7 Deadly Marketing Sins & How to Fix Them
In this ever competitive world, having a quality product is simply not enough. Part of being a smart business owner is knowing how to sell your product or service. This is why marketing plays such a vital role in the success of your business. Once you have defined your offer, it’s imperative to conduct through market research, identify your target audience and build your visual identity.
As a small business owner, you know all too well that the road to success can be a bit bumpy at times. However it’s how you avoid or surpass the pitfalls that matter. When you reach the point of selling your products or services, there are some common mistakes that can be easily made – but more easily avoided. From your social media marketing campaigns to your partnerships, we’ve identified the seven deadly sins you should never commit. Under any circumstances. Think of this as your marketing bible. In the name of advertising, competition and sales. Amen.
“It worked great last time, let’s do it again this year!”
As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But the truth is, nothing lasts forever, right? You could have the best pizza in Brooklyn but several factors could change that situation very quickly. You have to be aware of changes and anticipate them so that you can prepare your business. It’s far better to be proactive than reactive.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because a campaign did well the previous year you should do it again. Just know that your audience is smart (smarter than you may think) and they will remember your reused idea. So don’t be lazy. Invest the time and push your business to come up with new, unique and creative campaigns every year.
“Have you seen what our competitors did recently?”
Copying a competitor’s idea will only bring up problems. The first, and most important, the legal issue. Blatantly copying or plagiarizing could lead you to a lawsuit which is never a good look for any company. Speaking of image, this is the second problem you may face. Your audience may not “recognize” you and this ‘borrowed’ idea. On the contrary, they will continue to associate ‘your idea’ with the brand who initially made it theirs. Finally, there’s nothing worse than a copycat plus you’ll lose the credibility of your audience faster than you can say ‘loyalty’.
You should embrace your differences. Pick two or three aspects of your business that make it unique and focus on those. Show how your brand sets you apart from competitors by emphasizing those points. Do you offer free delivery? Are your products handmade? Are your prices unbeatable? It’s time to let your audience know all the things that make you a stand out company.
“Let’s go with this option, it will get more likes.”
For the sake of proving a point, imagine you are a law firm. For your upcoming greeting card you decide to dress a dozen golden retriever puppies in shirts and jackets. While no one said you shouldn’t do it, that doesn’t mean that you should. Will you get tons of likes? Obviously (because, puppies), but was the effort and message behind your post really beneficial towards your business? Probably not.
All your marketing material should be based around two main goals: build up brand awareness and increase sales. After some research, you should establish a strategy, and stick to it. In order to remain consistent and “on brand”, you should follow the guidelines you initially set out. Of course, social media can help you achieve your goals but keep in mind they are not a means to an end. Just remember, those “Likes” and “Shares” are not converted into Dollars – or even bitcoin.
“Let’s partner up with as many companies as possible.”
Established brands are always on the lookout for ways to widen their reach with methods such as guest blogging, features and partnerships. It won’t be long before your brand is recognized and will start being approached with multiple “incredible opportunities”.
It is exactly in this moment that you should take the time to really think about this potential partnership. Will this advertising benefit your brand? Are your audiences compatible? Do your brands share the same type of values? These are the type of questions you should ask yourself before committing to a long term agreement. Beware of being seduced by flattery, make a rational and researched decision.