Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Marketing Plan

Kristin Andros

Kristin Andros About The Author

Sep 8, 2021 2:14:36 PM

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Marketing Plan

Inadequate marketing plans can derail your business efforts and make it difficult for you to get the results you're aiming for with your campaign. You need a comprehensive marketing strategy that incorporates a strong understanding of your target customers and future plans.  

A media partner can often prove one of your most valuable tools as you shape your marketing plan because they can help give you a better idea of the strategies, tactics, and techniques that will help you achieve your goals. Are you making these critical errors in your marketing plan? 

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Mistake #1: Forgetting to Set Goals and Track Progress  

Screen Shot 2021-09-07 at 2.12.53 PMThe first and perhaps most critical part of any strategy is establishing your goals and setting clear objectives. What are the goals you want to achieve, and how does your marketing plan address the execution of those goals? Create SMART goals for your reach, the revenue you want to accomplish from your campaign, the number of leads you hope to generate, and any other critical facets.  

Establish key performance indicators that you can use to measure your progress. Businesses often focus on the wrong KPIs: focusing on social media following, for example, instead of genuinely considering how social media following translates to leads and sales.  

Mistake #2: Marketing to a Broad, Undefined Audience  

To direct your marketing effectively, you need to know your target audience: the people you're trying to reach with your ads. Unfortunately, many businesses try to market to a vast, undefined audience. They want to get their business in front of "everyone," with little understanding of who will benefit from their services and, therefore, which they should be trying to reach.  

Missing your target audience means that marketing dollars are wasted since you're putting your ads in front of an audience with neither need nor desire for your brand. Instead, direct your marketing to a distinct, niche audience of ideal consumers. The better you understand your target audience, the better you can direct your marketing materials specific to them, tailor those materials to their needs, and show them the solutions your business can offer.  

Mistake #3: Inconsistent Marketing Efforts   

Marketing should not be a temporary or one-time effort. All too often, businesses fall into the trap of assuming that they can bring out their marketing during peak seasons or when they have specific changes, like new products or locations, to announce. In reality, however, marketing is an ongoing process.  

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Consistency is critical for your branding and overall awareness of what you have to offer. While you may want to put out specific ads or promotions around essential times and seasons, it's equally valuable to produce marketing materials throughout the year. Some of the biggest problems with marketing campaigns occur because the business has no schedule or direction. Don’t make the mistake of not having advance plans or decided tactics that will direct your campaign, hold it together, and ensure it fits your brand identity. 

In addition to marketing regularly, you also need to put together consistent marketing that meets your specific brand standards. You need to use the same logos, colors, tone, and identity every time you communicate with your customers. A lack of consistency is jarring and frustrating--and could cause customers to turn away from your brand. 

Mistake #4: Advertising Too Late  

Not advertising on time can be a significant disadvantage for your business. Unfortunately, all too many companies plan their seasonal or holiday marketing far too late. They might start their campaigns long after other companies have already captured consumer attention or fail to pull together a cohesive marketing plan in time for the season, which can result in an overall lack of results.  

Instead, campaigns should be carefully planned and implemented with sales and new products lined up well in advance. Ideally, you should have your marketing schedule planned out months in advance. While agility is critical, having a plan in place can make it easier for you to address any challenges that might crop up. 

Mistake #5: Neglecting to Market to Your Existing Customers  

Screen Shot 2021-09-07 at 2.13.13 PMThe odds of selling to an existing customer hover around 60-70%. The odds of selling to a new customer, on the other hand, is just 5-20%, depending on your industry and your customers. Furthermore, around 80% of your future customers will come from about 20% of your current customer base--and repeat customers are likely to spend more with your business than first-time customers. Repeat, and existing customers matter! It costs considerably less to advertise to existing customers--and go the extra mile to keep their business--than it does to acquire new ones. 

Stay on Track With Consistent Marketing That Nurtures and Converts 

As part of your marketing plans, make sure you continue to nurture relationships with your existing customers. Consider top, middle, and bottom of the funnel outcomes.  

Marketing has many facets and working parts. Failure to have a strong strategy, however, can waste considerable time and money. Working with a media partner can help get you on track and ensure that you don't make these dangerous mistakes that can interfere with your success. 

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