Everyone makes mistakes. Usually, we end up learning from them and moving forward with our lives. But what if there is no room for a mistake?
There is no margin of error in marketing. Most marketers have short deadlines, limited resources, and “no plan B” that they could focus on if the “plan A” fails. Additionally, most marketers have to take a profit-driven approach, and by focusing on ROI and similar business metrics, they start looking at customers as transaction, instead of who they really are – people.
Here are 7 most common mistakes that can cripple not only your marketing results but your business performance in general:
1. You don't track your marketing results
In Groundhog Day, one of Bill Murray's classics, Bill plays Phil who is repeats February 2nd over and over again. As Phil repeats the day over and over, he becomes more miserable as he follows the same routines and repeats the same mistakes. Same as Phil, many marketers make mistakes and get more and more frustrated as their marketing efforts fail miserably.
There is nothing wrong in making a mistake, as long as you learn something from it. If you are not tracking your marketing results, you will not be able to learn from your mistakes. Heck, you'll probably not even know that you are making one and continue throwing your money away.
By keeping track of what you're doing, you will quickly realize what works and what doesn't. Whether it's your SEO, CTR, or PPC, keeping track of your marketing efforts will allow you to pinpoint your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
2. You don't have a clue what your competitors are doing
Like the above mistake, many businesses fail to keep track of their competitors. Either they are under the impression that they don't have any competitors or they justify their ignorance by saying that no information is available.
Keeping a close eye on your competitors and their market actions, can help you to make your business stand out. By knowing your competitors' pricing, you can adjust your prices, and even respond to their marketing campaigns by creating a marketing campaign that will take advantage of their weaknesses.
3. You are focusing on the wrong audience
Why do people visit your website or purchase your products or services? Ultimately, there could be many reasons but it always comes to one – you are solving their problem.
And what better way of solving that problem than to truly understand your audience and their needs? It's easy for a marketer or a business owner to develop a mismatch between their view of the customers' needs and their real needs. This mismatch, as simple as it can sound, is costing these businesses an unmeasurable amount of money.
4. Doing marketing without a clear strategy
Sun Tzu once said that strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory and that tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Every marketer wants their business to become a market leader, to provide excellent customer service, or to double their customer base. But these are all goals and objectives, not strategy.
With limited time and money, many marketers focus solely on their goals and objectives and skip the "unnecessary" steps such as defining the strategy and tactics to achieve their goals. According to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, only 35% of B2B marketers had a documented marketing strategy, 48% had a verbal-only strategy and 14% (!) had no strategy at all.
Developing a clear marketing strategy and pairing it with a nice set of tactics, will give you the surest way to victory. 53% of the most effective marketers from the same research had a documented marketing strategy while 40% of the least effective marketers had no strategy at all.
5. Making promises that you can't keep
As Ernan Roman, author of Voice of the customer marketing once said, “in today's competitive landscape, companies need to keep their promises to ensure they retain the trust of their customers”. Keeping the promises that you make to your customers is more than common courtesy – it's a necessity. In today's highly competitive markets, customers have a plethora of choices where to go if they aren't happy. And there is no easier way of making your customers unhappy than making a promise that you can't keep.
On the other hand, making realistic promises and keeping them, will not only keep your customers happy. It will create loyalty and turn them into trustworthy brand advocates.
6. You are doing your customer segmentation wrong.
Or you are not doing it at all? Either way, you are wasting your marketing budget. By now, most marketers agree that content is king. But what is the purpose of creating a kickass newsletter if it´s not kickass for your target audience. By segmenting your customers into different groups based on their age, revenue, demographics, and similar criteria, you can do a better job in answering your specific needs. The better you segment your audience, the better your CTR and conversion rates will be.
7. You don’t measure your customer satisfaction
The fact that we left this one for last doesn't make it any less important. On the contrary, customer satisfaction metric is essential for every business and should never be taken for granted. Besides the top 5 reasons why you should analyze your customer satisfaction, keeping your customers happy can do wonders for your bottom line.
Don't just focus on your customer acquisition, focus on retention, as well. In the end, you have only a 5 % - 20% chance to sell to a new customer and a 60% - 70% of selling to your existing ones.
As Peter Drucker once said, “the purpose of a business is to create a customer and grow that customer.” Why is it then that a good portion of marketers neglect this metric? Maybe they are overly focused on acquiring new customers and don't have the time to deal with their current customers. According to Bain & Co., an unhappy customer is 4x more likely to buy from your competitor if they experience a service-related problem. According to a research from Lee Resource Inc., for every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers don´t say a word before leaving to a competitor.
What better way to find out whether your customers are happy with your company than ask them?