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7 common mistakes to avoid while devising a marketing plan

Team YS
28th Apr 2017
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The advent of online marketing is a two-faced phenomenon for businesses. On the one hand, it allows them to reach out to vast audiences through channels like social media and emails. On the other, it has cultivated an extremely competitive environment as brands, no matter how big or small, now have a level footing as they attempt to capture the largest share of the customer pie. This has necessitated brands to come up with innovative marketing plans that stand out in the sea of information flooding the internet. Marketers, being in one of the most promising careers of today, have a difficult task ahead of them. If you count yourself among them and are currently attempting to come up with an effective marketing plan for your brand, here are seven mistakes you need to avoid at all costs.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

Imitating competitors

While creating their marketing plans, most brands often take the easy route and copy whatever their competitors are doing. They think that since it worked for their rivals, it'll work for them. But this is the wrong way to go about marketing. A brand should define a clear unique selling proposition (USP) that sets them apart from their competitors. This USP should then be an integral part of all your marketing efforts and should convince potential customers to choose your brand over all the alternatives available to them.

Lack of customer research

A thorough customer research is mandatory if you want to create a marketing plan that's effective. It involves determining your ideal customer's pain points, which demographic they fall under, and the best way to reach them. Guesswork in this matter will never play out to your benefit. You need to figure out exactly who you want as customers, what their problems are and how you can solve them, where they spend most of their time (choosing the right social media channel), and which kind of content resonates most with them.

Not testing and analysing campaign performance

Just creating a marketing plan and implementing it isn't the end of the road. Testing and analysing campaign performances is a crucial part of marketing. Brands need to test how their customers are responding to their marketing efforts and what can be done to improve engagement. Also, A/B testing needs to be done before the campaign launch in order to maximise its impact. Get user feedback from your potential customers to understand the what, why, and how of their wants and needs.

Not targeting repeat customers

Repeat customers are invaluable for a business. Research shows that they are likely to spend three to 15 percent more than new customers. They also have a conversion rate of 60 to 70 percent compared to five to 20 percent for new customers. Marketing to previous customers, then, is easier and more profitable for brands. Direct marketing, especially through emails, is one of the best ways to get repeat business from your customers.

Focusing on a broad target audience

Marketers often target a broad audience that encompasses all those people who are likely to use their brand's product or service. But targeting a wide demographic dilutes the message and makes it hard to engage the audience with content that may not even be relevant to most of them. Instead, marketers need to create a specific customer profile and devise a marketing plan that would be most effective for them. This involves figuring out their most important customers' place in the buyer's journey and then creating directional messages with the content, copy, and calls-to-actions that are most likely to succeed.

Aiming for multiple outcomes

A marketing plan that attempts to elicit multiple outcomes from its target audience is doomed to fail. Marketers should not try to increase engagement, acquire leads, and drive sales all from one campaign. It's better practice to narrow down on one objective and then tailor your marketing plan to achieve that and only that. With the attention span of internet users dropping day by day, it's crucial to not overwhelm them with your marketing efforts. The message they see should be precise and should require them to take only one (clearly indicated) action.

Not providing anything of value

With a growing aversion of advertisements taking over the internet users of today, brands need to find innovative ways to market to their potential customers. Traditional advertisements that are geared towards promoting your brand and selling its product to an audience no longer work. Brands should instead aim to educate, entertain, and engage their audience with relevant content. Gaining awareness and trust among its target audience is vital for a brand if its marketing plan is to succeed. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 80/20 rule which states that 80 percent of the content you create should be targeted towards your audience while only 20 percent should promote your brand.

As you can see from what's been mentioned above, devising an effective marketing plan is a tedious process that requires a lot of time and effort. And even then, there are chances that it may not have the desired outcome. But that's what life as a marketer is. The only thing you can do is learn from your failures and keep trying and trying until getting it right becomes second nature to you.

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