DateAugust 31, 2022
AuthorMichaletz ZwiefMarketing and digital communications agency specializing in smart, meaningful content development.
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Competitive markets. Frequent technology advancements. Hybrid or remote workplace environments. Companies have many challenges to navigate today. And amidst the rush of day-to-day business, it’s easy to fall into some natural yet costly pitfalls. Here we unpack five common marketing mistakes and how to fix them.
1. Overpromises and a misinformed salesforce.
According to a LinkedIn Sales Report, misinformation and lack of understanding are the biggest hurdles for companies to overcome. When buyers were asked what seller behaviors were immediate deal-killers, these were the most common responses.
- 48% Delivering misleading information about a product, its price, etc.
- 44% Not understanding my company and its needs
- 43% Not understanding their own product or service
People work with who they trust. And trust is either built or lost at every stage—from marketing communications to sales interactions. Whether the first introduction to your brand is online or in-person, it’s imperative the information provided accurately reflects your products/services and speaks to legitimate customer pain points. Every salesperson needs to be well-educated on your solutions and take the time to truly understand each prospect's unique needs.
The right marketing materials can help educate sales teams and new employees, and provide clarity to prospects and customers about complex products or services. Here are steps marketers can take to help ensure accurate communication externally and internally.
- Create buyer personas that identify demographics, responsibilities, pain points, goals, roadblocks and challenges, motivations, needs and objections.
- Perform a competitive audit, analyzing your competitors’ websites, main messages, unique selling points, market positioning, copy tone and manner, social presence and more.
- Develop a brand prism to ensure internal and external communications align and there’s a consistent messaging tone and manner. Identify value propositions through input sessions from multiple departments in your organization such as sales, marketing, customer service and key stakeholders.
- Create a variety of thought leadership content such as eBooks, whitepapers, infographics and videos that provide insights into industry trends and topics important to your customers.
2. Trying to communicate too many messages at once.
It’s the old adage—say too much and you say nothing at all. Studies have found the more messages you try to communicate, the lower the likelihood of communicating any single message. By adding a second message to an ad, the likelihood that customers take away either of them drops from 100% for a single-message ad to only 65%. The likelihood of any single message getting through to customers drops to 43% when there are four different topics in an ad.
The same goes for communications on different channels. When inconsistent messages are presented across your website, social posts and print materials, it becomes confusing for not only prospects and customers, but your own team members. Whether an ad or social post, every good campaign has a clear theme and takeaway. Get detailed when identifying your target audience, what specific pain point needs to be solved, and what action you want them to take.
Don’t forget that messages need to be repeated to be effective. Since your team will be working on and discussing the message multiple times a day, they’ll get bored long before it sinks in with your customers—many of who will either miss or glance over it the first time. Companies often let the allure of doing something new and different lead to pulling the plug on a message too quickly. The reality is that it takes a while for some messages to connect with customers, especially if you’re trying to reshape perceptions that have been held by your audience for years.
3. Using inaccurate contact data.
Combine busy seasons with multiple people working on an account, and it’s easy for contact data to become a mess. Prospects may also be moving on or up faster than you think. Did you know that 25% of buyers change roles every year? In a LinkedIn survey, 85% of sellers said they lost or delayed at least one deal in the past year because a key client stakeholder had changed jobs. One-third of sellers said they lost or delayed at least three deals due to a stakeholder leaving.
Poor CRM data negatively impacts sales outreach and email campaigns, especially if using marketing automation. Clean up your contact database by deleting duplicates and contacts that unsubscribed or bounced, as well as updating prospect information and removing cold leads. And to ensure the communications content sent to each lead are relevant, group contacts into lists based on categories such as engagement, source (where the lead originated from), behaviors and demographics. Marketing automation software such as HubSpot can help make this process easier with bulk updating capabilities.
4. Ignoring the data you collect.
With automated workflows, it’s easy to adopt a “set it and forget it” mentality. Scheduling an email campaign but never going back to check open rates and click-throughs. Creating blog posts but failing to monitor views, time per pageview and bounce rates to determine which topics resonate most with your audience. Today, data is available at seemingly every touchpoint which can seem overwhelming at times. However, taking the time to review and understand your data can go a long way when it comes to assessing and optimizing strategies.
Every time you learn something new about your leads, use that data to create more personalized experiences. Track who responds to gated content, email campaigns and social posts, then send related materials and create targeted ads. Be sure to leverage reporting across all of your marketing channels, using information from one to enrich the strategies of others.
5. Underusing automation or having the wrong tool.
Many of the marketing automation solutions available today are feature-rich. And while your company may have chosen software to solve a specific problem, there are often more tools than you realize readily available to streamline processes and enable your team to focus on higher-value work. And that can pay off, bringing some companies a more than 400% revenue increment.
If you are considering marketing automation, be sure to choose software that integrates with your CRM and can scale as your business grows. HubSpot offers automated workflows for task management, lead scoring and nurturing, drip campaigns, chatbots and more. Segment contacts granularly, manage and monitor your team’s activity and implement other time-saving strategies to make each tool work harder for your business.
Avoiding these common marketing mistakes strengthens your strategies and brand image. Creating meaningful content and leveraging data and automation effectively will position your team and company for success.