“Mistakes you can learn from; sins stay with you forever.”-Corey Taylor
We learn something new every day. That’s the idea anyway. We exact plans and strategies. Some work and some don’t. Then we sit down and sift through the pros and cons of every single move. We are pawns in the big game- whatever the big game may be. Win, and the world is a better place. Lose, and, well, you know the story. The trick, as we know, is to never make the same mistake twice. Success can be gleaned from the ashes of failure- period.
When it comes to marketing, there is no shortage of challenges. Just look at how the marketing world has evolved in the last decade, and the amount of cross-training marketers have experienced: VoC, data collection and analysis, and product and message development.
Today, marketers continue to face a barrage of new technologies aimed at making things easier, faster, more cost-effective and more transparent- all in real-time. The key is navigating this complex and constantly changing landscape, and then creating a unified marketing strategy- one that’s focused on driving customer engagement and can impact the bottom line.
If you’re looking for a consensus of where the true art of marketing lies, it would go something like this: build brand and marketing campaigns, develop sound messaging strategies and create products that deliver a good customer experience. The key is listening to your customers and the world around you to craft meaningful conversations that spark imagination, inspire loyalty and create interest in your solutions.
In this technologically driven world, we decided to look at the seven deadliest sins marketers are making today. Here’s what we uncovered:
1. The Safe Route
Marketers often are stuck in “safe mode” and are not willing to take risks that stray from the “status quo”. They often are too comfortable with their own processes, creative, communications, target audiences, etc., which reduces their ability to drive new conversations about the future.
2. Misuse of Technology
According to a review of customer data-centric software listed on Capterra, more than 3,000 marketing technology products, platforms and point solutions are being deployed across nearly 30 application categories. Combine the proliferation of solutions, plus a constantly contracting and collapsing market, with the fact that most marketers were not educated as technologists, and you have a recipe for confusion and frustration.
3. Inefficient Data
The ability to use technology and data (or science) to further marketing’s reach, to create more personalized campaigns and to be more relevant is paramount. Both sides must be weighted properly and used appropriately to maximize impact. One without the other is pointless. If content is king and context is queen, data is the emperor. Today, the first-party visitor data gets recognized as the most valuable kind, because it allows marketers to take true, real-time action to increase results across channels and devices.
4. Under Sharing
The prevalence and sheer volume of Big Data allow most companies to see the very essence of their customer bases and their activity. But unless more people in the organization have access to customer feedback and analysis, the data simply is rendered useless. You must have a process in place to analyze and act upon it.
5. Stuck in the short term
Marketers are under increased pressure to deliver results and prove their value. Therefore, it’s natural to gravitate toward direct-oriented, late funnel brand channels and/or emerging channels whose impact on business results historically have been more challenging to quantify.
6. The Original Plan
Too many marketers hold on to the concept of the annual marketing plan, which is quickly becoming a relic in a “real-time” world where the landscape changes overnight. While it’s important to outline goals, objectives and strategies for the upcoming year, marketers are wrong if they don’t allow- or even plan- for change. They must have a test-driven mindset and set aside a portion of their budgets to test new approaches and tweak strategies regularly as the new-year progresses.
7. Broad Targets
Many companies fail to define the target customer(s) narrowly enough. Too often, the target is defined much too broadly. Serious problems with marketing effectiveness begin with a broad target, because it becomes increasingly difficult to define the needs of the target customer. This impacts the type of content developed to reach this target. Messages become less refined and thus, less effective.
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