Proceed with Caution.  Marketers at Work.*

Marketing Mayhem: Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

I’ve said it many times, and I’m likely to say it many more. Marketing is not rocket science. So what goes wrong with our marketing programs? Why are some companies thoroughly stumped, stymied, and frazzled when it comes to creating effective marketing? Here are some commonly made marketing mistakes:

1. The Bright Penny.

Take up enormous resources compiling, vetting, and finalizing an actionable marketing plan. And then whenever something new and shiny comes along, deviate. While strict adherence to a plan isn’t recommended, too many distractions can derail a marketing program and prove disastrous. Focus, focus, focus.

2. Keeping up with the Joneses.

Otherwise known as “our competition’s website has embedded video. Hold everything, we need that too.” Don’t define your activities by what others are doing. That’s a following strategy. Chart your own course. Be the leader.

3. The Changeling.

Specifically, the assumption that if marketing isn’t challenging the status quo then it’s ineffective. New logo. Updated website. New collateral. New color scheme. If your marketplace won’t care, and if it won’t have an effect on present and future sales, then spend your limited time and resources elsewhere and avoid this budget-draining free-for-all. Marketing can do much better than make things different or pretty. That’s a pleasant by-product of the process. Effective marketing is meant to facilitate and contribute to overall business operations to generate positive ROI. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted from that fact.

4. The Caveperson.

Otherwise known as “we’ve been marketing this way for years, and we’re not changing now.” The polar opposite of #3, the Changeling, just above. Today, if you’re not adapting to new ways of doing things, you’re frozen in time. RIP fella.

5. Everyone’s a Marketer.

That’s good, right? Wrong. Good ideas can and do come from anyone, but too much input can become a distraction that leads to deviation from the overall plan. You hired the marketers to market. Let ‘em have at it.

6. The “Field of Dreams” Syndrome.

Build it and they will come. Make a great product, or a great service, and watch the hoards beat a path and make everyone rich. Who needs marketing?….and then you wake up. Do I even have to say it? It just doesn’t work that way.

I can’t image that anyone would deny that marketing is an essential and integral part of what every company does. But it frequently underachieves, at times monumentally. While it’s definitely not easy, we marketers must collectively take the reins and pull hard to guide our businesses towards the direction of optimal opportunity. We need to do it for the companies we work for, and for those who rely on our knowledge, our guidance, and our good sense. And this is why it’s so important. Without marketing, you won’t have the sales you deserve. Without those sales, you won’t have a strong and thriving business. And opportunity unfulfilled could prove disastrous in our competitive business world.

*Photo:  Steve Hardy



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