We all love reading about marketing mistakes as long as they aren’t our own. Not only do these tales make us say, “Whew! Glad that wasn’t me!” But we also learn from them. Here are five real-life mistakes and how the marketers fixed them. Learn from their experience!
1. Tapping into the wrong motivation.
One nonprofit tried to increase fundraising by creating a friendly competition to motivate donors to compete and out-give one another. The campaign was a total failure. In the nonprofit world, donors give, not out of competition but out of the desire to make the world a better place. The nonprofit relaunched the campaign, removing the competitive element, and made it an appeal to the greater good. Success! Understand your audience’s motivations before you launch any campaign.
2. Getting your audience wrong.
Who’s your audience? It’s not always the people to whom you have marketed in the past. One business rested on past assumptions, totally misjudged its target audience, and the campaign flopped—massively. The lesson? Continually question your beliefs about your audience and how to stay relevant. Use A/B testing. Try new things. Bring new eyes onto your projects. Never rest on past success.
2. Sending multiple “personalized” communications to the same person.
Personalized communications are a powerful tool, but if you do what one marketer did—send five communications to the same person in the same week—that value deteriorates fast. Remove duplicates from your marketing database and set up checks and balances to ensure that you aren’t oversaturating your audience.
3. Neglecting customer retention in favor of lead gen.
Lead generation is critical to your marketing strategy, but your best customers are often your existing ones. Invest in retaining and growing your existing customer base. Otherwise, you can overlook your most profitable market.
5. Thinking customers will become brand advocates simply because they like your product.
Customers don’t turn into brand advocates all by themselves. If they love your products, they will become brand advocates, but you have to nurture that relationship well beyond the sale. Develop ways to actively engage with customers on various platforms, from newsletters to social media, from email to review sites, and even to in-person at events. Investing in ongoing relationships will reap benefits long term.
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