We all make mistakes, but limiting those mistakes is critical to surviving in the marketing world. Here are some common mistakes marketers make that can be easily avoided.
1. Not outsourcing difficult tasks.
In the marketing world, one common mistake people make is spending too much, too fast. However, there’s a whole other side to budgeting your money responsibly. More often than not, business owners will take charge in areas they have no prior experience in — and it usually shows in the company. Rather than outsourcing tasks that they don’t fully understand, these people figure they can “save a little money” by doing it themselves.
Personally, I say more power to these people if they can learn and perform a new task quickly and successfully. But unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In marketing, you need to be able to recognize both your strengths AND limitations. This means letting yourself spend money on outsourcing if you think it will produce the best result for your business. Remember, at the end of the day, you want your business to succeed. Sometimes that requires an investment in outside help, and that’s okay.
2. Ignoring industry trends.
Marketing your business is all about creating a presence that consumers will find appealing. This means you need to be aware and responsive to industry trends that are constantly changing. From social media to web design to branding, it’s important to make sure your business is “trendy.” If consumers don’t think it is, they’ll develop a negative view of your brand altogether. It’ll look as if you’re two steps behind the competition, and consumers will go elsewhere for the products and services they need.
3. Under-exaggerating the importance of SEO.
Speaking of trends, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been growing more and more important in the marketing world over the last few years. Because almost all businesses today are online in one way or another, SEO has become one of the most useful tools in marketing. In simple terms, SEO is the process in which a business’s site can become more visible in a search engine’s unpaid results page. This process is extremely important because it helps generate more site visitors, thus increasing awareness and revenue.
The reason so many people put SEO on the back-burner is because it can be a complex tool to learn how to use. For that reason, it may be a good idea to hire a marketing firm or freelance marketing professional to help improve this area of your business. However, if you’re interested in learning more about SEO without spending money on outsourcing, you’re in luck. These days, the web is filled with information and guides on the topic. If you decide to take this route, I recommend reading through this Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
4. Not doing your research.
Research. The word itself scares a lot of people away. Even seasoned business professionals dread spending any more time on research than absolutely necessary. However, in the marketing world, research can make or break your business. Though boring, it is essential to the marketing process for several reasons. For starters, market research can help determine your ideal target audience and often lead your business to new potential clients. In addition, it can help you set reasonable, achievable goals for your business by keeping you up-to-date on the market, consumers, and your competition. Without all of these things, a business will only show so much growth. If you’re interested in becoming a leading brand in your industry, performing market research should be at the top of your “to-do” list.
5. Avoiding analytics.
Ah, another word that most people could live without hearing… Like research, analytics are important for a number of reasons. The most critical of those reasons being that they can help determine your next marketing move. Say you’ve just finished an ad campaign and are looking to start a new one in the next 6-12 months. Going back to the results from the first campaign will tell you which areas need improvement and which met goals.
Upon reviewing end results, pay close attention to what the numbers are saying. Was the budget for the campaign too high or too low? Did it reach the right people at an effective rate? Did it produce the outcome it was supposed to (i.e. did people respond to your specific call-of-action)? If the answer to these questions is no, you may want to reevaluate the numbers before moving on to a future campaign. Otherwise, you could be looking at a lot of wasted time and money.
6. Confusing marketing with advertising.
One of the most common mistakes that people make in this industry is assuming that marketing is the same thing as advertising. Think of it this way: Advertising is only one way to market your business. Though expensive, some might even argue that it’s the most effective way. However, without advertising, there are still several good ways to market your business. For example, web design, cross promotion, networking, contests, coupons, cold calling, and blogging are all marketing techniques that don’t require the same big budget as traditional or non-traditional advertising.
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—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.