A comprehensive marketing strategy is at the heart of your business’ success and requires careful attention. Despite each company’s needs being different, there are a number of areas they all have in common. Among them is certain pitfalls that undermine what would otherwise be a good plan for marketing the business. Here are some common marketing strategy mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Not defining goals from the start
Clearly defined goals should be the cornerstone of any marketing strategy and need to be in place right from the beginning, as they’ll influence every decision that’s made. Companies that don’t have definite goals will find they lack direction and efforts become all about what they want and not necessarily what their customers need.
Possible goals you may be working towards include:
- Increased brand awareness
- More lead generation
- An uptick in online purchases
- More in-store traffic
2. Not understanding how tactics relate to strategy
Many marketers instinctively know they need to implement certain tactics, such as creating a new website or engaging in SEO. While this can lead to some gains, it’s important these moves are embedded within a wider strategy. Not knowing exactly why you’re employing tactics will stifle their impact; it’s all about the clarity of vision and working towards it.
3. Not developing customer personas
While defining your target audience is an important step towards achieving your goals, it’s not the end of the process. Businesses that go one step further and create customer personas have more success with their marketing efforts. That’s because a well filled out persona allows you to talk directly to an individual instead of an entire audience demographic, getting down to the minutiae of what really makes them tick. The result is more customer-centric marketing, which is better for everyone.
4. Not continually reviewing your strategy
Creating a marketing strategy isn’t something you can do, implement and move on from. The first iteration of your strategy will be the beginning of an ongoing process that must evolve and react to the changing landscape in which your company does business. Monitor your KPIs and look at the areas that are performing well and also those that are underperforming. Both of these metrics can be used to determine tweaks and changes to be made going forward that will ensure your strategy works.
5. Not being unique
It’s really tempting to start copying your competitors when you see an element of their marketing strategy doing well. Marketers often fall into this trap on social media, sharing similar humorous or quirky content as successful brands in the same field. Instead of sharing their gains, you’ll find your brand identity is diluted and customers will have issues telling you apart, which isn’t good for your brand awareness. Make sure you find your own authentic personality and tone of voice to show your company’s ethos to your customers.
6. Not optimizing for mobile
Mobile phones are ubiquitous these days, with more than half of all web traffic being on mobile devices, so it’s important not to ignore customers accessing your website in this way. Sites that aren’t properly optimized for mobile will instantly become frustrating to the user and likely result in a high bounce rate as potential customers look elsewhere to have their needs met. You could go one step further and create an app to offer the best possible user experience and really wow your audience.
7. Not rewarding your customers
Sales, discounts and coupons help to build loyalty throughout your customer base. Not only does widely publicizing sales help to drive traffic to your site, it also increases the chances of your audience buying from you again. They may well also buy full-price items while on your site looking at what’s being offered at a discount. Sales enable you to have a great chance of showing off your product range to customers and once they’ve used them and realize they like them, there’s more chance of these customers becoming an advocate.
8. Not having a blog
Companies with blogs on their websites have 97% more inbound links than those without, which is a vital source of traffic. Blogs perform a multitude of functions for your business, from improving your SEO rankings to answering pertinent customer questions, increasing audience interaction and providing new material to post on social media. Your blog should be consistent, with regular posts to demonstrate that your website is kept up to date and relevant.