7 marketing mistakes you should kick to the curb

Robin Emiliani  /  Apr 27, 2021

I don’t know about you, but lately my email inbox has been a minefield of bad marketing.

Companies write personalized messages as if I’ve been following them for years, except that I’ve never heard of them and didn’t opt-in to their email list.

Other companies send me messages with no call to action.

And don’t even get me started on this new trend of making it impossible for me to unsubscribe from mailing lists (and you better believe I am hitting that spam button with relish).

With my inbox like a bad marketing war zone, marketing mistakes have been on my mind.

And while I certainly reserve some grace for mistakes (after all, we all make them), I also think we should be thinking about and looking out for common pitfalls.

So, what pitfalls should we all be watching out for? Here’s a place to start…

Don’t skip strategy

You can have the coolest creative, the biggest budget, the fanciest ad agency partner, but if you skip strategy, failure is on the horizon, my friend.

In fact, 60% of top-performing content marketers have a documented strategy (compared to 22% of laggards). And stats for other types of strategy tend to look similar.

In other words: the more you plan for your success, the more success you’ll have.

So, if you dove into marketing without a strategy, now’s a good time to take a step back and prioritize identifying business goals and customer needs and tying your marketing closely to them.

Do tie your tactics to revenue and goals

Speaking of strategy, another faux pas that’ll leave you dead in the marketing water is this: decoupling your high-level goals from your day-to-day tactics.

It’s not enough just to think through your strategy. You also have to make sure day-to-day tasks are aligned with it.

If you’re committed to customer retention, your tactics shouldn’t be focused on lead generation. If your primary goal is to increase user satisfaction with your existing software features, your day-to-day to-do list can’t keep prioritizing shiny, new features.

It’s all pretty basic sounding, but you might be surprised how often goals and tactics get out of alignment. It takes a concentrated effort (and regular check-ins) to make sure strategy and tactics are on the same page.

Don’t use content once and forget about it

Content is important, time-consuming, and sometimes expensive. And yet, a lot of companies create something, toss it out into the universe, and wish it well. Bye, bye, baby bird, hope you were ready to fly!

We suggest doing the opposite: create your content with intention and re-use, re-use, re-use. Can you repurpose that blog post into a video? How about a podcast episode? What about a PDF takeaway for your virtual event? Or a series of social media posts?

41% of B2B buyers view at least three pieces of content before ever talking to your sales team. And the mere-exposure effect tells us that people prefer the familiar, which means the more you can repurpose content, getting the same messages and products in front of people, the more likely they are to have positive feelings about that message, and the more likely they are to buy.

Do buy tech and use it

As much as 38% of business software licenses in the US and UK go to waste every year. That’s a whopping $34 billion in company spending that’s not giving those companies any return. And marketing is a key offender.

The solution? Be strategic about your tech purchases, test them out before you buy, and commit to making the most of that technology. This often means planning for ongoing training, reaching out to your vendors with questions on a regular basis, and—importantly—scheduling regular reviews to make sure you’re still using all your licenses and any upgrades, extra features, or special support you’re paying for.

Don’t put off account-based marketing (ABM)

We get it. ABM sounds a little daunting when you first start thinking about. Juggling sixteen decision-makers? Personalizing by account instead of individual? It takes a mindset shift, often requires learning new technology, and may bump up your costs in the short-term.

But it also comes with big wins…and companies that ignore it do so at their peril.

In fact, 80% of marketers say ABM improves customer lifetime value. And 86% say it increases win rates.

Do invest in digital advertising

Digital advertising is a long game and one that requires ongoing budget. But, as the mere-exposure effect tells us, getting your brand in front of people over and over again matters in the long term. It makes people more likely to trust you, more likely to buy.

Some marketing tactics are quick wins. Some set you up for long-term success. This is one of the latter and going into it with that mindset is what’ll set you up for big wins later.

Don’t give up too quickly

Speaking of long-term success, it’s a hard thing to wait for sometimes.

Not to mention that a lot of the marketing tactics that tend to snowball over time can feel a little worrying at first. Digital advertising. Search engine optimization. User experience investments on your website or in your tools. These are all things that takes some time to pay off, but when they do start to pay off, the benefits tend to build on themselves.

So, make sure you have a good mix of quick wins and long-term planning and that you don’t give up on the latter too quickly for them to start paying off.

And if you need help identifying the marketing pitfalls and faux pas standing in your path? We’re always excited about a new strategic challenge. Reach out anytime.


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