October 18, 2011 Leave a Comment
In a continuation from last week’s post listing the (dis) honorable mentions when it comes to marketing mistakes made by organizations, we have identified the five most egregious marketing mistakes that are made. This may Marketing 101 for most, but we wouldn’t share these if we didn’t see them occurring across the country:
5. Focusing on branding when you really need leads:
That new logo and brand pyramid (not to mention and the money you spent on them) won’t mean a thing if there are no new prospects!!! Branding is great, but it isn’t sales. Let me repeat, it IS NOT SALES. It may seem counterproductive to build up a fan base for a brand you are thinking of changing, but you will want those customers in your back pocket when the new brand launches. Remember, it is much easier to convert than it is to sell.
4. Hiring Sales People for demanding Marketing Jobs (and vice versa):
Sales people are amazing. A career in sales requires years of training and experience. However, that experience is rendered pointless in the face of a major marketing campaign. A sales team has a great talent for one task…and marketing is not it. The flip side is also true; marketers have a completely different skill set, unique to their training and experience. Learn the difference between the two and make sure you have both.
3. Not setting up the back end first:
You’re bringing in new customers, but you have no plan for how to keep them. They may linger for a while, but eventually, those customers will fade away, and you are back at square one. Plan ahead, and come up with a way to keep new customers loyal to the brand. Then you won’t need to waste time and money picking up a new batch every time a new campaign starts.
2. Thinking your customers will always be there:
They won’t. You need a Customer Relationship Management plan, especially to keep the ones that are profitable. This is one of the easiest mistakes to make, and it leads to many marketers and owners down the path of becoming lazy and complacent. Maintaining a loyal customer base requires constant effort and innovation. People will not stick with your brand year after year because of a good campaign a decade ago.
1. Not knowing who your real customers are:
A good salesman knows the names and families of every customer. A good marketer knows their income, the street they live on, what industry they work in, languages they speak, causes they support, and products they are likely to replace within the next few quarters. Marketing is only done properly when data management is a core component. All the creative effort and brilliant ideas in the world are wasted if they aren’t targeted to the right audience. Marketers can’t take business owners at their word, and owners can’t immediately dismiss a marketer’s ideas. The data can show who a business’s real customers are, and those results may be surprising.
Most industry experts can agree that these are some of the worst mistakes that can be made, but in our mind, these five rank as the most egregious not just because of their ability to ruin a company, but also because of their unfortunate commonality across marketing departments and agencies in a number of industry sectors. For those interesting in some dichotomy, we recommend this link on best practices in marketing.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.