Marketing your business the right way is complex with a wide range of potential strategies and even more options when it comes to tactics. Moreover, tactics that worked recently may not work today or tactics that worked for a competitor might fail miserably for you since factors determining the optimal tactic change constantly and it’s easy to make marketing mistakes.
Every marketing mistake potentially causes disastrous results that may take years to overcome or, for really deadly mistakes, may sink the business. Whether your marketing mistake comes from the wrath of angry customers or overspending on tactics that don’t produce results, your business and market performance suffer. Here are some of the most common marketing mistakes to help you avoid making them in your business.
You might consider hiring an in-house marketing team for your business; however, sometimes the control you gain with your own marketing team is overshadowed by the costs, both tangible ones and intangible ones. It’s expensive to hire talented marketing staff, especially if you don’t produce sufficient work to keep your staff busy 100% of the time. By the same token, going cheap and hiring inexperienced marketing staff or expecting employees in other functional roles to fill in as marketers in their spare time generates poor marketing efforts that potentially damage your business and certainly waste money.
That’s why lots of businesses, especially small and mid-sized businesses choose to use an outsourcing solution allowing them to get great marketing support without the cost of acquiring their own dedicated team or they hire a freelance digital marketer when their needs don’t require the intense attention of an agency. Renting a team (by outsourcing) is more cost-effective and produces superior results when you can’t afford to hire an entire team.
Of course, if you choose to use a freelancer or other outsourced marketing department, you must ensure they provide quality service by setting goals and monitoring outcomes. Tying compensation to goal achievement aligns the actions of the outsourced firm with those of your business.
You need effective communication to guide your outsourced team but recognize that they’re experts in a complex area where operational decisions rely on a combination of science (a wide quiver of tactical expertise) and art (involving experience), so carefully consider their recommendations before suggesting different marketing tactics.
Forgetting to use voice search
Did you know that the number of smart control systems increased dramatically over the last few years? Indeed, these days, almost 40% of homes in America have smart home systems and regularly use services like Alexa, Siri, of Google Home. Furthermore, most of the tech you purchase embed some form of smart voice control whether it’s your phone, computer system, or even your TV. Naturally, this changes the way people complete searches online.
In the recent past, users input a short string of keywords (or even a single word) into a search when they wanted specific information. Today, voice search from smart systems allows users to input full sentences or ask questions formatted in natural language in the way they speak to another person. Not only must online content match keywords regardless of their input format to attract visits from users, some smart devices, like Alexa, require actions to ensure your content shows up in voice search.
Showing up in voice search requires the creation of content answering the questions users ask using phrasing commonly employed in natural language. Not only does content designed for voice search bring new visitors to your pages, but it also improves bounce rate because you’re matching users’ needs better with more information about their queries. Bounce rate improvements benefit search as the metric forms part of the search algorithm that generates ordered lists in results pages.
Whether you’re marketing a multinational brand or a small business, matching content, especially content on social media and advertising that isn’t evergreen, to sensibilities salient to your target market at the time. In other words, you must sense the room.
For instance, as numerous businesses prepare to reopen after lockdowns to slow the spread of Covid-19, finding the right tone to express optimism and excitement, while tempering tone by recognizing the deadly pathogen still infects too many and people are afraid to go out in large crowds. Firms like Universal Studios Orlando and Disney World face reopening in a country still fearful and where job loss makes splurging on nonessentials unpalatable to many.
Addressing these concerns, reopening businesses create messaging that recognizes the valid fears of potential buyers while sharing actions taken to ensure the safety of both employees and customers while offering discounts or low-cost alternatives to folks feeling the economic pinch. This example shows how brands use sensing to match messaging to consumer emotions.
Similarly, firms postponed the release of several marketing projects, including the launch of the PS5, due to the riots and protests across the globe surrounding the death of George Floyd.
When a brands display tone-deaf marketing, like the clothing company using a black child to advertise a shirt referring to the child as a monkey, which is derogatory toward racial divides and very tone-deaf. the company gets called out, critiqued, and, in extreme circumstances, loses sales not only in the short run but over a long period. That’s why it’s important for brands and marketers to constantly check what’s happening in the world and think carefully about how to respond.
Black Hat Marketing
Another marketing mistake to avoid is black hat marketing.
Black hat marketing is the use of unethical (and sometimes, but not always, illegal) strategies to promote online business. In contrast to ethical “white hat” strategies, black hat strategies use deception and manipulation to accomplish their objectives [source]
Another form of black hat marketing involves violating search rules by engaging in actions such as keyword stuffing, which involves creating nonsensical content for the sole purpose of using a particularly desirable keyword so many times that the search position for that content goes up. Black hat marketing of this type leads to the dreaded Google penalty resulting in worse search results. Such penalties hit your business hard and leave you with a difficult road to recovery. For instance, a firm discovered a unique (black hat) way to improve search results by providing extremely poor service. As customers complained about the service, the explosions of mentioned propelled them up in the search results. Ultimately, Google plugged this hole in its search algorithm and the firms saw search results implode.
We hope this helps you understand some of the most common marketing mistakes and avoid them as you plan more effective marketing strategies. With the right strategies, you’ll see an increase in sales, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.