Marketing / Business marketing

5 marketing mistakes you don’t know you’re making

Not all marketing mistakes are obvious, in fact some are so subtle you might not even realise you’re making them. Are you guilty of any of these?

8 June 2016 by

Over the years I spent building my own business, I made many marketing mistakes that were easily avoidable if I’d known I was making them. The problem was, I didn’t. I only realised they were mistakes with the benefit of hindsight.

But what if you could skip the whole hindsight thing? What if you could avoid making the same marketing mistakes I did? Your business would likely progress at a quicker rate and you’d achieve your goals and desired lifestyle much faster.

So here’s your chance to benefit from my hindsight. Here are five marketing mistakes I made back in the day that would have been easy to avoid if only I’d known I was making them:

Mistake #1: Changing suppliers impulsively

When you realise your marketing supplier isn’t working out, the natural impulse is to drop them as quickly as possible and move on. Before you give them the flick, stop and think. Do you have someone else ready to fill their shoes?

Ditching a supplier without the right planning will inevitably mean scrambling for a replacement and dealing with delays while you bring them up to speed. During this time your marketing activities will likely be disrupted or inconsistent and this can make your business look bad.

"By avoiding these five common marketing mistakes you can steer clear of some major marketing headaches that hold new businesses back and set yourself up with great habits for the future."

That’s not to say you should put up with someone who isn’t delivering, but it’s a good idea to put a transition plan in place and line up a replacement before you cut ties. This will save you a lot of stress and minimise disruption.

Mistake #2: Giving vague or unclear instructions

When it comes to effective marketing, communication is all-important. Most of the clients I work with have a clear vision for their business, and they know exactly what they want their marketing materials to look and sound like. Unfortunately most designers and copywriters aren’t mind readers and if you don’t clearly communicate the details of what you’re looking for, you’re not likely to get a satisfactory result. This can ultimately lead to frustration for everyone and extra costs for you,as projects need to get redone or run over time.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.

If you don’t have a formal briefing process, create one. Put everything in writing, even if you think it’s obvious or it goes without saying. Use examples wherever possible and encourage your marketing providers to ask for clarification if they don’t understand anything.

Mistake #3: Changing plans at the last minute

So your amazing new product or service is a couple of days from launch and you suddenly wake up at 2 am with a brilliant idea. You have to change everything, right now. This is one I can definitely relate to and all I can say is don’t go there! Changing your marketing focus or strategy at the 11th hour is only going to lead to frustration and a rushed job. Stick to the plan and save your amazing idea for next time. Trust me, it’s not worth the stress!

Mistake #4: Not having a big enough marketing budget

This is a very common mistake, especially when you are just starting out and trying to keep costs to a minimum. Unfortunately when it comes to marketing you usually get what you pay for. Cheap marketing materials have the effect of making your business look tacky which isn’t going to do you any favours in the long run.

Even if you don’t have much to spare, it is worth investing in a high quality logo and professionally designed website. Creating the right impression from the start will bring you more customers over the long term and help your business grow.

Mistake #5: Slow approval processes

Dragging your heels on approving projects or releasing funding can mean missing out on opportunities. Marketing is a fast paced industry and it pays to act quickly. Long wait times for approval are often a sign that the business processes need reviewing so your marketing providers can act quickly when they identify opportunities and your business can avoid missing out.

Have you ever made any of the above marketing mistakes?

Jo Macdermott

from Next Marketing works with Marketing Managers who need a safe pair of executional hands, Entrepreneurs in funded startups and small and medium businesses with $50K plus annual marketing budgets. You can also connect with Jo on LinkedIn.

Comments

  • These are mistakes that Small Business Owners should never be making. Those that are making these mistakes should be spending more time to become educated on the nuances of running a Small Business. On changing suppliers, one should ALWAYS have alternative suppliers for everything, with 80% of purchases being made with your main supplier, so if there is a problem it is easy to shift to your secondary supplier.
    With the internet it is so easy to find alternative suppliers, especially from overseas. This is did often in my Small Businesses, and taught my students to do the same, and often found that the overseas suppliers offered cheaper prices, which increased my profits. e.g. silver oxide button batteries bought in Australia gave me a mark-up of 50%, bought in Singapore the mark-up was 400%, and my customers were happy because I had more stock, and my selling price was the same as my competitors.
    With over 50 years experience in Small Business (working for others, owning my own, and consulting) there are many subtleties to be considered in running your own business.

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