Set it and Forget it isn't Strategy? 5 Common Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by: Kathleen Martin

When you work as a marketing consultant you get asked a LOT of questions about which marketing strategies and tactics are most effective.

But sometimes we’re surprised at how infrequently we get asked about the opposite - what NOT to do to successfully market your business. What are the pitfalls to avoid?

So we decided to take a seriously unscientific poll here at Outlier headquarters to discover the Top 5 Marketing Tactics to Avoid At All Costs. And here they are, from least offensive to Most Loathed (think King Joffrey or Ramsay Bolton* if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, which of course you are).

1. Assuming the audience knows what you know.

Maybe your audience is part of the .003% of adults who don’t watch Game of Thrones. If that’s the case, the reference above meant zilch to them. Just because you eat, breathe, and live your business every day doesn’t mean your audience thinks about it at all. Help them get where you are. Spell it out. The audience will thank you.

2. Making it all about you, your business, or your products/services.

We know you’ve worked hard to make your product or service amazing, but if the audience can’t clearly understand how it is going to make their lives easier, more fun, less annoying in general, they won’t care. Avoid the self-centric worldview and put your audience first. They will remember you (and your products or services) if you do.

3. Spontaneous effort with no plan for the future.

A new website or campaign is an excellent start towards making a great impression, but far too many companies make a single push only to neglect the planning and follow-through necessary for a continuous effort. When a user visits your site they don’t want to see a single blog post from six months ago. They want to see a company that’s on the go and thinking about what’s next.

4. Not tracking, analyzing, or (gasp!) making adjustments to your strategy.

Here’s a fact that may not sit well with all of our readers, but it’s the truth and we have to say it. Not all of your marketing efforts are going to work. The day will come when your campaign falls flat. If you’re tracking your efforts this is a chance to learn, make adjustments, and move forward a little bit wiser. If you are tracking but not making adjustments, it’s time to start making even MORE informed choices in the future.

5.  Unwanted, unwarranted, or otherwise unnecessary email.

Shocked this tops our list? The average adult receives 125 emails every day. If you’re going to add another email to someone’s already busy day, you'd better make it count. 39% of users polled in a 2014 Forrester Research study already think they receive too many emails each day. Less than 40% think those emails have any content they might be interested in. And almost ⅓ of respondents wondered how the heck they got their information in the first place.

We’ve all been guilty of some of these at some time but no more! When done correctly and with purpose, email can be one of the most effective marketing tools you have. Better planning offers huge rewards.

Have questions about your marketing? Contact the team at Outlier today to get started on the road to better results.

*To clarify: King Joffrey was a terrible prat who was mean to everyone in the kingdom and eventually got his just desserts. We’re still waiting for the same to happen to Ramsay Bolton, who is so evil he makes King Joffrey look like a mildly mischievous puppy.

Outlier

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