Any Marketing Strategy Is Susceptible To These Common Mistakes
As business professionals, we’ve seen firsthand how a clearly defined and well-organized strategy can make great results possible. So when it comes to marketing, why do so many businesses lack just that–a clearly defined and well-organized marketing strategy–leaving them susceptible to marketing mistakes?
We’ve identified the most common mistakes B2B companies experience with their marketing strategies and we included suggestions of ways you can avoid them.
MISTAKE #1: FAILING TO SET GOALS FOR YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY.
Marketing is all about goals. Without them, we’d have no way of knowing whether or not the work we’re doing is worthwhile. Goals allow us to prove how effective we are, keep us focused, and push us to be better.
Fact: Marketers who set goals are 429% more likely to report success than those who don’t. And 81% of goal-setters are able to achieve the goal they put in place.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is failing to construct their marketing strategy based on SMART (specific, measurable, aspirational, realistic, and time-bound) goals.
How to avoid mistake #1:
When concepting your marketing goals, be sure they align with your business’ overarching objectives and that your goals are SMART. Then, use them to construct a solid, well-thought out, mistake-proof marketing strategy.
Your SMART marketing goals should meet each of the following expectations:
Specific: Your goal must focus on one clearly defined metric.
Measurable: You must have a way to measure the content you publish against that metric.
Aspirational: Your goal must push you beyond the results your content will naturally or organically generate towards that metric.
Realistic: Consider what you can reasonably complete with the resources that are available to you.
Time-bound: Your goal must have an end date upon which you will achieve that metric.
Try using this framework to write your marketing goals:
By [insert day, month, year], the [insert your organization’s name] marketing team will reach [insert number] [insert metric] every [insert time frame].
Remember, as a marketer you cannot manage what you don’t measure and you cannot improve what you don’t manage.
MISTAKE #2: NOT BACKING YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY WITH AN ADEQUATE AMOUNT OF TARGET MARKET RESEARCH.
A solid marketing strategy will be backed with comprehensive industry research and analysis. They’re the building blocks of any good marketing strategy. A marketing strategy without the proper research to back it up is really just a waste of time and money.
While there are many different types of research that go into a marketing strategy, businesses tend to forget one of the most important aspects: their target audience. If you don’t know and fully understand who your marketing tactics should be targeting, they will not be effective.
How to avoid mistake #2:
While it’s tempting to assume who your product or service will appeal to, it’s important to conduct thorough market research and narrow in on a specific target customer.
Research who your prospective customer really is demographically (age, location, gender, income, education, marital or family status, occupation, ethnic background, etc.) and psychographically (interests, hobbies, values, attitudes, behaviors, lifestyle preferences, etc.). Keep in mind this will vary depending on your industry, so identify what factors matter most to your strategy.
Be specific in order to narrowly define your target customer. While some may see this as limiting, in reality, identifying a specific target audience helps ensure that you make decisions that are dictated by your customers, which sets you up for long-term success. Drill down your audience’s attitudes, beliefs, and pain points.
Your current customers can be helpful when it comes to understanding who your target market is. Looking for insights into your current customers? We have developed advanced techniques that ensure our abilities to provide companies with accurate and high-quality insights. At Incentive Insights, we can provide you with the data you need in order to improve future marketing campaigns.
MISTAKE #3: NEGLECTING TO USE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY AS A WAY TO DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF FROM YOUR COMPETITORS.
A business should look at their marketing strategy as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Instead, many establish themselves as carbon copies of their competitors in the industry and with their audience.
Your customers need a reason to choose you over your top competitors, so give them one!
How to avoid mistake #3:
Incorporate these differentiation best practices into your marketing strategy to see great results:
In a broad industry, it’s important to find a niche that is underserved and develop a loyal following within it.
Highlight the unique value your product or service brings customers. Every business has something that sets them apart from the rest so make yours known!
Show your audience what’s in it for them. What does your product or service offer that no one else’s can?
Give your brand a defined voice.
Have you considered integrating a customer incentive program to give your company a little something extra? A rebate can be the incentive that leads a prospective customer to purchase from your business. We offer an accurate, efficient, and innovative rebate fulfillment service for companies like you looking to differentiate.
MISTAKE #4: HANDING OFF LEADS FROM YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY TO POORLY TRAINED OR UNMOTIVATED SALES CHANNEL PARTNERS.
As marketers, we’re responsible for the planning and implementation of a successful marketing strategy for our products. But we’re not the ones in complete control of the way consumers see our product. We hand a somewhat large portion of control to our sales channel partners and they’re responsible for converting shoppers into customers of our brand.
One big mistake marketers often make at the end of their marketing strategy is handing off their prospective customers to poorly trained, unprepared, and/or unmotivated sales partners.
Are you familiar with the term “sales and marketing alignment”? It’s the concept that when marketing and sales teams unite around a single revenue cycle, the company as a whole is able to dramatically improve marketing ROI, sales productivity, and most importantly, top-line growth.
How to avoid mistake #4:
What part can your marketing team do to ensure they’re handing leads off to an educated, motivated, and performance-driven sales partner? They can offer incentives.
Companies can offer their channel sales partners incentives that encourage the conversion of leads into customers. Sales channel partner incentive programs generally mean better relationships with your channel partners, increased brand loyalty, higher demand, and a motivated and knowledgeable sales team.
Whether you have short or long term goals for your sales incentive program, we can fully customize a solution to suit your company’s exact needs.
Keep in mind, mistakes are what make us better. As companies, we can learn from the inevitable mistakes we’re bound to experience along the way. While marketing teams should strive to develop and put forth a high-quality, research-backed, and mistake-proof marketing strategy–there are some things you can’t avoid.
At Incentive Insights, we’ve transformed the way rebate and sales performance incentives are processed into a platform for deep customer analysis and engagement.
If after reading this article, you’ve realized your new or current marketing strategy is in need of a specific type of data, your prospective customers could be incentivized with a rebate program, or your sales team needs to be motivated–contact us.