Common Advertising Mistakes Businesses Make
Marketing, Communications BY Joseph Suskin January 15, 2020
Despite exciting new media channels and dozens of new marketing opportunities, the advertising landscape has become more challenging than ever. There is now too much to keep track of and too many things to do. We’re spoiled for choice. It’s especially difficult and time-consuming even with an in-house marketing team. But great marketing and advertising can create a significant shift in your brand’s awareness and drive your sales graph vertical. You just have to do it right. So, with dozens of switches and dials on our marketing dashboard, where do we look first? And what buttons do we press so we don’t make avoidable mistakes or miss golden opportunities?
1. Being invisible
It’s not enough to be different from your competition, or even to offer better products and services if you are not telling anyone about it. And you also need to know why your customers are buying from you instead of the competition. Or not. This will give you a key, outsider’s perspective on your business. Consider holding a survey amongst your customers asking how they found you and why they bought from you. You can use those insights for messaging to your target market. Then all you have to do is shout it from the rooftops, or to be more specific, in the most appropriate media channels that reach your audience. You might want to consider expert help with your advertising needs.
2. Not targeting
As important as the message your business needs to put out, is the people to whom it is directed, your target market. You need to understand their lifestyle, their needs, wants and desires so you can develop behaviour based profiles. Once you understand the challenges that your target market is facing, you can refine your offering and messaging to provide them with their solution. If your demographic has reason to believe that your business understands the problems they are trying to solve, they will give greater credibility to the solutions you offer. So, segment your audience according to their needs and the solutions you provide. And then of course, tell them all about it.
3. Not talking on social media
Many businesses shy away from social media. Either they still believe it's only for talking to friends, or they understand the business value, but have no idea how to convert social engagements into revenue. But that is exactly what social media can do. Further, it’s not enough to just have a presence on social media. You still need to identify your target market and the social media platform they spend time on. Engage them in your messaging. Clarify your brand identity. And nurture them so that they are always open to your messages.
If that sounds like a lot of work and highly specialized marketing, that’s because it is. You need to know that conversations may be happening about you in social media, whether you want them to or not. Better to be part of that conversation and make positive contributions about your brand. In any event, dialogue with your target market brings better results than simple canned messages.
The most important thing to understand about social media is that it is fulfilling the function of word-of-mouth advertising, but on a much larger scale. Word-of-mouth advertising is legendary in its efficacy because people take note of what their friends recommend or discuss. And that is part of the conversations happening on social media.
4. Ignoring SEO, SEM and ROI
A successful modern-day marketer should be able to connect every lead and customer back to the marketing initiative that attracted them. This is the single most outstanding advantage that advertising on digital channels can provide. While one can track other platforms by other means, digital has it all built-in. So while inbound phone calls are 10-15 times more likely to convert than inbound web leads, these are much harder to track than emails, for example. Point is, you have to measure your marketing campaign. It might be worthwhile to invest in tracking software or lead generation software to monitor results. Tracking your marketing efforts continually allows you to make adjustments in your message or media that can make substantial differences to how effective they are. SEM, (Search Engine Marketing), are those strategies that leverage the power of search engines like Google to reach potential customers at the perfect time and place. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process companies employ to optimise their website and ensure that their site ranks high in the search engines for relevant keywords and phrases to garner organic, or unpaid, traffic from the SERP - the Search Engine Results Page. That is the page you see when Google gives you results of your search enquiry.
But remember, if rule number 1 is not bringing awareness for your brand offer, and your marketing efforts are not considering long-term efforts, your digital campaigns may display only short term statistics. Unfortunately, that ignores buyers that know your brand but did not take action as a result of a specific campaign, but rather from years of brand building that brought you to top of mind and made them consider you over your competitor
5. Not current with marketing trends
For your advertising to be effective, you need to be aware of the shifting sands of marketing trends and media in the rapidly changing technological world. It is most definitely worthwhile to invest time in reading about the latest developments in the marketing and advertising industry from blogs, white papers and posted articles. Your marketing people would be doing this all the time, and an advertising and marketing agency will most definitely be up-to-date with the latest marketing techniques and strategies.
So, raise your profile and raise your revenue. It’s that simple - and that complicated.