The year is halfway over (when did that happen!?). Just a few months ago we were all armed with new strategies, ready to tackle a new year. As the year goes on, it's not uncommon to lose site of your goals when day to day tasks often take priority. We've all had to deal with that pile of stuff that randomly shows up on our desk, that project that spontaneously catches fire (hopefully not literally). It throws off your game plan for the entire week and you default into survival mode.
Once you've extinguished that fire, it's a good time to block off time on your calendar to evaluate how your marketing strategy is progressing. Analyze the KPIs related to your goals. What has done well and what hasn't? There are parts of your strategy that are doing well, and some that have gone off-track. Now is the time to regroup and course-correct the pieces of your strategy that aren't progressing as expected.
Before you can course-correct, you must understand the root of why a certain piece of your strategy is under performing. Here is a list of the common marketing mistakes in 2017 and how to fix them.
1. Not aligning your sales and marketing teams
In traditional business settings, sales and marketing are separate teams working toward the same goal of producing revenue for the company. All too often, these teams take different routes to get there, resulting in counterproductive work by both teams.
How to fix it: Adopt a smarketing approach. The term smarketing has emerged as a way to describe sales and marketing alignment. When sales and marketing teams are integrated, they produce up to 20% more annual revenue growth. Implementing a smarketing strategy within your own business is fairly simple and straightforward.
2. Not having a plan on how to convert leads.
Your company's website should be a lead generating tool. A common misconception is that placing a few "Contact Us" links on your website will serve as an adequate CTA. Instead, marketers should use a more strategic approach.
You should have a defined plan on how you will get leads to your website, how they will progress through the funnel, and eventually convert into a customer.
How to fix it: Map out a plan to get leads from point A to point B on your website.
3. Not personalizing your marketing efforts
Marketers should never take a one size fits all approach. It's a great way for your marketing efforts to be ignored because the recipient often feels that the message does not have their needs in mind.
The marketing automation options available today make personalization incredibly easy. Ideally your marketing efforts should personalize by interest, need, goal, or purchase history.
How to fix it: Utilize a CRM that stores contact data, tracks page views on your site, automates emails when certain criteria are met, and integrates with your email platform.
4. Ignoring the way people search
SEO standards are constantly changing and digital marketers are always trying to predict their next move. Google and other search engines frequently alter their algorithms in order to continually provide users with quality search results. Failing to monitor these changes will likely hurt your company's ranking in SERPs.
How to fix it: Continue monitoring and optimizing your website to meet current SEO standards.
5. Trying to appeal to anyone and everyone
Trying to appeal to all audiences creates a lot of advertising waste. Different groups of people prefer to communicate via different media, respond to messaging differently, and have different goals. Mass messaging only appeals to a small group and is largely ignored by the rest of the audience.
How to fix it: Create buyer personas. They are fictional representations of customers and potential customers. They serve as a guide to help marketers tailor content, messaging, product development, and services to the needs and behaviors of the audience they want to reach. According to Forbes, buyer personas make your message stronger because understanding your ideal buyer allows the message to be delivered in a language and via a medium preferred by your target.
6. Setting unrealistic goals
You can set a goal of having the most Instagram followers in the history of the world, but let's be honest. That is not a realistic goal and chances are you're going to fail. Some people set goals for their business that sound good on paper, but when it comes down to executing the steps needed to attain the goal, it's just not realistic.
How to fix it: Use the SMART goals methodology. Your goal should be reachable and practical. Think about your resources and make sure you have the ability and bandwidth to reach it.
Now that you have an understanding of where your campaign got off track, it's time to create an action plan to reach your goals. Now you can avoid the most common marketing mistakes of 2017!