When you own a business, it’s easy to get caught up in everything that comes with business-owning: your employees, your product, your services and, essentially, your world. Owning a business is all-encompassing, for sure. However, when it becomes all-encompassing, there’s the danger of missing the forest for the trees. Following are a few marketing mistakes I see many of my clients making. Perhaps these will help you find the forest again.
- You assume that news about your company is actual news.
I know you’re excited about your new employee, your rebrand, or your new office decor. And don’t get me wrong — they’re worth mentioning. But nobody is going to care as much about your company as you do. So teasing your new logo on social media by saying you’re counting down to a “big announcement,” only to reveal that your announcement doesn’t affect your audience at all, is only going to result in a scroll up.
Instead, make your news relevant to your audience. Celebrate your new hire by offering a free Zoom session with her and your clients. Announce your new logo by explaining how it reflects your company’s values, and invite your audience to live out those values through a networking event at a nonprofit organization.
2. You have too much faith in your audience.
I get it; when you’ve spent weeks working on a new advertising campaign, it’s difficult to remember that others don’t know the campaign as intimately. However, the old Rule of 7 still stands: your audience needs to see your ad at least seven times — if not more — before they’ll register your product in their minds. And I guarantee you that they’ll never fully read everything you have on that landing page. So two days post launch, don’t feel like a failure if you haven’t sold anything yet. Have some patience.
3. You change course too quickly.
Speaking of patience … I’m about as impatient as they come. Once I have a plan, I have tunnel vision until that plan is implemented. So if, two days in, that plan doesn’t seem to be working out like I had expected, my knee-jerk reaction is to change course. However, experience has taught me to slow down a little. Proper marketing strategies need time to take effect — especially if you’re reaching out to a new audience who needs to learn to trust you first. In order to measure effectiveness, you need benchmarks. And in order to have benchmarks, you need to let a process run its course. Then, and only then, can you pivot because you have an experience to measure it with.
4. You make a factual argument.
Let’s talk about vacuum cleaners. Someone asks you why you chose the Dyson. You tell them because it’s so easy to carry and it also gets up all of the pet fur. Fair. But that’s not why you chose the Dyson. Studies have shown time and time again that people make decisions based on emotion, not logic. We like to believe we make decisions based on facts, but that’s not actually the case.
You actually purchased the Dyson because of the way the brand makes you feel: you believe it to be innovative, its reputation makes you feel safe, the spokesperson’s English accent evokes feelings of perfectionism. To be sure, all of this happens in your subconscious, so you don’t tell others that’s why you purchased the vacuum. And your friend? She’ll buy the vacuum now because she feels a sense of security from you and you recommended the product — not because you told her that it’s easy to carry.
So, whether you’re a nonprofit looking for donations or a dentist selling your services, leading with the facts just isn’t going to cut it. Because telling me that 25 percent of your budget is covered by donations doesn’t incite action. But telling me that a child may miss out on his well-deserved education pulls at my heartstrings, and that’s why I want to give.
5. You jump straight to tactics before assessing your foundation.
If I had a penny for every time someone came to me requesting an ad campaign or a brochure, only for me to discover that their website looks like it came straight out of 1995, I would currently own a houseboat. Or maybe a few horses. At any rate, many companies tend to jump straight to tactics without backing up to assess that everything else is working properly, and that can result in a lot of wasted money in the long run.
For example, I worked with one client who was spending thousands a month on digital advertising. However, people still weren’t converting. After following the customer experience myself, I realized the checkout process was cumbersome. So it didn’t matter how many ads we put in front of them because what we were asking them to do was too challenging.
Take a breather. Back up. Clear your mind and look at the situation from a fresh perspective. Maybe you don’t need an ad campaign. Maybe you just need to correct an online form or hire a better customer service representative. Maybe you just need to fix what you have going before you add more to your plate.