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So, we’ve already looked at some of the common reasons why marketing fails. In this second part of our series, we explore a few more problems…
When we did our marketing qualifications all those years ago (cough), one of the first things we learned was about the importance of knowing your competitors.
We’ve become pretty savvy over the years, having worked with so many clients. And we now know, that whilst it is important to understand what is going on in your industry, and have an eye on your competitors, becoming too focused on the competition can be a dangerous thing.
It’s very easy to assume that because one of your competitors chooses to do a certain thing you should too. You don’t know if it works for them, or they have just become complacent… You don’t know how much it costs them… You don’t know what skills their team have…
Don’t do something just because somebody else does it. Do it because it is the right thing for your business.
Buck the trend and do things differently… it certainly worked for Henry Ford, Apple and Dyson. (Yes, we know we said about their million pound budgets – but they still bucked the trend – which was plucky).
This is a two fold problem – not having time because you are trying to do too much – all those tools… But also, not giving marketing time – try something once, it didn’t work so move on to the next thing.
You need to allow enough time to establish if something is going to work. Maybe adjust it – to try and get better results.
Time can also be a big cause of the feast and famine effect many businesses face… You don’t have any sales, so you frantically market like crazy and generate some sales. Then you’re busy cracking on with delivering, and don’t have time to do marketing. Then you’re back faced with no sales again – feast and famine.
Not having money dedicated to marketing is a mistake. It can lead to one of two things – either little or no spend, which means lead generation is poor, or a vast overspend, because nobody is measuring or monitoring the costs, and decisions are made randomly.
When faced with a decision to spend on marketing, having both a plan and a budget enables you to question – is it in the plan/marketing budget, can we afford it? And, if you’re certain it is the right move – what are you going to remove in order to pay for that activity?
If you just keep doing something without measuring it, how do you know it works? Assuming because you have always done it, that it’s the right thing to do is a mistake.
Times change, people change, technology changes…
When we do a marketing audit with a new client, it’s not uncommon for us to unearth activities the client has completely forgotten about. Or, more likely, they do know about it, but have no idea if it generates any business or enquiries for them.
It’s not easy to measure everything, but it’s a mistake not to try and measure anything.
We’ve deliberately left this one to last… if there’s nobody in the business with any marketing knowledge and skills, it’s easy to make all of the mistakes we have already talked about. They are all common errors, that we see time and time again.
But why should you know any different? You set up your business to deliver whatever it is you do – not to be a marketing expert.
You can learn how to do marketing successfully for your business, you could outsource it (we can help you with that!) or you can blend the two – get some expert advice to set you up, and then somebody in your team can do some or all of the day to day tasks, and just check in every month to keep on track.
If you’re now shuddering as you recognise too many of these traits, please don’t give yourself a hard time. Believe us – these really are common mistakes. In our next post, we will look at how you can turn your marketing around.
If you need some help with your marketing, please contact us for coffee, cake and a chat on 01256 83 11 10.