How to Avoid the 10 Marketing Mistakes Every Company Makes

By Emily Carroll, Marketing Intern

#1: Marketing to Everyone

The Mistake: Making your target audience anyone with a bank account.

How to Avoid: The truth of the matter is, your product doesn’t do everything and anything, therefore it shouldn’t be marketed to just anyone. In order to have success of a product you must develop a marketing plan. This will allow your business to extract a detailed description of your products, competition, and key advantages over your competitors. The marketing plan will be a true telling of what markets you most want to target and what media channels are the best to reach these specific audiences.

#2: Conflicting Messages In Your Brand

The Mistake: Altering your business’s brand message based on the audience, the media channel, and the person communicating the message.

How to Avoid: Ever meet a person who consistently changes their opinion based on who’s listening? Seems artificial and confusing, right?Often times a company will use this same tactic in order to increase customer interest, but instead, this often leads to customer dissatisfaction. To avoid your brand message getting lost in translation find a language that distinctively describes who you are as a company, what you have to offer, and what makes you different from competitors. Make sure these key messages are created, understood, and voiced by all employers!

#3: Fail to Promote

The Mistake: Your product speaks for itself, therefore the masses will come to you.

How to Avoid: Word of mouth can only take a company so far. For every good business plan come the skills and tools necessary for how to promote the products at hand. In fact, promotion is the primary focus for a successful marketing campaign. In remembering all the fundamentals of excellent promotion, I like to stir up a Promotion Mix “Cocktail.” You’ll only need four special ingredients! Take ¼ of advertising, ¼ of sales promotion, ¼ of personal selling, and ¼ of public relations.Mix these together and pour over ice to have your product selling in no time.

#4: Selecting the Wrong Channels to Communicate Message

The Mistake: Using a media channel that does not pertain to your target audience, resulting in the lack of delivery to consumers.

How to Avoid: Especially with new businesses, it is importantto conduct detailed audience research. In determining whom your target audiences are, it is then necessary to note where they are most accessible. If your target audience is young women, ranging from 18-29 you’re not going to want to market in areas such as Sports Illustrated magazines or ESPN. You need to choose the route of communication that will reach a majority of your specified consumer group. With out your message being delivered to your target audiences, how do you expect your products or services to sell? In this case Cosmopolitan magazine and the E! Network (my personal guilty pleasures) might be the more successful approach.

#5: Marketing’s Entire Purpose is to Drive Sales

The Mistake: Replacing personal relationships with only knowing client’s as the name on their credit card.  

How to Avoid: In order for a business to start selling their products, they must start by doing one thing: stop selling. One way to assure a customer passing on your services is if you only see them for their Visa card. Face to face interaction (and I don’t mean FaceTime) has dwindled with the rise of technology, as it has given us thousands of ways to communicate with each other. Speak with prospective clients and grow personal relationships by setting up times to meet with them rather than sending emails back and forth. This way, they will see you and your company for who you truly are and feel more comfortable going into business with you. Remember, marketing is there to sell, but sometimes you have to start the relationship first!

#6: Turning Your Head to Social Media Networks

The Mistake: Marketing through social media is a waste of time because it has no affect on building a cliental.

How to Avoid: Any history book can tell you that humans have been explorers since the beginning of time. You must then look at social media as a whole new arena of places for humans to venture. And why not use your company as a place for them to virtually look around? Build profiles on the most used social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use these sources as a way to traffic new customers and opportunities that are sure to make your company grow. It’s a free way to receive customer feedback and advertise the brand you know and love!

- Social media can be a double-edged sword. Check out my blog post, “5 Social Media Tips For Your Business to Remember Before Hitting Send” to make sure you are putting your company in the best light! -

#7: Blogging is for Buzzfeed, Not for Business

The Mistake: Blogging is a media channel for fashion and beauty. No one is going to want to read a blog about an insider’s thoughts on business.

How to Avoid: Did you know, marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not? Realistically,whether you are the small neighborhood coffee shop or a Fortune 500 company, you can benefit from blogging. Host the blog on your company’s website and write quality content that is useful to your consumers and readers. A regularly updated blog allows for fresh content and will inform audiences of what’s going on inside the organization. Blogging also helps drive traffic to your website, and who doesn’t love that? The only thing a blog costs is your time!  

#8: Keeping the Budget Tight

The Mistake: Cutting corners around the marketing budget to save, save, save.

How to Avoid: You get what you pay for, and marketing is no exception. A weak marketing account saves money but it will cost business in the long run. Try measuring the cost of a marketing campaign based off the impression you want to make on your target audience(s). Don’t interpret this tip as me suggesting you to blow you’re entire savings—I certainly don’t want to be the pioneer for that bad decision. But! Every business should have a section on your profit and loss statements with a reasonable percentage assigned for marketing. Bottom line? Find a way to make room in the budget for professional help with your business’s marketing plan. You will not regret it.

#9: Forgetting About the Little People

The Mistake: Convincing new audiences to take action, but regret to remind existing customers why they chose this business in the first place.

How to Avoid: Go ahead and celebrate the success and progress your company has achieved over the years…but don’t forget who helped get you there! Losing interest in older clients to make room for the new can lead to them feeling like the lowest man on the totem pole. A company’s stewardship should be an ongoing process from the beginning to make sure there is no end. It is important that you continue to check in with your clients and thank them for their loyalty. Nobody puts customers in the corner. 

#10: Reading This Post & Saying, “These Rules Don’t Apply to Me”

The Mistake: Our marketing plan (or lack there of) has worked so far, why listen to new advice?

How to Avoid: This last tip might be the worst and most frequent mistake a business can make.Don’t be foolish! Even the most basic of marketing rules and tips apply to you. Take the time to do research on how different marketing techniques have helped companies just like yours. There are many books and blog posts just like this that are filled with helpful marketing advice that should not go unrecognized. Perhaps you learn one new thing about the world of marketing that you hadn’t already known. That one thing can be what saves or enhances your business’s success in the future. 

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