Marketing is essential for attracting business, but it’s important that you’re using the right marketing strategies. Here are just a few common mistakes that businesses make when marketing that you should avoid at all costs.
Not knowing your target market
Few products/services have a universal appeal. There’s likely to be a specific group of people that are interested in your product. By understanding who this group of people are and the way in which they consume products, you can create much more focused and effective marketing strategies. For instance, if you’re posting flyers through people’s doors and your product appeals mainly to middle-class families, you could be better off focusing on areas where middle-class families are more likely to live rather than posting through random doors. Market research can help you to find out who your target market are – this could include conducting surveys, organizing focus groups, scoping out competitors and using personal analytics.
Having no USP
A USP (unique selling proposition) is the element of your business that makes you stand out from your competitors. An example could be a local bar specializing in rums or a car dealership specializing in European cars. Without a USP, you may fail to captivate consumers and could lose out to competitors. This guide at Sitepoint offers a useful guide to establishing a USP. Once you have a USP, you should make it a central aspect of your marketing.
Having no online presence
Every modern business needs an online presence. If you don’t even have a website, many consumers may doubt your legitimacy. Nowadays, you can build a website yourself for free without any coding knowledge. That said, many people may prefer to simply hire a website developer so that they end up with a high-quality a site. A website isn’t the only form of digital marketing that you should look into – social media, online reviews, email marketing, SEO and PPC ads are all other forms of digital marketing that you can delve into. The more strategies you try, the more of an online presence you’ll create.
Failing to market offline
The opposite can also be true – while the internet is a valuable medium for attracting customers, it’s not the only medium. If you rely only on online marketing, you could generate more exposure by trying out offline methods of marketing such as printing off business cards or even hosting marketing events. Just as there are digital marketing companies to assist you with online marketing strategies, there are also events marketing companies and print marketing companies that can help you to leave a mark offline.
Focusing only on new customers
A lot of companies are just as reliant on return customers as they are on new customers. While offering top quality service is one way of getting customers to come back, there are also marketing strategies that you can use to encourage return customers. These include introducing loyalty schemes and loyalty discounts, persuading customers to join mailing lists and persuading them to follow you on social media. You can find guides online at sites like Startup Nation that can help you to implement these marketing strategies.
Some marketing tasks can be dull and repetitive – but could be necessary. To help motivate you with these tasks, it could be worth looking into automation. This involves using software or machinery to complete tasks for you. There are many automation tools such as Call Cowboy Predictive Dialer that can save you a lot of time when it comes to marketing strategies such as telesales. There are also tools that can help you with bulk emailing and SMS mailing lists. Try doing your research online to see what kind of tools are out there.
Using too much automation
While automation can come in handy, it’s possible to rely on it too much. There are times when you need to take a personalized approach to marketing or think outside the box. When using automation, it’s not always possible to do this. Using automation in the wrong situations could annoy people and make you come across as cold. This could include using automation tools to come up with social media content for you or replying to all customer emails with automated messages.
Using inconsistent branding
Your brand is your company’s personality. It could include an identifiable logo, a slogan, a color scheme, fonts and a specific tone of voice. It’s important that your brand is consistent across all forms of marketing. If the logo and colors on your website are different to those used on your flyers, it could have the potential to confuse consumers (they may even think that your website belongs to a different company). Establish a brand identity that you are happy with and stick with it. Occasionally companies do decide to rebrand – in these situations, make sure to update all forms of marketing to match your new brand.
Not identifying how customers found you
It’s useful to know where your customers are coming from so that you can see which marketing strategies are most effective. Some people may find you via word of mouth or by stumbling across your store (if you own a store), but others may find you as a direct result of specific marketing strategies. This could allow you to fine-tune your marketing, doing away with strategies that aren’t working and focusing more on strategies that are generating leads.
Not asking satisfied customers to leave online reviews
Many modern consumers will read reviews first to determine whether they can trust a company. If you have lots of negative reviews, you may find it difficult to attract customers. If you have lots of positive reviews, attracting customers may be a lot easier. The easiest way to encourage positive reviews is to ask every satisfied customer to leave a review. This could be done with an email if you have their address or by asking them in person.
Resorting to pushy/shady tactics
When marketing isn’t working, some companies can get desperate. Patience and ethics may go out of the window, which can result in pushy or shady tactics coming into play. While these tactics can work, you won’t feel good about them afterwards – plus there’s always a risk of disastrous side-effects. If someone feels they’ve been pushed into a sale, they may demand a refund or leave a bad review at a later date. Meanwhile, if illegal tactics come to light, you could get sued and there could be negative media attention. Either way, your reputation could be severely damaged.
A few examples of pushy or shady tactics include.
- Buying likes/followers
- Faking reviews
- Spamming people with unsolicited emails
- Using false urgency to get people to commit to a sale (saying there is only one product left when there is ten).
- Lying about company experience/achievements