feel its one particular area you need help with.


Not marketing offline

It’s possible that you could be making the opposite mistake of only marketing online. Many people feel that the web is all they need to make an impact nowadays, however physical marketing can still have its benefits.

It can be particularly advantageous if you’re a local business – anyone you meet locally for the first time could be a potential customer so its worth investing in the likes of business cards or vehicle branding. Flyers can also be an effective form of advertisement when pinned on local noticeboards or strategically placed through letterboxes.

Event marketing can also be effective for giving people an experience, making your brand more memorable. You could hire a stall at a local trade fair, host a conference or launch party or organise a seminar on a topic related to your business.

Physical marketing can also be combined with digital marketing. This could include printing your website on business cards and flyers, bringing a tablet to events and getting people to sign up online or even getting people to take part on online polls and quizzes during a conference on their phones.


Trying to chase competitors rather than find your own USP

If you have clear competitors, try not to get too caught up chasing them. This could include bringing out an app to match their app, or trying to undercut the discounts that they’re promoting. You’re far better off outdoing your competitors by trying to differentiate yourself with unique selling points (USPs). By offering something new and different, you firstly won’t get accused of copying their brand, which could avoid a costly lawsuit in some cases. Secondly, you could appeal to new customers by offering something different rather than trying to target the same customers as your competitor.

Think about a unique service that you offer and try to make this a vital part of your marketing. Finding the gap in market isn’t always easy – you may not have to offer something that hasn’t been done before, simply offer something that know other immediate competing is focusing on.


Focusing on attracting attention, not attracting customers

Many companies can get too caught up trying to attract attention with their marketing campaigns rather than generating actual customers. Clickbait is the new form of digital marketing that encourages visitors over engagement. Whilst this is more common with news articles and blogs, many companies use similar tactics within their marketing such as using unrelated keywords or focusing on engaging social media content that doesn’t actually encourage conversions.

It’s okay to use bold advertising to attract attention, but you should make sure that you’re still putting a focus on encouraging leads. Don’t just focus on getting people to visit your website – focus on making your website itself attractive to potential customers such as advertising promotional deals on your homepage, displaying testimonials and adding badges of awards and licenses to five extra credibility. You can hire a CRO agency to help you – CRO stands for conversion rate optimisation and is all about appealing to customers rather than simply attracting attention. You may only have to tweak certain things you’re already doing to get results.

This type of marketing also applies to real-world situations. For example, if you own a shop, adding signage of promotions you’re offering and getting your staff to try and sell to customers who are just browsing could help to generate more conversions.  


Not measuring your marketing results

In order to see which marketing methods are working, you need to be measuring the results of them, otherwise you’re just throwing ideas out and hoping for the best.

Web analytics are the best way to measure online marketing results. When launching an ad campaign using Google AdWords, analytics can help you to see exactly who is clicking on your ads and what keywords they’re using to get there. You can also use analytics on your website to help fine-tune it based on the data of the people visiting.

Physical marketing results aren’t as easy to keep track of but there are still ways to measure success. Whenever you get a new customer, it’s worth doing a survey to ask them how they came across your company – if they came across you through a leaflet or a newspaper ad this could help you to measure the success of these marketing channels. This could be done as a customer feedback form or you could simply ask them it in person or over the phone.

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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