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    08/31/2023 |

    10 of the Most Common Mistakes Companies Are Making With Their Marketing

    It’s the dog days of summer and your CEO just rolled into your office complaining about the general lack of leads the company is getting. Ouch!

    You tried to explain to her how everyone is on vacation.

    It’s a reasonable explanation, but in a couple of weeks that’s not going to fly, and if you don’t figure out what you could be doing better, you’re in for a long and painful rest of the year.

    Not to worry. It’s likely you’re making some of the same mistakes we see from companies every day. Here are the mistakes most of your peers are marking and how to fix them quickly.

    Mistake 1 – You Jumped Into the Tactics Without a Strategy

    It’s the most common mistake. You started working on the tactics like email marketing, video, website updates, content marketing and social media without digging into the company’s strategy.

    You might have some persona work done, so you know who you want to attract, but do you know their pains? Do you know how to get their attention? Do you know what to say to them to get them emotionally connected to your company? Do you know what questions they have related to your products and/or services?

    If the answer is no to even one of these questions, you need to go back to the strategy work and get a solid plan in place before you continue working on executing even one of these tactics.

    Mistake 2 – Your Story Is Bland and Boring

    Look at the headline on your website, then look at the headlines of your two biggest competitors. Do they say the same thing or something similar? Worse, are your competitors saying something more compelling than you? Is it clear in 10 seconds what your company does, how you do it and why you’re better?

    If the answer is yes, yes and no, then you’re wasting all your time, energy and money marketing a horribly bland story to people who have no reason to care about you or your products or services.

    If you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t say anything at all.

    You need an emotional, compelling and potentially disruptive story to get people interested in engaging with your business. It’s the holy grail of marketing, and almost no one has this or spends any time developing it.

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    Mistake 3 – Your Website Is an Online Brochure

    Since you’re on your website, click around and see if you have any educational content available for download on the major pages. No? This means you have an online brochure.

    People want information. They crave it when they’re ready to buy, and if your website doesn’t provide a lot of educational content that people can download, consume and share, you’re missing a major element of a solid marketing effort.

    Every website should have educational content in a variety of formats so that people can continue to get educated. These educational offers are critical to converting visitors into leads.

    Just to be clear, these are not offers to get a quote, contact your team, speak with a rep or schedule a call. These are real educational pieces, like a tip sheet, whitepaper, video or webinar. They are educational in nature.

    Without these, you’ll never have a lead generation machine for your company.

    Mistake 4 – You Don’t Know Your Prospects’ Buyer Journeys Well Enough

    If you want to design marketing campaigns and execute marketing tactics that produce results, you’re going to have to get to know your prospects’ buyer journeys inside and out.

    Typically, this means mapping every single touch point along the way, including:

    • Marketing touches like your website and email campaigns
    • Sales touches like email templates, sales tools and sales videos
    • Customer service touches like service follow-ups, email responses and educational resources

    The better you design a remarkable experience at each and every touch point, the more leads you’ll generate, the more sales opportunities you’ll create and the faster your revenue will grow.

    Mistake 5 – You Haven’t Optimized ALL the Sources of New Visitors for Your Website

    Most people just work on one area of new visitors for their website – organic search engine optimization (SEO). But there are actually six legitimate sources of new visitors, and you should be working to optimize visitors from all of these.

    In addition to organic search engine optimization, the remaining six areas for visitors include:

    1. Email marketing: The better your email campaigns, the more visitors you’ll have on your site.

    2. Social media: This is called organic social. The better your social posts, the more engaging your social feeds and the more social platforms you work to optimize, the more visitors you’ll get to your site.

    3. Paid social media advertising: Paid social ads are placed in front of people who match your targeted persona and are on social media platforms. Instead of them finding your content by accident, you’re paying the social platforms to serve up your ads to get their attention and get them back to your site.

    4. Paid search advertising: Like social, people are looking for companies like yours, and you should show up during these searches. Unfortunately, ranking highly here takes time. To cut the line, you can buy paid search ads that get you visibility when people are searching, even if you don’t show up organically.

    5. Referring websites: This is when you find websites that your prospects are on and strategically place links to your site. Sometimes these are referred to as backlinks. These sites should be perfectly aligned with the type of people you want to find you and land on your site.  

    6. Direct traffic: This is usually when people put your domain into the URL bar at the top of the browser and come to your site directly, without any stops along the way, like a Google search page or a social media page. Google also uses direct traffic for sources that can’t be categorized into any of the other areas, so this number isn’t always 100% accurate.

    Don’t make the mistake of only working on one of these sources. Instead, work to get all of them to drive new people to your site month over month.

    Mistake 6 – You’re Not Properly Nurturing Your Leads

    Now that you’re getting more leads from your website, you’ll have to nurture them. Most of them won’t be ready to buy, and you’ll have to remind them or continue the conversation even after they leave your site. 

    This is called lead nurturing, and it can be automatically set up to send highly personalized emails to your new leads. If you do this correctly, you can move them through their buyer journey and encourage them to signal you along the way.

    You should continue to offer them additional educational content down and into their buyer journey so that they get more comfortable with you and your company.

    Do this well and you’ll turn leads into sales opportunities quickly and in a 100% automated way.

    Mistake 7 – You’re ONLY Running Inbound Campaigns

    A decade ago, we only ran inbound marketing campaigns for clients. That worked well then, but today people have different buying habits, consume information differently and are executing more chaotic buyer journeys.

    That’s why you should be running a blend of different campaigns. The exact mix of these campaigns is going to be different for every company, and we’re happy to sit down with you and help you figure this out.

    But demand generation, account-based marketing (ABM), customer cross-sell/upsell and customer advocacy campaigns are all critical to drive revenue in today’s competitive environment.

    Mistake 8 – You’re Not Marketing to Your Current Customers

    Speaking of customer campaigns, most companies are not marketing to their current customers, and it’s a big mistake. These people already like you, or else they wouldn’t be customers. They have already chosen you over your competitors, and assuming you’re doing a good job, they should be open to buying more and buying different products/services from you.

    When surveyed, most customers don’t know that their favorite companies offer more than they currently purchase. This should never be the case. Make sure you market to your customers as much as you market to your prospects.

    Download Tip Sheet: 6 Strategies To Generate Revenue In 2021 From Your Current Customers

    Mistake 9 – You’re Not Working Closely Enough With Sales

    Your prospects don’t care about the differences you have inside your company. They don’t care that marketing hates sales and sales hates marketing.

    One of the major mistakes is thinking revenue generation is done with two different departments and two different processes. It’s not.

    Your prospects want a great experience with your marketing, a great experience when they talk to sales and an even better experience once they become a customer.

    This means aligning marketing, sales and customer service into one team – a revenue team. This is going to transform how you think about generating leads, creating new sales opportunities and turning those opportunities into new customers. 

    Mistake 10 – You’re Not Doing Any Analytics or Tracking

    The last mistake we’ll talk about today is a widespread lack of tracking and analysis. Every area of marketing should be measured, tracked over time and optimized to improve performance.

    Every aspect of marketing should be measured and reported on. Every area of marketing should have ongoing optimization to improve performance as part of the execution. You should have 100% visibility into the key metrics and ongoing quantitative performance associated with marketing.

    This mistake is easily fixed with a scorecard, dashboards and a marketing automation/CRM platform that makes it easy to get data out of the system. Keep in mind that scorecards, dashboards and data are not the endgame.

    You are really looking for insights buried in that data so that your action plan can be data driven and more scientific. This too is going to lift your performance and get you closer to your goals.

    A lot of mistakes are being made in marketing today. It’s not your fault or your team’s fault. Marketing has changed dramatically over the last few years, and what worked in 2020 isn’t working in 2023. 

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist headshot
    CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

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