Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. But mistakes in your marketing campaigns can be costly, both in wasted time and effort and in lost marketing budget. In this article, I list some of the most common mistakes small businesses make in their marketing plans and show how you can avoid them.

1. Not knowing your audience

Researching your marketing and understanding what your customers think about your sector, your business and your product is an essential part of developing your campaigns. Researching your audience and understanding what messages will resonate with them will lead to more effective campaigns and help to increase the trust your customer base has for your product. Surveys, interviews and face to face contact, as well as customer data from your website and your internal records, can all help you to build a picture of your customer groups.

2. Ignoring results

A marketing campaign is not something that is set in stone. Once you have built a campaign and released it to the world, you need to monitor the results it gets and make changes accordingly. For digital campaigns this is easier than ever, with a wide rage of useful data available for you to analyse and build upon. For traditional advertising this can be more difficult, but you should still be following up with your leads and customers to identify which campaigns they have seen and what motivated their purchase. Always test your ads, using alternate copy, new designs and new placements to see what gets you the best results.

3. Not having a USP

A USP, “Unique Sales Proposition”, is the thing that separates you from other competing businesses. This could be the range of services you offer, the quality and price of your product, the depth of knowledge of your staff, the ease of use of your product… anything that you offer and your competitors don’t. Your USP is the reason that someone would choose your product rather than someone else’s, and as such it should be at the heart of your marketing.

4. Chest beating

You are probably quite proud of what your business has accomplished, of industry awards you have won and of the age, the size and the reach of your business. Your customers, sad though it might sound, likely don’t care. Putting too much focus on the accomplishments of your business rather than the needs of your customer can be off putting, making a company seem aloof and isolated from their clients. While mentioning your accomplishments can help build confidence in your company, always remember the majority of your marketing should be based on what you can do for your customers.

5. Lack of customer focus

If marketing should be based on customer needs, it makes sense that you need to understand those needs. Everything that I’ve talked about in this article really comes back to this point. Pay attention to what your customers do and what they say. Identify the needs they have and how your products and services help them to fulfil those needs. In the end, marketing is the way that you let your customers know that you can help them. Once you are certain of what your customers think and need, you can build better campaigns that will let your business flourish.

If you want to get the best start to your marketing in 2020, John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help. To get started, visit jrdm.com.au and book an appointment today.

Season’s greetings to all our readers – the JRDM blog will resume in the new year from the 8th of January.

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