As a business, one of the areas you will need to focus more of your efforts on is marketing and getting your brand out there. Marketing, however, requires a great deal of studying and careful planning in order to avoid unprofitable investing of your resources.
There’s a saying common among PR representatives that any publicity is good publicity. This is not true with marketing. With marketing, bad marketing is bad marketing, and any marketing mistake you make may haunt your brand forever.
With digital marketing trends changing constantly, what might have worked for you last year may lead to backlash in 2016. That said, the following are marketing pitfalls you should avoid in 2016.
#1. Lack of a Documentation Process
Businesses in 2016 should be able to put a pin on where their marketing strategy is leading. The purpose of this is to prevent any form of guesswork or implementing strategies that are not yielding results for your business. This is where documentation becomes a necessary growth tool.
Avoid excluding a marketing documentation in your marketing strategy. A marketing documentation can help your marketing efforts in the following areas:
- Understand market reaction towards your product
- Improve strategy implementation
- Track areas of impact
- Know what is working for you and what is not
- Identify and fix nonperforming areas
#2. Operating without a Plan
Running your business without an actual marketing plan can lead to several unplanned expenses. This is marketing that is designed to yield poor outcomes from start. Planning is going to help you effectively put together what your marketing goals are and how you intend to achieve them.
This area can not be ignored. A marketing plan that is designed to fit the goals of your company will yield the following results:
- Guide your overall marketing strategy
- Motivate your employees to be productive
- Help share the vision of the CMO with the rest of the team
- Remove ambiguity and distortion from your marketing strategy
- Reduce overall marketing spend
#3. Ignoring Mobile
Mobile has far more reach than any medium today. We’re no longer at the stage where the importance of mobile marketing is being discussed. According to insights from comScore, reach on mobile has gone beyond its tipping point, and that’s as far back as 2014.
Credit: ComScore Slideshare
If you’re not prioritizing mobile in your marketing, you should begin to re-evaluate your strategy.
Mobile is the only medium that offers you the opportunity to interact with audience on the go or in store and get to influence their purchasing decisions. By focusing your marketing strategy to favor mobile, your business can benefit in the following ways:
- Instantly engage with users, even when they are on the go or in-store
- Get reviews from consumers. Findings show that users are more likely to leave a review when they are on a mobile device
- Close sales faster. Users shopping on their phone are more likely to reach out for their credit card than desktop users
#4. Ignoring Emerging Channels
Don’t turn a blind eye to emerging channels if you want to capture every aspect of your industry. Millennials are known to be quick at joining the band wagon of any new media and it’s usually very easy to capture their attention once the medium you’re targeting is still fresh out of the oven.
This is not only peculiar to millennials as data reveals that 65% of adults in the U.S use social networking sites.
Their passion for the new channel will influence their purchasing decision and make them more loyal to your brand. Have you considered why there’s so much rave about channels like Snapchat, Slack, Periscope and Instagram right now? It’s new and everybody loves new!
You can gain the following benefits from paying attention to emerging media channels:
- Earn the respect of young purchasers, especially the millennials.
- Quickly cover uncharted territories on emerging social networking sites.
- Establish your brand as trendy and cool
#5. Not Prioritizing Content
Content should take priority in your 2016 marketing strategy. As more avenues for content consumption are readily available to your customers, their appetite for more content increases. You have to keep them constantly engaged through these channels to avoid giving your competitors the opportunity to steal your shine.
Content marketing can help you attract audience at low cost and retain them by educating them about your business and the industry. Some of the best performing content solve a problem your users might be dealing with. So prioritizing content in your marketing strategy is important to success.
Need some benefits on why you should prioritize content in your marketing strategy?
- Educate your customers about your product without selling them on it
- Remain top of mind with your audience by constantly showing up in their feeds with helpful content
- With low cost of acquisition, content can be your best bet at acquiring new clients
- Establish your brand as an authority by publishing great content regularly
#6. Sharing Wrong Data
Data-focused content will help more consumers to trust your brand, as numbers and stats are hardly refutable. However, sharing wrong or unproven data is a terrible idea that should be frowned upon by content marketers. The damaging effects of being caught skewing data in favor of your claims or sharing false information with your audience can negatively affect your brand perception.
Focus on sharing data you can trust in and will deliver true value to your audience.
While using data and stats in your content to inform and influence your audience, stick to what is factual and trustworthy.
#7. Making False Promises
Can’t deliver on something? Don’t promise it.
Many small business owners often get pressured to keep the customer happy and stay in the competition. In order to do this they make promises they can’t keep. Stick to what you know how to do best and be straight-forward on this.
Want to know how to avoid coming out as not delivering on your promises? Do the following instead:
- Use very clear and unambiguous statements in your marketing materials to avoid misrepresentations and misunderstandings that often lead to customer let-down
- Use facts and data to clearly express what results and outcomes your customers should expect
#8. Not Communicating With Your Audience
Traditional marketing practices will usually talk and push the brands views and products to the audience. The idea is that the audience should only listen to the brand and be expected to take actions based on what the brand wants.
With inbound marketing, brands no longer talk down to their consumers or just push content to an always listening audience. Your brand should be ready to position itself as a great communicator. This process starts from listening and actively seeking out what the audience wants to receive from the brand, in terms of content.
By communication with your audience you can expect to receive the following reactions:
- Increased engagement and interaction from your audience
- Get direct insights on what features your consumers are looking for in your products
- Gain feedback on what the market thinks about your brand and how you can position your brand to better serve the market
#9. Ignoring Market Research
Market research is a very valuable aspect of marketing and this should often precede every other aspects on marketing in 2016. It will be a great blunder on your part if you launch a business or new product without prior adequate insights into what the market feels like.
Brands like Coke and Procter and Gamble go through a very sophisticated and lengthy process to find out what information they need to produce the right product and how to market it to their consumers. Businesses without the required information about their primary market may be diving into the market blindly and the consequence of this is a very fast burnout.
- Use market research to find out what your competitors are like and how they’re targeting the audience
- Acquire data on where the industry is lacking and how you can fill the void
- Use market research to prevent wasteful spending by knowing what catches the attention of the consumers
#10. Expecting Similar Outcomes from All Situations
Have you used influencer marketing to grow your tourist business by 300%? Don’t expect this to be case with your new hotel business!
One common mistake business owners that have been in different industries before should know to avoid is expecting similar results at all times. While your strategy for growth in a particular industry might be effective across all spectrum, the result will definitely vary for different markets.
Again, conducting a market research to find out what works in any new industry is always the best way to avoid any disappointments.
Do you have more ideas on marketing pitfalls to avoid in 2016? I’d love to get your input.
Image Credit: JoeTheGoatFarmer.com