We all make mistakes in business and this is one of the best ways to learn, as long as we don’t make the same mistake again.
Whilst there is no doubt there are many more than nine marketing mistakes to avoid, these are ones that could be holding back your marketing success and are really quite simple to avoid.
1. All Action, no Marketing Planning
It is very tempting to jump straight in and implement marketing tactics. It is well worth taking some time out and think through issues, your objectives etc as you are more likely to achieve better results.
2. Start, Stop, Start Marketing
This follows on from mistake number 1 above. If you are continually starting marketing activity and then stopping and starting on another you are unlikely to achieve much. Even worse you could be confusing your customers and not strengthening the relationship.
3. Thinking that Testing and Tracking are not Really Needed
If you think about it all marketing ultimately needs to result in revenue. If it doesn’t then you should not be doing it. Only by testing and tracking your marketing results will you be in a position to fine tune your efforts.
4. Thinking You Know all About Your Customers
Just as in any relationship your knowledge of the other person continually develops over time. Circumstances such as what is happening this year could alter your customers’ attitudes and behaviour. It is well worth making sure you make an effort to keep close to your key customers and take note of any changes in the way they think, feel and behave.
5. Treating Customer How You Want to be Treated
Whilst this is a good general rule, don’t forget that some of your customers may want to be treated differently. They may have a different communication preference to yours or have different opinions as to what is great customer service. Again, keep updating your knowledge of their preferences.
6. Ignoring your Competitors
Just as you want some of their customers, no doubt they are working hard at trying to win your customers over to their business. Keep an active file on what they are doing, their strengths and weaknesses. Over time you should be able to predict what they will do and you can take action to ensure they do not steal your customers.
7. Thinking That Marketing is Only Communication
Communication with your potential and current customers is vital for the relationship and your business success. However all of your good work in this area will not count for anything if your product or service performs below expectations, or you do not compete in the right distribution channels etc.
8. Forgetting About Improving your Products or Services
Great products and services are developed and then improved over time to better meet the needs of customers and stay ahead of the competition. The improvements do not have to be dramatic, but should be on your agenda as you may find that you not only keep your customers loyal but may well attract other customers to your business. Also as you improve your products or services don’t forget about how the changes could affect your costs and therefore your profitability.
9. Just Following What Others Do
It is tempting if you hear of another business having great success with large sales increases and oodles of customers. However just following what someone else is doing without thinking through if these actions are appropriate could not only be a waste of time and money, but also lead you down the wrong path.
Over to you, what other marketing mistakes should we be avoiding?