The 3 Most Common Marketing Fails

The start of the year heralds the time for annual budgeting and planning, and it’s a perfect time to set the stage for success, or to set yourself up for failure for the next year ahead. We would hate you to be continuously failing and getting frustrated with your marketing

  1. Include your sales team (don’t exclude the ones that generate the income)

Most people think that the marketing plan should be developed by the marketing team alone, so they go off in a secret location to brainstorm for ideas and fail to ask their most important customer for input. What results is a plan to spend most of the year’s marketing budget on aspects that don’t generate sales. If the logo or website is working, then why waste your money making unnecessary changes. Maybe there are processes that could convert leads into sales without involving extra man hours to reach your goals. Your sales team understand what your customers are asking for and what they want.  Listen to what the sales team struggles with on a daily basis, then help them remove those obstacles, and try to add some automation to eliminate repetitive tasks. Not only will you come up with a better plan, but you’ll also get more cooperation and buy-in throughout the year if sales understands what you’re trying to accomplish and best of all, how they can help and be part of that success.

A smarter way to be spending money on tools and tactics that will help your sales team:

  • collect lead intelligence
  • research prospects
  • work your database
  • automate communication and repetitive tasks
  • track data
  • continuously improve your sales process

What you invest here will directly impact the results you see at the end of the year, so don’t be tight. You’ll only handcuff your team and leave them feeling frustrated and dis-empowered which is bad for your culture, and your bottom line.

  1. Don’t just hire a person to be your marketing guru all alone

Another common mistake people make is trying to hire an all-in-one marketer who knows how to code, design, write, project manage, optimize for SEO, develop an engaged social community, manage paid advertising, and analyse all your data. That is just never going to work.

But if you build a team of specialists who are truly great at a couple of these skills. You can find coders who also design, writers who can optimize for SEO, project managers who can write, etc. But it’s rare to find someone who can do more than two or three of these things and achieve results. You will need a ‘go to’ person to lead the campaign and set the strategy, hold people accountable, coordinate with sales, remove obstacles, and communicate with your company’s directors. The other option is to outsource your marketing plan to a professional that can implement your strategy. Some businesses can get by with a few of internal people and an outsourced team of freelancers — it all depends on your needs and long-term goals, and how much you want to DIY.

  1. Try to do too much and then run out of steam (or money)

Lots of people start the year with renewed energy and resolve, pouring a substantial portion of their time and budget into rebranding, or a large website redesign project. Or they go like a bat out of hell, blogging away like maniacs, commit to doing weekly webinars, and to exhibit at all the trade shows in the next six months. After a few months, they start to run out of energy and wonder why their sales suck when the results come in.

But if you establish some discipline and maintain a consistent plan on realistic goals and consistent activity levels.

Take a look at your Marketing plan from last year.  Ask yourself:

  • What worked, and what didn’t?
  • What got accomplished, and what did you abandon?
  • What opportunity did you miss because you spent time and money on the wrong stuff?

Does your marketing plan need an overhaul for this year to achieve your goals? Is it tired and needing a refresh?