Marketing is an essential part of any successful business, helping to attract and retain customers, build brand awareness, and increase sales and revenue. In this article, we'll point out some crucial marketing mistakes you may be making that can hinder your success and limit growth and provide tips for avoiding them. You will learn how to turn around your marketing to be more effective and provide a positive return on investment for very little cost.
1. Not giving a clear call to action
Missed opportunities and a reduced number of conversions are the consequences of failing to have a clear call to action (CTA). A CTA is a statement that directs someone to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter.
Without a clear CTA, potential customers may not know what action to take or how to engage with the business. People want to be told what the next step or action required is and they are effectively waiting for you to prompt them. Failure to do so can result in lost engagement, leads, and sales opportunities, and therefore limit business growth.
Having a clear and compelling call to action will guide people towards the desired action. A well-designed CTA can create a sense of urgency, encourage action, and communicate the benefits of doing so.
A CTA can also help you track the effectiveness of your marketing. By measuring the number of people who take the requested action, you can assess the success of a marketing initiative and make adjustments as needed.
When people see a clear CTA, they are more likely to engage with your brand. They may share your content, click on your links, or take other actions that can help spread the word about your product or service.
A CTA should be applied to all promotional collateral including adverts, websites and social media. Having a clear and powerful CTA in all marketing promotions is essential for driving action, increasing conversions, boosting engagement, and measuring success.
2. Not optimising your website for mobile
Mobile devices are ow the number one way that people access the internet, surpassing computers, and this trend is expected to continue. Without mobile optimisation applied to your website you limit your reach to potential customers, resulting in lost opportunities and limited business growth.
By optimising for mobiles, you create a better user experience, which will lead to increased engagement, conversions, and customer loyalty. A mobile-optimised or responsive website is designed to load quickly and display properly on smaller screens, making it easier for users to navigate and interact with the site. Mobile users are often on-the-go and have less time to spend on browsing. Simplifying the design, having clear, easy to click CTAs, eliminating unnecessary elements and using clear, easy-to-read fonts can make the site easier to navigate on smaller screens. Those that fail to optimise for mobiles risk falling behind and losing market share as mobile users give up on their website and bounce to a competitors' that has been optimised instead.
Mobile optimisation can also improve search engine rankings, as Google and other search engines prioritise mobile-optimised sites in their search results. This can bring up the ranking of your business in search results and therefore drive more traffic to your website.
3. Not focusing on features
People are actually more interested in how a product or service can benefit them, rather than its technical specs. While features are important, it is the benefits that drive customers to make a purchase.
One of the most famous quotes in marketing comes from Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
Say you're trying to sell a new laptop. You could promote the features of the laptop, such as its high processing speed, large storage capacity, and advanced graphics card. However, if you want to appeal to someone's needs and desires and thereby increasing your chances of converting them to a sale, you might focus on the benefits they will gain from using the laptop or a pain point that the product resolves. For instance, you could highlight how the laptop can help users work more efficiently and complete tasks more easily. You could also emphasise how the laptop's long battery life, lightweight design, and portability make it convenient for users to take with them wherever they go. By focusing on the benefits of the laptop, you're appealing to people's' emotions and desires, rather than just listing technical specifications. This approach is often more effective in persuading customers to buy, as it helps them envision how the product can remove a pain point and improve their lives.
Without a focus on benefits, you may struggle to connect with your target audience and fail to communicate the value of your product or service. By highlighting the benefits you can create a more compelling message that resonates with your audience and therefore drives sales.
Moreover, by focusing on benefits, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors by highlighting the unique value that your product or service offers. This can help to establish a stronger brand reputation and increase customer loyalty.
4. Not standing out from the crowd
USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Selling Point, and it refers to the distinctive and unique benefit or advantage that sets you apart from your competitors.
A USP is important to have because it helps a you differentiate yourself in a crowded market, and it can make a product or service more attractive to potential customers. By highlighting a USP, you can create a memorable brand identity and attract customers who are looking for something that sets a particular product or service apart from others.
For example, a USP of the ride-sharing service Uber is their use of advanced technology to provide real-time updates on driver location, estimated arrival times, and trip fares. This unique feature provides a level of convenience and transparency that other taxi and ride-sharing services do not offer. By highlighting this feature in their marketing, Uber has successfully differentiated themselves from their competitors and built a strong brand identity. FedEx's USP is "when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." This positioning statement sets the company apart from its competitors by emphasising its speed and reliability in delivering packages. Another example is Apple's USP of designing products that are simple, elegant, and intuitive to use, setting them apart from competitors with a focus on design and user experience.
Having a strong USP is crucial for a business because it helps to differentiate you from the pack and makes it easier to communicate the value that you offer to potential customers. A strong USP can also help to build customer loyalty and generate more sales.
5. Not claiming your Google Business page
If you have a local business but don't have a Google Business page (which is completely free!) you are most likely making a mistake because it limits a business's visibility and credibility in local search results.
According to Google, 78% of consumers conduct local searches on their smartphones as a primary means of finding information about a business or service provider.
A Google Business page is a free listing that appears in Google search results and provides information about a business, including its name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and customer reviews.
Without a Google Business page, you may struggle to appear or rank highly in local search results when potential customers search for a business like yours. This can result in lost opportunities and potential customers flocking to competitors who do have a Google Business listing instead.
Google Business pages help you to appear in local map results and knowledge panels, which can increase visibility in the super important Google search results and drive more traffic to their website or physical location.
Moreover, a Google Business page can also help you to establish credibility with potential customers. Customer reviews and ratings are displayed prominently on Google Business pages, which can provide social proof to potential customers. Social proof is important because it helps to build trust, credibility, and authority. By showing that other people have had a positive experience with a brand, product or service, potential customers are more likely to trust and feel confident in their decision to buy.
Learn how to set up your Google Business page here.
6. Not asking for & using reviews
Social proof is extremely important in marketing as it plays a critical role in building trust and credibility with potential customers. When people are considering purchasing a product or service, they are often looking for validation from others who have already tried it. Social proof helps to provide this validation by demonstrating that others have had positive experiences making it seem more likely that the potential customer will also have a positive experience.
In addition to building trust and credibility, social proof can also help to increase conversion rates and sales. According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family, while 70% trust online reviews from strangers. By using social proof in marketing, you can tap into this powerful influence and encourage more people to try your products or services.
Social proof can also create a sense of community and loyalty around a brand. By highlighting the positive experiences of customers, you can create a connection between your brand and your customers, leading to repeat business and brand advocacy.
7. Not emailing your customers
Ignoring communication with your customers through an email database when marketing a business can be a mistake because email is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to connect and build relationships. An email database is a collection of customer email addresses, for which you have been given permission to send promotional emails, newsletters, and other marketing messages.
Without an email database, you may find it difficult to maintain regular communication with your customers, which can lead to reduced customer engagement and loyalty. Email marketing can help you to stay top-of-mind with your customers and therefore increase the chances of repeat purchases.
By using an email database, you can communicate with your customers in a targeted and personalised way. Email marketing allows you to segment your email list based on customer preferences, behaviours, and demographics, which can increase the relevance and effectiveness of marketing messages.
Email marketing can also be used to drive sales and revenue. By sending promotional emails and special offers to your email database, you can incentivise customers to make a purchase or take advantage of a promotion.
Email marketing is highly measurable, which can help you to track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make adjustments as needed. By analysing email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, you can optimise their email marketing campaigns and improve overall return on investment (ROI).
On average, email drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, higher than any other channel. And it shows no sign of slowing down. In fact email marketing revenues are projected to keep growing every year for the next five years and beyond.
Email marketing is a cost-effective marketing tactic because the cost of sending an email is low compared to other marketing channels like traditional advertising. This means that you can reach a large number of people without spending a lot of money. And because you can send targeted messages to specific groups of people based on their interests, behavior, and demographics you can ensure that the right message is being sent to the right person, which increases the likelihood of engagement and conversions.
You can read more about email marketing here.
8. Not advertising online
Online advertising is one of the most cost effective and targeted ways to reach potential customers. Online advertising allows you to reach your target audience with precision, delivering your message to those who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. Without online advertising, you will find it more challenging to reach potential customers who are primarily using the internet to discover and engage with brands.
By advertising online, you can increase your visibility and reach a wider audience aiding brand awareness. Online advertising platforms, such as Google Ads and social media advertising, offer you the ability to target your ads based on factors such as geographic location, interests, behaviours, and demographics, making it easier to reach your ideal customers who are most likely to convert to take a desired action. Online advertising can also be used to drive specific actions, such as website visits, lead generation, and sales.
There are a variety of online advertising formats available including display ads, search engine ads, social media ads, video ads, native ads, and influencer marketing. Display ads are visual ads that are placed on websites and can be targeted based on a user's demographics, interests, and behavior. Search engine ads are text ads that appear at the top of search engine results pages and are targeted based on the user's search queries. Social media ads are targeted ads that appear on social media platforms and can be targeted based on a user's interests, behaviour, and demographics. Video ads are ads that appear before or during video content and can be targeted based on a user's interests and behaviour. Native ads are ads that blend in with the content on a website or social media platform. Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers to promote a product or service to their followers. The choice of advertising format will depend on the your target audience, budget, and marketing goals.
Online advertising is cost-effective and provides a good return on investment. You can target specific audiences based on their interests, demographics, and behaviour, ensuring that your ads are reaching the right people. This helps to maximise the effectiveness of advertising spend and the minimise wastage that can come from advertising to people who are not likely to convert.
Online advertising also enables you to track and measure the performance of your ads in real-time, so you can tweak and optimise your campaigns for better results. It also offers a range of flexible pricing models, including cost-per-click, cost-per-impression, and cost-per-action, which can be tailored to suit your budget and goals.
9. Not defining your target audience
It is very difficult to create an effective marketing strategy that resonates with your intended audience if you don't know who that audience is. In marketing, this is called a target market and it is a specific group of customers who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Understanding their needs, pain points, values, and preferences is crucial to creating a message that resonates with them and motivates them to take a desired action.
Without a clearly defined target market, you may waste time, resources, and money on marketing efforts that do not reach your intended audience or meet their needs. By defining your target market, you can create a more focused and efficient marketing strategy that maximises return on investment and drives sales and revenue.
Furthermore, defining your target market can also help you to differentiate yourself from competitors by tailoring your offerings to meet the specific needs of your audience. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and improved overall business success.
10. Not using social media
Social media has become one of the most effective marketing channels available. Social media platforms offer you the ability to connect with your target audience in a more personalised and interactive way, building relationships and brand awareness. Without a social media presence, you may struggle to reach potential customers who are primarily using social media to discover and engage with brands.
Social media is an important tool for marketing a business for many reasons:
Reach a large audience: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter have billions of users worldwide, making it easy for you to reach a large audience with your marketing messages for very little cost.
Increase brand awareness: Social media allows you to create and share content that can help to increase brand awareness amongst your target audience. By regularly sharing engaging content, you can stay top-of-mind and build a loyal following.
Connect with customers: Social media provides you with a direct line of communication with your customers, allowing you to respond to inquiries, provide customer service, and engage with your audience at the time that your customers want it.
Targeted advertising: Social media platforms have powerful targeting capabilities that allow you to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviour, and more. This helps to ensure that marketing messages are being seen by the right people.
Cost-effective: Social media marketing can be very cost-effective, especially compared to traditional advertising channels like TV and print ads. This allows businesses with limited budgets to compete with larger companies and reach a wider audience.
Avoiding these common mistakes in marketing can help you activate more marketing initiatives that resonate with your potential and existing customers. It is important to continually evaluate and optimise marketing efforts to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant in a constantly evolving market.