11.19.13

Top 5 Marketing Mistakes

BY SHAY RUGGLES

A benefit of working at an agency is the ability to look into how marketing is approached by a vast range of industries, company sizes and philosophies.

There are always trends that circulate through our clients and prospective client's existing work and philosophies that we try and shake. Here we'll share the top five marketing mistakes we have been noticing in the last year.

5. Diluting your messaging

Are you saying so much you don’t even remember what you’re saying anymore? You can’t be everything to everyone and by doing so you’re diluting any real message you could be saying. This is a broader exercise in messaging control, as in taking control of your key message and sticking to it. If you’re confused as to what your core message is, your customer is too.

4. Not communicating with your target audience

If you ask most marketers who their target audience is you’ll get a response, either vague or detailed but most know who they’re supposed to be talking with, however taking a look at the web copy, are they really speaking to them? Generally, no. One of the biggest mistakes we see is a company’s copy talking all about themselves. Statements about how their company is: the best, the biggest, the most innovative, and of course, has the best customer service seem to dominate the web. Yes, that speaks a lot about your company, but great marketing is a conversation not a one-way street. If you’re using any of the statements above, you’re talking at your target audience not with them.

3. Not positioning your products as solutions to a problem

If you’re talking at your target audience, most likely you’re not positioning your products as a solution to a problem either. Are you just throwing your products/services out there as they are, or are you positioning them as a solution to your customer’s problem? Almost always, a potential customer has a problem they need to solve and they’re looking for an answer. Take the time to explain how your products and solutions are the best answer to your target audience’s problem; don’t leave it up to them to connect the dots.

2. Ignoring the social component

A lot of our B2B conversations about social media elicit this response… “No one is interested in talking about my product/service on social media.” And you know what? You’re wrong. We have had a B2B client with a niche technology product receive a million-dollar deal off of Twitter. Sure, people might not be interested in following your company on Facebook because you’re fun and funny but people are talking about your industry, your product, your service in places like blogs, forums, Linkedin - and that is where you should be. This isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Follow the conversation and voice your authority on the subject. Not only will this increase your personal authoritative voice it will illicit interest in your company/products/solutions and increase your company’s organic ranking.

1. Not saying anything at all

All of these issues lead me to this. If you’ve diluted your messaging, you’re only talking about yourself and not engaging in any sort of conversation… you’re not saying anything at all. If you could grab your copy and stick any one of your competitor’s names on the top, you’re not saying anything at all. The most powerful brands are simple and resolute in their messaging. If you’re not confident in your own message and identity, what are you even saying to your customer and what reason are you giving them to care?

Shay Ruggles
written by SHAY RUGGLES

Shay Ruggles is the Director of UX at Carbon8 who ensures we are creating compelling experiences that balance user intent, clients’ business needs and site performance. A former Account Manager, Video Producer and Carbon8’s first employee, Shay leveraged her years of experience, education and research to transition to the creative team of Carbon8 in 2012.

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