In a world full of countless communication channels and changing markets, it’s essential for businesses to prioritize marketing strategy and to do it the right way. Matt Preuett, Business Advisor and Founder of Ninety by Three Growth Partners, led a webinar where he shared five ways to avoid the most common marketing fails.
The Five Ways
1. Realize Marketing is Human
Human history and psychology are part of the foundation of marketing.
Matt noted that all human beings are more than 99% identical in their genetic makeup. To understand marketing, business leaders must understand that the characteristics, motivations, and behaviors among us are universally innate.
Marketing has evolved over time based on human evolution and trends. The psychological aspect of marketing ties into concepts that motivate human decisions, including scarcity (we want what we can’t have), reciprocity (we want to give back to those who give to us), and curiosity (we want to fill in missing information gaps).
2. Don’t Keep Marketing Only in the Marketing Department
A common mistake business leaders make is neglecting to involve their other departments in marketing. Peter Drucker said, “Marketing is the whole business seen from the customer’s point of view.” Ultimately, marketing depends on the way that customers experience the business.
This marketing fail can be solved by taking a customer-centric approach, which includes focusing on customer experiences and interactions. The majority of the customer experience depends on how customers feel they are treated. Therefore, it’s important to create value for customers by welcoming and implementing multiple ideas and perspectives from others outside of the marketing team.
3. Prioritize Your Marketing Budget
Prioritizing your marketing budget begins with understanding the “why” of marketing. We’ve all been victims of annoying ads and unsolicited sales calls, and therefore, we tend to have an aversion to marketing.
Furthermore, marketing seems expensive and time-consuming, driving business leaders to dismiss it as an investment opportunity altogether. But marketing cannot exist without budget, and Matt explained how budget plays a role in every aspect of the marketing mix (Product, Place, Price, and Promotion).
Product – Developing a product without significant input from customers can be detrimental, as you will end up spending more money than needed trying to create and revamp your product.
Place – Neglecting trade channels and market trends will cause you to pay more for promotion than necessary because you have to work harder to get your product in the right place to sell it.
Price – Your product or service will only sell if priced appropriately, and determining the right pricing strategy requires adequate research.
Promotion – You must accurately measure the effectiveness of your promotion tactics to avoid overspending and achieve adequate ROI.
Furthermore, business leaders must be able to accurately assess the inputs and outputs of selling a product or service, and train their marketing teams to understand the various expenses associated so that they can work effectively to achieve a positive ROI.
4. Align Your Marketing Goals With Your Business Goals
Aligning marketing goals with business goals can become complex with so many factors involved, so it’s best to simplify by focusing on a few key areas. In their book, The Next CMO: A Guide to Operational Marketing Excellence, authors Scott Todaro, Dan Faulkner, and Peter Mahoney explain that there are three topline marketing objectives: sales, awareness, and perception. All three need to work together harmoniously in order for a marketing strategy to succeed.
In an ideal model, your alignment of goals must include marketing objectives, sales/marketing strategy, and campaigns and programs – working together under the umbrella of business goals. In Matt’s experience as a business advisor, he’s seen several businesses make the mistake of neglecting or misinterpreting one or more of these areas, causing a lack of synergy between strategy and execution.
In addition to narrowing focus on factors that matter most, it’s also critical to hone in on resources that create the most value. In a world with more than 7,000 marketing channels, business leaders must focus on the channels that provide important data that will help define long-term strategy.
5. Remove Obstacles From Your Team
The final common marketing mistake that business leaders make, according to Matt, is failing to recognize the different strengths within their team members that make for effective marketing. Business leaders tend to think that marketers must possess all skills necessary to be a good marketer – strategic, tactical, creative, and practical skills – when the truth is that it’s rare for any one person to embody all of the above.
Business leaders must realize how they can support their team members’ individual strengths by providing them with tools and resources for skill development.
Matt highlighted that business is based on 3 P’s: Purpose, Promise, and Process. At the center of it all is alignment.
By listening to customers, empowering the marketing team, and truly aligning all departments and operations, businesses can develop strategic insight that will guide effective marketing.
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