5 Biggest Marketing Mistakes that (Might) Kill Your Business

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Marketing Client Service ImageMarketing is one of the greatest tools in your business arsenal but is the most often overlooked. So what are the 5 biggest marketing mistakes that (might) kill your business?

Marketing is not an expense to be borne or a cost to avoid, it is a tool to be used to achieve business and revenue growth and increase your business valuation.  But many businesses are wasting their share of the $45billion Australian companies invest annually in marketing* by making these five mistakes:

1. Failing to link marketing strategy to business strategy

All too often when we talk to businesses, we discover that the marketing team works independently from the rest of the executive team.  This creates a disconnect between the marketing function and business objectives.  For example, if the CEO’s strategy is to achieve 20% growth via greater margins but the marketing team is planning is to achieve 15% growth via greater turnover, your business is set up to fail at the outset.

2. When the going gets tough, you revert back to tactics

When it comes to executing a marketing strategy, it can be difficult to stay focused. Unfortunately, like all good things, embedding your business position and establishing a marketing strategy doesn’t happen over night.  This is where we see businesses reverting to tactics.  While a business position may take three to six months to develop, a website can be assembled in a little over three weeks and provides a ‘quick win’.  However, a new website is not a strategy and will do little to drive revenue and profit growth. Remaining focused and making tactical decisions based on your strategy will ensure marketing ROIs are achieved and the whole-of-business sees the benefits.

 3. Missing the measures of success

You have a plan, you know your tactics, but there is no accountability or measure of outcomes Interestingly, 80% of business owners don’t believe that marketing can be measured*, which brings into question why they would invest in this part of their business. There are, however, numerous tools for tracking marketing activities and determining both the cost of sale and ROI. From complex CRM systems and marketing automation tools, through to simple coupon codes, there is a way of measuring marketing to suit all businesses.

4. Assumptions remain assumptions because the logic isn’t tested

A sure-fire way of ensuring your business fails is to make assumptions when preparing your strategy and then fail to test your logic.  Assumptions are valuable in developing a strategy; however, they must be based on research:

  • Sector Insights – what’s going on in your sector?
  • Customer Insights – what’s happen for your clients today?
  • Customer Foresights – what problems can you help your client solve to keep them competitive?
  • Competitor Insights – what are you competitors doing today?
  • Competitor Foresights – what are your competitors looking at to gain advantage?

By recording assumptions and comparing them to real events, you will be able to quickly see where your strategy is failing to achieve results and will be able to make the necessary adjustments.

5. If something doesn’t work – try something new

We are not suggesting that if something doesn’t work you simply keep trying it until it does.  What we ARE suggesting is that after you have given a tactic or strategy a reasonable run, work out WHY it didn’t work.  When you determine why something doesn’t work, the analysis will often lead you to what will.

BONUS MISTAKE: Thinking marketing is not strategic

The biggest marketing mistake of all is thinking that marketing is not strategic.  We speak to many business owners and CEOs who see marketing as a tactical cost centre, just a line on their P&L.  The marketing “strategy” in these companies often consists of a website, a brochure, a Facebook page and a set of business cards.  These CEOs and business owners make up a significant part of the 80% who believe that marketing doesn’t work and can’t be measured*.  The 9 Strategic team enjoys meeting these CEOs and business owners so that we can show them that marketing can be strategic, why it should be led from the top, and exactly how much it can contribute to business and revenue growth.

Find out how 9 Strategic can help your company avoid making these mistakes.  Benchmark your own marketing performance in our next Strategic Marketing Review.  Call 1300 799 349 to find out when the next Review will be held in your area.