With any experts, if you ask a bunch of Marketers what the most common marketing mistakes are, you’ll get a lot of answers. But there’ll be a few that keep coming up.

Here are some of the ones I’ve noticed. I’ve broken them into 3 areas – Audience, Strategy and Systems.

Remember your audience

talking about nothing interesting

Talking to our selves

We all know what we should talk to our customers. Too often, though, we’re talking too ourselves. Is your marketing (and website) filled with “I”, or “we”?
Is it all just a description of what you’re selling?

Like at a dinner party – keep the conversation going back to the other person, don’t just talk about yourself.

So ... who are you talking to?

Which means you need to be able to answer “who is the other person”? What product would interest a stereotypical accountant, electrician and yoga instructor probably isn’t the same thing.

If you want to work with them, you need to look in different places. (Probably not very many yoga instructors sign up for the Master Electricians Australia industry magazine.)

And if you want them to buy in, you probably need to talk in different language. The CFO might not respond well to the same things that fire up the yoga instructor – and vice versa. 

Talking to them in the same way would be a marketing mistake.

They’re listening through different ears and motivated by different incentives.

That old WII-FM...

5 letters to always keep in mind when writing any content, any advert – anything in marketing, really. WII-FM… What’s In It – For Me?

And in this case “me”, is “my reader”.  What exactly will they get from this thing you just madesent them?

If they can’t quickly see this, they’ll just as quickly move on.

Lesson: Talk with your customers about things that engage and interest them.

Your Big-Picture

Strategy by “the guy at the pub said it worked for him”

Marketing has a zillion things you can do. And nearly that many people preaching each of them. And most of them work – for a given person, at a given time.

Just because Aunt Jane’s business doubled sales by going into Instagram, that doesn’t mean yours will. And that guy at the pub whose business took after advertising in the Yankee Brew News was probably genuine – but is that where your customers are?

Not knowing why you’re doing it

More than once, I’ve asked clients why they want to do a strategy. The answer is often “I don’t know”, “everyone else is”, or “why not?”

If you can’t say where something fits into your overall marketing plan, you’re just throwing darts blindly. Sometimes they hit – but I wouldn’t rely on it.

There are better ways to spend time and money.

If you build it they will come, tomorrow

Content Marketers tell us that if we create lots of good content, we’ll be buried in sales. They have a point. But there’s more to it than that. People need to know about that content. Showing up in search is good, but it’s not always instant. You need to promote, too.

Lesson: Know what you want, how you're going to get it, and be realistic about the timeframe.


And when they do come ... then what?

So you managed to get thousands of extra website visitors this week. Awesome! Now what?

Are they pouring into a process that will help them understand if they need to buy your service and guides them to buy? Or are they just thinking “nice website” and wandering off again?

Do you really know what's happening?

Wrap a blindfold around your head and walk around for a few minutes. Fumbling, with distractions, bumps and confusion. How likely are you to end up where you wanted to go?

This is what you’re doing if you’re not measuring your campaigns and funnels – at each stage.

Lesson: If you’re guessing blindly about where you’re going, with whom, how you’re getting there, and don’t know if you did even get there or where you went wrong … does that sound like a recipe for success?

It's just the beginning

​Avoiding these common marketing mistakes is a good start.  But it's not everything you need.

There are lots of other things that are important.  We haven't touched on SEO, Brand Management, technology or many other important things.

But get the basics in place first...