There are literally hundreds of ways to market and promote a business these days. Print marketing, online marketing, viral marketing, guerrilla marketing, blog marketing…and the list goes on. For every marketing discipline there are about a million ways you can get it wrong. So in reducing this long list down to seven I looked at the things that cut across as many marketing disciplines and cause the biggest issues when you get the wrong.
So here goes (and feel free to comment or add your own major marketing sins to the list)
1) Treating Marketing Spend As A Cost
Marketing is an investment like any other investment. Treat it like a cost and you won’t plan properly or be consistent and you’ll always be looking for ways to ‘save’ money. You’ll let the newspaper ‘design’ your ads, you’ll choose your website designer based on price alone rather than what your business needs, etc.
2) No Marketing Budget
Not having a marketing budget is a sure-fire way to waste money. You’ll spend money on unplanned activities that may or may not provide a return and you may even spend more than you ever thought you would. A budget creates a framework to work in and gives you a yard stick to track your success or otherwise.
3) No Specific Target Audience
We all want to do business with everyone and it’s a great goal, but that can’t be achieved unless you have truly enormous budgets. For anyone whose business name doesn’t start with “A” and end in “PPLE” you need to pick a target customer and go after them. This allows you to properly target your message and the type of media etc.
4) No Understanding Of Your Customer Needs
Every customer has a need - you just need to find out what that is. Not knowing and assuming is a sure-fire way to waste money. If you’re a corporate then you’ll run research programs and focus groups. If you’re a small business owner, talk to your customers and identify why they chose you.
5) No Marketing Plan
If you don’t have a plan you’ll just meander through your year and be swayed by this or that. Ultimately you’ll waste whatever budget you did put together. It doesn’t have to be an epic novel, even a one-pager will do. Think about the activities you can afford then spread your budget across each quarter and remember seasonality. Now drill-down to each month and then finally match the activities to each month.
6) No Tracking Mechanism
If you don’t track the results of your activities you may be doomed to waste your spend. Even the best campaigns get stale, how will you know when that happens without tracking?
7) Be Consistent
When things don’t go to plan it’s so easy to put the brakes on and in some cases get into reverse gear. But do this at your peril; you could harm your bottom line and your brand awareness efforts. It also delivers inconsistent results that lead to uncertainty and that leads to more bad decisions. You don’t have to carry on regardless, but rather than jst stopping, take time to review and adjust accordingly.
OK, that’s it - my 7 deadly sins of marketing. Want to see the presentation about all this? Visit www.thedggroup.ie/marketing-articles.asp.