Mistake No. 1
Not Developing a Marketing Plan
Think of your marketing plan as the foundation on which your business is built. It provides the structure to guide your business to growth, profits and success!
Developing an effective marketing plan starts with answering the following questions:
- What sets your business apart from the competition?
- What are your goals? These need to be specific, measurable, attainable and realistic within a specified time frame.
- Who is your target audience, your dream customer? A dream customer is typically your most profitable customer.
- What are the marketing strategies and tactics to help achieve your goals? Think about what it will take to get the dream customer to want to choose you, then prioritize the most effective tactics to achieve the greatest ROI.
- What is an appropriate marketing budget? Companies generally allocate 5-15 percent of their revenue for marketing efforts.
Mistake No. 2
Not Marketing to Your Dream Customer
Sending the right message to the right eyes and ears maximizes your ROI. Discovering your dream customer’s profile allows you to deliver a strategically targeted message and execute effective marketing strategies.
The first step is to identify your best customer:
- Define the best customer for the product or service you sell
- Understand your product or service from the best customer’s perspective
- Pinpoint your best customer’s motivation when shopping for your product of service
- Determine your best customer’s buying strategy for your product or service
The second step will allow you to strategically understand how your best customer views your business and its products or services relative to your competition. This will help you build your consumer story. Typical areas of focus may include:
- The perception of your business’s product or service within the competitive landscape.
- Expectations that your ideal customer target has for others in your industry and an evaluation of how your business competes in that regard.
- An under met needs assessment to identify potential opportunities for your business.
Ask yourself if you are defining your ideal customer target as effectively as you can and if you know how they perceive your business and products relative to competitors. Knowing your business’s consumer story is foundational information that is necessary to achieve success with your marketing strategies and tactics.
Mistake No. 3
Ineffectively Communicating Your Brand Story
Your brand story is the communication of the core message of your business to your target customers. There are four elements to an effective brand story – it must be clear, concise, consistent and compelling. All are required.
Start by identifying your customer’s pain – the need or problem that your business can solve. Your ability to solve this problem is your unique selling proposition (USP). This is what you will communicate through your brand story.
The other elements to complete your brand story include:
- Brand purpose – sharing passionately why the business exists, which is done by making an emotional connection with your targeted customer.
- Brand promise – what your business delivers. This is more that just a product or service, it’s the end result a customer derives from interacting with your brand.
- Brand unique selling proposition (USP) – communicates your business differentiation in the marketplace.
- Brand tagline – focuses on the brand’s unique selling proposition and serves as the anchor to your brand story, complimenting your marketing communications.
- Brand authenticity check – the evidence list identifying the reasons to believe in your brand’s unique selling proposition.
- Brand personality – describes the distinguishing characteristics or scope of your brand.
These elements will drive the communication of your brand story.
Mistake No. 4
Failing to develop emotionally compelling creative that moves people to take action.
It is important to create relevant, original and impactful communications that break through the clutter. In addition, it is critical to make sure the brand message is integrated across all marketing channels both internally and externally…from senior management to employees to vendors to customers.
Mistake No. 5
Missing out on critical information gained by measuring and monitoring your marketing programs
Today it is imperative that brands embrace analytics to understand what’s working. Our team customizes strategies for clients to help make data-driven recommendations for improving ROI. The measurement services and tools can include web analytics, landing pages, digital media analysis, direct response reporting, search engine marketing, phone analytics, traditional media management and goal alignment. Without supporting data, it becomes impossible to know what part of your marketing plan is effective, keeping you in the dark about what to keep in place, modify or eliminate.