TMCnet Feature
January 17, 2020

Steering clear of the pitfalls: Are you falling into the biggest traps in marketing?

One of the biggest problems with marketing is that the landscape is constantly changing. Technology is becoming more incisive with every passing day, and consumer interest and skepticism appears to be evolving at a similarly rapid rate.

There are few industries more dynamic than marketing, but some pitfalls seem to have remained persistent regardless of the era that leading marketers were operating in.

Your business could have developed the perfect product, or designed a cutting-edge service, but there’s actually very little that can be done to convert great ideas into sales without a little bit of strong marketing along the way.

With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at some of the most significant marketing traps that you could be falling into when promoting your business:

Superficial planning

The first and most significant trap can be found at the very start of a marketing campaign - and it’s an easy pitfall to occur, especially if a number of marketers with different ideas have little faith in finding common ground.

Goals not only need to be clearly set out but unanimously agreed on before a campaign can truly begin. Failing to establish a coherent set of basic goals runs a significant risk of undermining the purpose of your marketing.

Naturally, target setting only accounts for a fraction of your planning but paves the way for a successful campaign. It’s vital that enough time is dedicated to the planning process before you begin your marketing nonetheless.

Superficially skirting over key planning points in your campaign will lead to a heavy level of guesswork when implementing your strategies. Remember to attain a clear idea of who your target market will be, and how they will respond to the messages you wish to send them. Regardless of your business’ industry, your marketing campaign will need to be incisive and left-field enough to distinguish your brand from its competitors.

The trap of superficial planning can also become a big danger if you rely on gut feelings ahead of research and data-driven statistics. Assumptions have been the bane of countless marketing campaigns in the past and experienced marketers have continually let complacency get the better of them.

Remember that the very best campaigns are driven by tangible data and a foundation where absolutely nothing is taken for granted or miscommunicated. Timing is always of the essence, and deadlines are typically tight - but in the cut-throat world of marketing, failing to prepare really does equate to preparing to fail.

Misinterpreting the power of branding

As social media continues its transition into a sprawling fixture in the lives of consumers worldwide, there have been more and more examples of businesses falling into the trap of misusing their branding to make ineffective marketing steps.

Today, every action a business takes can potentially be scrutinized for months on end by users of social media. From any perceived PR issue to every announcement the company’s official social account makes.

The value of social media is certainly not up for debate. One of the most shared social posts of all time was an excellent example of branding and PR. When a US resident asked fast-food chain Wendy’s how much his post would need to be shared in order to receive a year’s supply of chicken nuggets, his post ended up being ‘re-tweeted’ over 3.6 million times.

However, not all companies get their social media presence right. Prestigious brands can do themselves some harm by foregoing their public perception to engage in too much of a conversational approach to interacting with followers, while hip new startups undermine their branding by conveying no character or personality on social media.

Successful marketers will be aware of how a business is viewed by customers, and how the company wants to be viewed by the public. The most effective campaigns will be capable of realigning perceptions in a way that builds a positive effect on a brand.

Be sure to remember who your customers are, what their interests are, where they work and what their demographic is. If your business is aiming to appeal to older audiences, there’s little point in using slang within a campaign.

Keeping inside of the box

One of the most significant traps in marketing often stems from an underlying fear of failure. The most memorable campaigns are typically far removed from commonplace advertising and promotions, but because left-field approaches carry an increased risk of falling wide of the mark, many marketers work on keeping things safe and conservative.

The problem with safe and conservative campaigns is that they can so often be wholly forgettable.

Of course, keeping inside of the box tends to be much more cost-effective as an approach, with no chunks of a business’ budget blown on a creative idea that could yield very few conversions, but if you’re looking to win over healthy levels of customers it’s highly useful to create eye-catching campaigns that will live long in the memory.

Forgetting existing customers

Many businesses make the mistake of assuming existing customers are here to stay. Marketing campaigns are generally heavily focussed on winning over new shoppers that those who have been spending for years prior are often neglected.

It’s important to remember that your existing customers will be looked upon as targets for your nearest competitors, so it’s imperative that they feel valued too.

Existing customers help to uphold brand loyalty and familiarity. The stats offered up by Optimove illustrate that the customers and clients that have stuck by your business through thick and thin are likely to be willing to spend more on your products, and are considerably more dependable to make repeat purchases.

They’re also more likely to recommend your business to friends and family, thus helping to expand your reach without the need of coming up with slogans and offers.

Be sure to incorporate new and old customers by promoting a form of loyalty scheme that can help them feel as cherished as those that you’re looking to woo into a conversion for the first time.

Failing to draw on data

We live in a time of unprecedented levels of data. We’re capable of learning so much about our customers, competitors, and even our own websites that it can be tricky to keep track of where our focus should be set.

Analytics platforms like Google Analytics and Finteza make for excellent tools when it comes to the monitoring and application of heavy data designed to optimise your marketing campaign performance.

Through the available metrics, you can gain insights into exactly how your campaign is performing, and whether or not your Call-to-Actions are working as they should. Abandonment rates can be monitored so you can see exactly which internal pages are letting your website down, and it’s possible to explore which backlinks are driving the most traffic to your site - so that you can see which areas of cyberspace are most fruitful for drawing in your target audience.

With such a healthy array of insight available, failure to draw on data must be regarded as a major pitfall for complacent marketers.

Blending into your competitors

The consequences of this pitfall are similar to those associated with failing to think outside of the box, and has dire ramifications.

When your business is based in a competitive industry, it’s all too easy to find yourself blending in with competitors. Your products and marketing campaign becomes too similar, and it’s difficult to lure new customers and clients simply because they see no difference between yourself and an established rival - you’re looked upon as a carbon copy.

Successful marketing helps customers to choose you ahead of competitors offering similar products. If you’re relatively new, then it’s essential to stand out from the crowd and market yourself to your target audience efficiently and in an engaging manner.

Bland, in-the-box approaches will be difficult to gain momentum from, so it’s worth taking calculated risks to appeal to fresh audiences here. Avoid imitation at all costs, and look to develop character of your own accord to drive attention away from the more established competition.

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