Marketing is complex. There are a lot of moving pieces and ever-changing trends in the markets. Making mistakes is inevitable, but taking the time to constantly learn and grow will allow you to see success in your marketing efforts. We see these errors across all industries and companies of all sizes, from mom-and-pop shops to large entreprises—hell, we've even made some ourselves!
You've lost sight of your audience
Knowing your customer is more than just knowing their age, gender, and location. It's about knowing who they are. What are their values? What do they care most about? What drives their purchase decisions?
There are two ways to easily uncover unique insights about your audience, depending on your business.
- Ask them. Seriously. We tend to be wary of looking inexperienced if we ask our customers how they found out about us or how they use our product. The truth is that your current and past customers are a wealth of information.
- Analyze your marketing data. Your website, email, CRM, or even social media accounts likely have a lot of hidden insights to discover. More on that below.
Having a deep understanding of your audience will help you focus your marketing efforts in the right place and communicate your messages in the most effective way.
You're sticking to the same old, same old
You're afraid to do anything too bold that your competitors aren't doing. Sure, doing what works and using by-the-book marketing tactics is safe and reduces the risk but, oftentimes, taking the risk brings you a bigger reward.
Consider Seagram Coolers & Cider—which also happens to be Canada's first-ever cooler. Creating a new product from an established brand was a high-risk jump into uncharted waters that ended in a high reward.
So step out of your comfort zone. Think bigger...think bold ideas...and try something completely different. Not only will you have the opportunity to reap the rewards, you may also learn something new.
You're not paying attention to your analytics
You're not analyzing your analytics to your advantage. Your data is the best tool that you have in your arsenal. Not only does it measure and define your successes and failures, it's also full of learning opportunities. Your analytics tell you what works, what doesn't work, who you're talking to, and how your messaging is reaching your audience.
Platforms like Google Analytics and Meta (formerly Facebook) can tell you who is engaging with your brand. They give you the demographics of the people you're reaching, the areas and locations that those people are in, and even what devices your audience is using to give you insights into the type of people your messages are reaching.
Checking your data consistently to optimize your marketing efforts is the best way to develop a deep understanding of how your company is doing.
You're focusing too much on sales and neglecting brand awareness
Your focus is all about sales, not enough on brand awareness or vice versa.
The consumer path to purchase has become way more complex than it used to be. To put it simply: in order for a customer to make a purchase, they need to know that your brand exists.
Increasing visibility and having a strong brand presence should be a top priority. On the flip side, solely focusing on top-of-funnel activity means that you'll miss opportunities to close business and retain customers. Fortunately, there are marketing technologies like email/programmatic automation that can keep your customers engaged with pre-build content while you focus on brand awareness.
Even with preparation and proper planning, marketing mistakes can still happen. How you deal with those mistakes is what's important. Step back, reflect, and recenter your focus to best understand and address what's most important—your customers.