Navigating the high seas of B2B marketing can be a challenge for just about any company looking to set themselves apart from their competition in an increasingly fast-paced world of constant communication and information overload. Caught in the midst of all the commotion, it can be easy to fall into the same traps that many businesses have fallen into before you – and that many more will fall into after you, as well.
These common mistakes are so common because they are often overlooked by companies who are either spread too thin to focus on all of the details they need to focus on, or who have failed to fully develop their marketing plan before diving headfirst into it. There are a lot of mistakes made in the world of marketing, and with the rules of modern communication constantly changing and evolving at a breakneck speed, marketing professionals find themselves having to learn on the fly.
- Incorrectly identifying the needs of your customer base. Identifying the needs of your customer base is one of the first things you’ll need to sort out when developing your marketing plan. You can’t correctly address the needs of your customers if you can’t identify what those needs are in the first place, so this step is a vital one in the grand scheme of things. However, more companies fail at this stage of the process than you would think. Imagine the difficulty of trying to create impactful and engaging marketing without correctly identifying the needs of your customers. It would be similar to a doctor trying to write a prescription for a patient without a diagnosis. The key to creating a successful marketing campaign is being able to identify the problems that your customers face and then telling them how you can solve those problems.
- Failing to market your product’s key differentiator. What sets your product or service apart from other, similar products and services that exist in your industry? With so much competition and new businesses popping up left and right, it can sometimes be difficult to tell one product apart from the next, especially if they occupy the same niche. Your product or service won’t drum up much interest among the general public if it looks, feels and works just like five or six others that are already on the market. Before you even begin marketing, find your differentiator – the unique aspect(s) of your product that other competitors don’t have – and use your marketing to drive that home with consumers.
- Not doing enough testing or market research. How do you know if your marketing is effective? Well, there are various ways to see if your marketing is reaching its intended audience and having its intended impact on consumers. Testing different prices, different offers, different avenues of communication and marketing channels, and even different headlines and taglines, will help you to determine what is working and what isn’t. Also, the use of marketing metrics to develop your campaigns is becoming a more common practice. However, many companies are still not doing enough due diligence when it comes to tracking whether their marketing is working effectively. If you’re in the dark when it comes to your marketing metrics, it will be virtually impossible for you to make the adjustments and changes necessary to adapt to what your audience wants, and your marketing will ultimately fail.
- Not retaining your customers. While it’s always important to attract new customers and develop creative marketing plans that allow you to reach new audiences and build your customer base, retaining existing customers is the other half of the equation and is equally important when it comes to building a successful marketing campaign. However, many businesses are so set on thinking of new and unique ways to reach new audiences that they often neglect their loyal existing customers. One of the keys to a sound marketing plan is coming up with creative new methods for reaching out to your existing customers, keeping them informed and keeping them in the loop. People like to feel valued and by staying in touch with your customers and letting them know how much their continued business means to your company, you create long-lasting goodwill that will help build your brand’s reputation and turn your existing customer base into a steadfast community of loyal patrons.
- Not keeping your message consistent. One of the most common mistakes that marketers make, especially in the world of B2B marketing, is having too many different messages circulating at once. If you’ve developed a successful campaign that works for your company, stick with it and see it through. By building this brand equity, you’ll create a firm foundation upon which you can build future campaigns. Take a look at a company like Geico for example. They’ve stuck with their “15 minutes can save you 15% percent on your car insurance” message for over a decade and haven’t bothered confusing consumers with additional clutter for one reason – it works! When it comes to keeping your message consistent, it’s always better to stick with what works and build upon it than to get restless and change it every few months – if you do that, your audience likely won’t be able to (or won’t want to) keep up with you.
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