Developing a marketing strategy is challenging. Sometimes the efforts miss the mark, and don’t do the best job of marketing the company. Smart marketing managers avoid these common marketing mistakes.
Non Integrated Programs
When marketers react to the crisis of the moment, tactics are carried out individually, often with no thought given to how a particular tactic fits with other company communications. An integrated marketing program helps to strengthen the brand, and reinforces a company’s message, maximizing its expenditures. If possible, the best impact can be obtained by adapting the concept across multiple mediums (print ads, radio, television, billboards, web site, etc.) Planning ahead helps to create a program that works on many levels.
Creating Too Many Designs
Consistency is important, as it helps the audience connect with the company, and emphasizes the message. Marketing materials should complement each other instead of looking like each piece is from a different organization. Produce materials that coordinate with the company’s visual identity. Design elements should be carried across all media so that corporate colors, fonts, style, etc., are a recurring theme, which aids in recognition. Templates for sell sheets, signage, packaging, etc., save time when it comes to producing additional materials. While some variety helps to keep the look fresh, don’t dilute the brand with totally new designs for each new campaign. Once a visual look or platform is created, stick with it for a significant period of time so the audience will come to associate it with the company.
Losing Sight of What the Customer Cares About
When developing marketing communications materials, the first question to ask is: What does the customer care about? Knowing the answer drives the creative and makes it easier to write compelling copy. Address the customer’s issues and explain the benefits that the product or service provides. To encourage the audience to act, consider including one or more of these emotional hot buttons: fear, greed, guilt, anger, exclusivity, salvation, flattery, patriotism. Use one or more of these motivators in the headline and throughout the message to appeal to what is important to the customer.
Not Capitalizing on Trade Show Investment
Trade shows can be great opportunities to promote certain types of businesses, but they require a significant investment for floor space, exhibit booth, graphics, sales personnel, marketing materials, etc. Booth traffic is the key. If visitors aren’t drawn to the booth, the company has wasted its investment. To maximize the trade show experience, the booth must capture attention. A compelling message and professionally designed materials can add to the allure. Don’t exhibit with an inferior presence. Give sales personnel the tools they need to adequately represent the company and make the most of the show experience.
Infrequent Ad Placement
Sometimes it’s hard to determine what to do to increase awareness, generate inquiries or boost sales. Advertising is a good way to get the word out. While it may seem economical to purchase a on-time ad placement, that isn’t necessarily the case. The return on the investment of placing a display ad once in a magazine may not be very high. Research shows that frequency is the key. Audiences need repetition in order to understand and remember the company message. Ongoing placements have value, and often the costs can be negotiated.
Skipping the Proofreading Step
Proofreading is very important, as customer frustration increases when they receive incorrect or incomplete information. Before printing, it’s wise to pass copy along to someone who has never seen it before. A fresh set of eyes can catch mistakes that the writer may have overlooked, question confusing statements, or point out missing information. Sometimes the most obvious things are left out, like the date of an event. Check the phone number, street address, web site and e-mail address for accuracy. Call the telephone number and type in the web site URL to be sure it works. Make it easy for customers to respond by ensuring that the contact information is correct.