Costly missteps can break your business. Do your bottom line (and your customers) a favor by conducting a quick audit of your marketing strategy.
The marketing landscape is more diverse than ever before, with marketing strategies spanning multiple channels. To stay relevant, you must conduct marketing audits from time to time. With so many tasks to execute, you might be walking a fine line and making a few (or several) blunders.
We’ve learned that these mistakes can cost you time and money you don’t have to waste. Avoid these missteps to help keep your marketing strategy in sync with your brand evolution.
1. Not taking the leap from personalization to individualization.
Everybody’s talking about personalization, but marketers still struggle to create meaningful customer experiences. The question isn’t whether you’re personalizing your messages — everyone is, to some extent. Answer these pressing questions instead:
- Are you still doing mass-level personalization by simply inserting your customers’ first names?
- Are you taking individualized insights into account?
Recent research reveals that only 6 percent of marketers worldwide report having a single customer view across online and offline channels. If you don’t fall in this narrow bracket (and the odds are slim, really), your marketing isn’t targeted enough.
2. Not following the cardinal 80/20 rule.
You’ve no doubt heard the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle: 80 percent of the effect comes from 20 percent of the causes. But are you using it in your marketing?
Whether your focus is on content marketing, social-media marketing or email marketing, 80 percent of your effort should be spent providing value to your audience. That leaves 20 percent of your effort for promotional activity. This keeps your audience engaged and builds a long-term relationship.
Brand-oriented messages fizzle. Customer-oriented ones will help you sizzle.
3. Ignoring retention marketing.
Retention marketing should be the backbone of your marketing strategy. Why? Two reasons: It’s easier to sell to someone you’ve built a relationship with, and it’s more profitable to sell to your existing customers.
Need some convincing? Check out these stats:
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. The probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere in the 5 to 20 percent range.
- Acquiring a new customer costs six to seven times what you’ll spend to retain an existing one.
Once someone becomes your customer, make sure you don’t stop marketing to him or her. Customer loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. It all boils down to creating value so they’ll remain customers for life.
4. Not documenting your content-marketing strategy.
Content marketing currently is your best bet to rise above the noise. No wonder it’s employed by 94 percent of small businesses, 93 percent of business-to-business (B2B) companies and 77 percent of business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations. Now, contrast that with the markedly smaller proportions of groups with a written content-marketing plan: 37 percent of B2B marketers and 40 percent of B2C marketers.
Document your content-marketing strategy before you start creating stories and other materials around your brand. It will make content creation and distribution not only easier but more effective, too.
5. Ignoring new channels and platforms.
The most successful companies do what they can to leverage every marketing channel. They don’t just stick with the same old channels and strategies. According to a Harvard Business School study, retailers that took advantage of multiple channels were more profitable than those employing only a single channel.
The digital world constantly is evolving. Adopting the relevant, emerging marketing channels is paramount to connect with your audiences.
6. Using email as a promotional tool.
There was an era in email marketing when emails were used solely for promotional purposes. Modern professionals know email marketing plays a critical role in building trust-based relationships to engage, convert and retain customers. Neglecting these responsibilities can have serious repercussions for any online business. If you want your email marketing to be a success, you need to accept a major mindset shift: Use email as an engagement tool, not a promotional one.
7. Not spending time crafting your message.
This is the single-biggest mistake marketers make. They simply don’t pay enough attention to crafting the message before they push it out to an audience.
Carefully think through what you want your customer or potential client to believe. Whether you’re writing a blog post, composing an email, writing a Facebook status update or creating popup copy, every word you write should convey your message clearly and convincingly.
When it comes to marketing, it’s not just channel that matters: it’s also the message.
The future of marketing will be highly complex, and it will reward only those who can provide meaningful experiences to customers. If you want to succeed in the digital age, you’ve got to get the customer experience right.
by Reshu Rahti
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