Marketers today have more choices than ever, with an influx in digital media, social media channels and other viral components. While having many choices can make it easier to maximize your marketing budget and have your company found during the customer buy cycle, it also can increase the potential for error. In any industry, even the most seasoned marketing professional can fall prey to mistakes in tactics or implementation.
Here is a quick review of the 10 most common pitfalls and how you can easily avoid them for the year ahead.
1. Failing to continually monitor your marketing programs. The phrase “you can only manage what you measure” is true. Online marketing offers you the ability to measure your marketing programs. This allows you to determine what components of your marketing program are working, and what you should consider refining.
2. Staying on the same path. Sometimes the only constant is change. Objectives shift to align with business goals. New marketing channels enter the mix and prospects begin using different resources to obtain relevant business information. So unless you have proved your current program is optimized for today’s marketing environment, your plan must evolve accordingly.
3. Forgetting to “fish where the fish are.” Virtually all customers now use the Internet throughout their work processes and even throughout the critical buy cycle, when they are researching products before moving to the point of purchase. Are you reaching this target audience where they can be found looking for products and services like yours?
4. Ignoring frequency. “Fishing where the fish are” is only one component of a successful marketing campaign. Equally as important is how often you are reaching out to your target audience. Are you pushing your message to the market on a regular basis, or are your efforts sporadic at best? Are you attracting your target audience while they are looking and where they are looking for the products and services you have to offer?
5. Working “in a bubble.” Are the results you are seeing from your marketing campaign in line with what your sales team is looking for? It’s vital for marketing and sales to work together to ensure that your campaigns are delivering measurable results. This also helps achieve buy-in.
6. Focusing on quantity versus quality. Leads that provide intelligence to begin a relationship and gain a customer are more valuable than piles of nameless, faceless clicks. Be sure to capture relevant information.
7. Neglecting to maximize your media partner relationships. While accountability is a necessary component of any marketing program, you should not be expected to shoulder the burden on your own. Look to media channel-partners to provide you with detailed reports delivered in a timely manner.
8. Overlooking timing. Are your marketing initiatives in sync with company-wide events such as product or service launches or trade show appearances? Neglecting to keep timing in mind can result in missed opportunities.
9. Abandoning branding and exposure. An increased emphasis on leads has resulted in some businesses shifting their focus away from branding and exposure. However, continuous exposure to your target audience ultimately will result in qualified sales and marketing opportunities. Are your media channels keeping you in front of your targeted audience?
10. Moving into the year ahead without a plan.
Still haven’t developed a road map for the future? It’s a good idea to set aside time to brainstorm your goals and objectives and plan your tactics for the year ahead, including marketing channels that align with your plans.
Just remember that even the most experienced marketers slip occasionally. With focused marketing plans and a will to execute efficiently while keeping a critical, watchful eye out for mistakes, your 2012 campaigns can be successful and in tune with your company’s sales cycle.