Regardless the size of your business, marketing mistakes are inevitable. If you’re a Fortune 500 company with a hefty marketing budget, you can afford to make some mistakes here and there. However if you’re a startup, it’s quite different.
Startups have it tough. Marketing, along with all your other challenges, will be expensive. That said, a failed marketing campaign can be detrimental to your business. Luckily, many have tried, failed, and succeeded before you. Not only that, they’ve been kind enough to share their experiences so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they did.
Here are four common marketing mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Trying to perfect the brand right away.
There’s something you need to understand about building a brand. The key word is build. All the household products and brands we know today didn’t become engrained in our minds overnight. It took years, not to mention millions of dollars, to build their brand.
That all said, you can’t afford to perfect your brand early on. Investing time and money in product redesigns, name changes, color schemes, website layouts, or anything else will only delay your progress. If you and your team can agree on a cohesive brand that’s “good enough”, you should run with it until something else comes. More often than not, your products and services will change drastically overtime. You need to let your brand change naturally when that happens, don’t spend time or money forcing a change.
Failing to track return on investment (ROI).
The numbers don’t lie. When running any marketing campaign you need to find a way to measure results. Every campaign you launch should have some way to track your ROI. Digital advertising like social media marketing and PPC advertising give you great insights on your success.
If you’re running a print ad you should use a custom phone number. Email marketing campaigns should use a custom link. Last but not least, you should always ask your customers how they heard about you. There should always be a way to link your customers back to your marketing efforts.
Pursuing the wrong channels.
One of the best (and maybe the worst) things about marketing, is that there are a ton of channels to engage your customers through. The question then becomes, who are your customers and where can you best get their attention.
First and foremost, you’re going to need to identify your target audience. For example, if you’re targeting college-aged millennials, then Instagram would be a great channel to pursue. If you’re targeting business professionals, then LinkedIn is an obvious choice.
Whatever you choose, make sure you spend minimal time and money on each channel and always measure results. Once you find one that works, you may not need to pursue any others.
Copying your competition.
We’re told time and time again to not reinvent the wheel. That said, doesn’t it make sense to follow what our competitors are doing when it comes to marketing? The answer is both yes and no. Yes you should always be aware of what your competition is doing. Take the time to learn some of their strategies, and take notes on who they’re targeting. However, you need to find ways to do it better.
You need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. We get tired of seeing the same advertisements and marketing tactics everyday. If you want to stand out to us, you need to deliver something different. Something fresh.
At the end of the day, you won’t truly know how effective your marketing efforts are until you give them a shot. That said, you should do everything in your power to avoid the four mistakes listed above. Your bank account will thank me later.