Top Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2021


The dos and don’ts of creating a successful marketing strategy

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large”.

To succeed as a marketer you need to successful educate the company’s customers, keep them engaged in the company’s content and create an upstanding reputation for the company in their mind.

To do so, businesses need to create smart marketing strategies that attract the right customers. Here are some common mistakes that one must avoid to effectively market a product.

Not prioritizing competitive positioning

Before planning out a marketing strategy, a company must prioritize competitive positioning. Competitive positioning refers to the place of a company in its market. It describes how the company’s products and services are different from others that occupy the same market.

This position has to be well researched and verified, because the buying process has financial risks to a company. Those making purchase decisions are exposed to many varying brand messages. As a marketer, you need to tell them exactly how and why your product is the best solution to a particular problem.

After finding out the company’s competitive position, the marketing team can use that information to determine the right audience for the product and personalize their marketing strategy to fit them.

A great example of a company that practices smart competitive positioning is the email client application Superhuman. The company has positioned itself as “the fastest email experience ever made”. They set themselves apart from competitors with features such as read receipts (or, to be exact, transparent one-pixel images embedded in every mail) which can tell you what device a mail has been opened and its rough location. So if a client has read a message in Hawaii, you would know not to disturb them during their vacation. While most email clients can give you these read receipts, the extent of detail Superhuman provides is unique to their company.

Forgetting about personalization

When you are targeting your marketing strategy to businesses as clients, you might make the mistake of thinking that all your clients are the same. This is because such a marketing strategy is meant for a smaller target group. The marketer must not consider their customers to be a homogeneous whole. While you may be selling all of them the same product, the way you market to them should be different.

Differentiating one’s strategy from others in the field is also invaluable to successful marketing. This is because a marketing strategy that fits one company may not necessarily suit another. According to a research survey by Folloze, 55% of marketers believe that marketing personalization leads to higher rates of sales conversions.

A great example of successful marketing comes from the software provider Brainshark. The company helps businesses create content for marketing and training. They use targeted messaging to get those trying the products for free to convert into paying customers.

They have increased the ads and pop-ups on their website and send those logged-in messages about the premium features they are missing out on. This has increased their registrations by 15%.

Not prioritizing user experience

In any sort of marketing, understanding user experiences and integrating them into your strategy is pivotal.

One way of gauging your client’s needs is to create an empathy map. This empathy map is made up of six main components–how does the customer think and feel, what they hear, what they see, their gain from using your product and their pain or frustration when using the product.

Customer insight combined with information from one’s development team can enable a marketer to speak the language of the client. Marketing pitches must not solely focus on the company and what the product being marketed does. Instead, a marketer must use the knowledge gained from the empathy maps to show the client what the product can do for them.

The Connected Consumer Framework (CCF) used by cloud-based platform Service Now is an example of giving the consumer experience its due recognition. Service Now is a platform made to provide digital workflow solutions to enhance a company’s productivity. CCF helps Service Now’s customers facilitate easy inter-department interaction. The initiative led Service Now to win the B2B Marketing Award for Best Customer Experience (CX) Initiative in 2020.

Ignoring one’s social media presence

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is ignoring its social media. Most businesses believe that they do not need a social media presence because they do not cater to to individual consumers. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn can help a business reach out and connect with prospective clients. Besides connecting one with clients, a high social media engagement rate can encourage clients to join one’s network so that their business can get more exposure.

When planning one’s social media content, it is pertinent to not treat the company’s social media pages as a notice board. Instead, a marketer must focus on finding the brand’s voice. This can help the brand tell compelling stories and appear more human and empathetic.

The tech company Intel’s social media plan is an example of effective social media marketing. The company engages with topical themes and creates content around them for their social media channels. For instance, on July 31 2021, Intel celebrated System Administrator Appreciation Day. They created a video appreciating the contributions of system admins in keeping things running smoothly in a work-from-home environment.

The Bottom Line

The primary goal of any business is to widen its customer base. To do so their marketing teams must curate the best strategies possible. These strategies must prioritize customer experiences, help the business separate itself from the crowd and must focus on the efficient use of social media.

A successful marketing strategy requires well-thought-out planning, execution and management. Marketing as a concept is constantly evolving, thus it is vital that marketers don’t get comfortable with the success of any particular marketing plan. Marketing teams must continually try to learn and re-work their strategies to maintain a brand’s image in the long run.

Header image courtesy of Unsplash


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