5 Marketing Mistakes Your Business Is Making

Dude. You’re doing it wrong. Brash, I know … but the truth hurts. Your business has some marketing failures. I’ve been on your websites and social media profiles. I’ve seen your print collateral. Or worst of all, I’ve not seen anything and I don’t even know you exist!

We could all gather around, point our fingers and laugh at your utter failure, but we’re not going to do that. We are about building up. Not tearing down. Don’t feel bad if you find your “marketing self” on the following list. Today is a day of redemption! It’s not too late to turn the beat around as Gloria Estefan so wonderfully sang. That song will not leave your head for the rest of the day. You are welcome.

1. No strategy – What’s the plan, man?

If your business has a website, brochures and a bolded phone book listing, that’s not a marketing plan. Also, if you heard Joe Bob’s Fantastic World of Carpets had some success with Google Adwords or you got Wreck-it Ralph’s Auto Repair direct mail piece and decided to give it a go, that’s not a plan.

If you have no goal, you will not hit it. The World Cup is happening right now. It would be pretty useless for the teams to kick around the old fútbol without any goals. Nobody wins! Your customer won’t know you can meet their need and you won’t have any customers.

How do you formulate a plan that works? Know yourself, your brand promise and your customer. Once you understand who you and where you are going, you can get there. This will allow you to stay focused on the marketing that will work for you.

2. No call to action – Give them something to do.

Websites, brochures and all other marketing tactics are great, but if your potential customers do not respond it is pretty much a big waste of time and money. That is why a clear call to action on all your marketing materials is essential.

Many businesses are focused on what they want to tell the customer about themselves. “Oooo, look at the pretty pictures and the fancy artwork!” Yeah, that’s great and all, but in reality you want the customer to take action by purchasing your product, contacting you, signing up for your email list,etc. Make an offer that they cannot refuse. For instance you could have something like this on your pet care website:

“5 Tips to Keep Your Cat From Murdering You in Your Sleep” – Fill in your email to download now.

Sorry, I don’t actually have that whitepaper for you to download. This call to action gives the customer some useful information (you never can be too safe) and it gives you their contact information for future marketing correspondence.  A CTA works best when it’s paired with something people actually need or want, and that goes back to your plan.

3. No engagement – It’s called “social” for a reason.

Reminder: so•cial [soh-shuh l] – pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations.

Did you catch that? Devoted to friendly relations. If you want your social media to be successful stick with it and make friends. Who doesn’t like friends? He who wants friends should be friendly. Being friendly, in case you forgot, is having conversations with people, encouraging them, helping them out.

Social media is necessary part of your overall marketing efforts in today’s connected business environment. The key is to find the right social media platform for your business and be devoted to it. Social Media is not a fix it and forget it tool. You do need to fix it, though. Fix it and friend others.

4. No content – You’re the expert … let the world know.

If you had the wherewithal to start a business then you hopefully know something about what you are doing with your life. Knowledge is power, my friends. Sharing not only helps others, but it will make you feel good inside, too. Yay!

Maybe you do not have the literary skills of Shakespeare, but that’s not required. What is required is the ability to provide good answers to questions that your customers are asking. There are many outlets to produce content that connects with people: blog posts, infographics, video or a combination of all of those.

If you really struggle with creating content, find someone to help you out. You are still the source of knowledge. It’s always best to come from the originator, if at all possible.

5. No personality – If you’re happy and you know it, tell your face.

Generally speaking people want to be happy and if you can help make them that way it’s a good thing. Be yourself in your marketing efforts. Not all companies should follow in the footsteps of the goofy Old Spice or GoDaddy campaigns. Once again, know yourself and then be yourself.

Being in business should make you happy and if it does not find something else to do. We all have to choose how we face each day. We can address it with a smile on our face or with something else entirely that will not help anyone. Smiling literally will affect your mood for the positive and that should be carried out in your marketing tactics.

Make others happy with your message. You choose.

A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose. – Tom Wilson

You can do it! Tweak these marketing issues and you’ll see good things happen. Let me know what you think. What other marketing problems have you seen that need to be fixed?


About the Author


Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.

Follow Mark: