Technology, apps, software, algorithms, metrics - the world of marketing is always changing and evolving, but there are five common mistakes we see businesses make over and over again no matter how much everything else changes. It’s time to stop making these mistakes and market your business a better, more effective way.
1. Stop doing what everyone else is.
If everyone is doing X, then you need to be doing Y.
But it’s working for them? Doesn’t matter. Trying to copy exactly what another business is doing will not get you anywhere. It’s time to be unique.
Chick Fil A - If the industry is discounting prices, you should consider raising your prices, and tell a story about WHY your prices are higher. Show the added value.
charity: water - Nonprofit organizations started seeing a decrease in financial support because donors felt too much of their donations were funding overhead and salary costs. Charity: water knew they could do things differently and found a few private donors to cover all overhead so 100% of donations could be used in the field. Listen to your audience.
Jimmy Johns - If quality is where the conversation is, address the delivery time. Be faster than the rest.
Patagonia - If the industry is hiding what makes their prices so cheap, choose transparency. Patagonia, provides transparency throughout its supply chain, reducing any negative social and environmental impacts the company might have. Be honest.
I know some of this may sound crazy or risky or hard, but it works. You WILL stand out from the crowd. You WILL gain more exposure. You WILL close more business.
2. Speaking to the void and hoping someone, somewhere bites (not knowing your audience).
You know the saying - “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it everytime.” But is nothing what you really want to hit? No new customers? No increases in revenue? I didn’t think so. You need to know your audience. You need to know your target so that you can hit it. So how do you start figuring out what that target is for your company?
Here are a few tips that can help you get started.
Analyze your product or service - write out descriptions of who you think would and can benefit from using your product or service.
Conduct market research - take time to actually research who your target audience is.
Research competitors - check out what your competitors are doing that is working and take notes on who they are targeting to. Only use this for insight (copying them exactly won’t work - see point 1).
Create a prototype person to target - Create an actual persona that helps guide your marketing. When creating content, ask yourself if the content would connect with the persona you have created.
Once you've decided on a target audience, be sure to ask yourself these questions:
- Are there enough people who fit my target audience criteria?
Do I know and understand what drives my target audience to make decisions?
Can they afford my product or service?
Will my target audience truly benefit from my product or service?
3. Your messaging doesn’t differentiate you.
Your messaging needs to be clear, but it also needs to set you apart. If a potential customer can’t tell why you are different and why they should choose you, then they probably won’t.
When T-Mobile began competing with cellular giants like Verizon and AT&T, they had to find a new approach that would separate them from the others quickly. T-Mobile decided to focus on a younger generation and decided to understand those customer’s pain points. What they found was that the younger audiences hated feeling locked into cellular contracts and wanted to avoid termination fees. T-Mobile differentiated themselves by adding no-contract plans and paying off customers; early termination fees from other companies.
T-Mobile brilliantly differentiated themselves to their target audience and are seeing major, positive results from these decisions.
4. Thinking there is a quick fix for the inquiry game.
As great as your content may be, you will not be able to post one Facebook post and have 50 inquiries come in. Creating a plan that includes quantity, quality, and consistency is essential to generating inquiries. Make sure you are taking the time to yield the results you want.
Bonus: If your brand struggles with creating content at all, check out this blog post for some help!
5. Not using social ads.
Using social media for your business IS advertising. And the best way to see results from using social media is to pay for ads and treat it like actual advertising. Deciding which social platforms to commit to will depend on your target audience and marketing goals, but we suggest including Facebook in your strategy! Check out this video from one of our team members on how to create great Facebook Ads!
We hope these 5 tips help! However, if you are still overwhelmed by working on your marketing plan, we can help!