Viva’s Blog: 8 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

Viva’s Blog: 8 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2017 

‘Tis the season for resolutions. Which of these 8 marketing mistakes do you resolve to avoid in 2017?

Mistake #1: Focusing on your product.
It’s not about what you’re selling but rather the job you’re doing for your customers. Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor extraordinaire and author of multiple business best-sellers, believes that the secret to winning the innovation game is for executives to ask: What job would consumers want to hire a product to do? As Christensen explains, “When we buy a product, we essentially ‘hire’ something to get a job done. If it does the job well, when we are confronted with the same job, we hire that same product again. And if the product does a crummy job, we ‘fire’ it and look around for something else we might hire to solve the problem.”

What job are customers hiring you to do?

Mistake #2: Focusing on new content.
Ok, so developing fresh, engaging and provocative content is important but so is using and repurposing the content. In fact, a robust content distribution strategy can do a lot more for a brand than a couple of new pieces of original content.

For every new piece of content developed, do you have a checklist (that’s automated, I hope!) to post pieces and parts of that content on the appropriate digital sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.? Do your sales people know when new content is available and have you provided them with suggested copy for prospect and customer emails they can send with the content?

Mistake #3: Creating a new logo.
I understand, you’re jealous. You see glossy marketing materials from competitors and they all seem to have something you don’t – a contemporary, cool logo. However, logo envy is a deadly distraction.

Developing a new logo requires a lot of time and money. Instead of spending time on your business, you’re spending time debating shapes and color. Unless changing your logo will improve the customer experience, don’t do it.


Mistake #4: Having separate marketing and sales departments.
I cringe when people ask me if we work with the marketing or sales side of a business. Sales and marketing don’t belong on separate sides. Picture this: you visit a company’s website and read about their products. You want to learn more so you ask to speak with a salesperson. The salesperson shares a different message from what you read. How does that make you feel about the brand?

Sales and marketing need to be joined at the hip. “Sales and marketing alignment” is a buzzphrase you’ll be hearing in the halls of savvy businesses in 2017.

Mistake #5: Doing what you did last year.   
Have you received a gift from this season? The upscale retailer is testing an e-gifting platform, which helps set it apart from rivals and win over last-minute shoppers looking for convenience. What’s the new twist to electronic gift-giving?

This year, select Nordstrom customers can email gifts to people on their holiday lists who then have three options: 1) they can accept the items that appear in their inbox and have them shipped to the location of their choice, 2) they can exchange the merchandise for something else, or 3) they can accept the value as a gift card. Nordstrom’s new approach results in both more happy customers and fewer returns.

Mistake #6: Focusing on the desktop version of your website.
Internet traffic is now coming more from mobile devices than desktops. If you’re not catering your content, ads, and online experience to a mobile user, then you are missing a massive opportunity. In fact, this holiday season, 76% of Amazon’s customers shopped via a mobile device.

With smartphones in their pockets, your customers are always on. And, you need to be where they are. That’s why Google and any brand that wants to survive the next year has a “mobile first” strategy.

Mistake #7: Developing a marketing plan without conducting customer research.
We’re flooded with inquiries from companies after they’ve hired top-notch marketing organizations to implement multi-million dollar ad campaigns. Why are they calling? Results are disappointing.

Often, the agency’s implementation is spot-on. That’s not the problem. The issue is that the plans were developed without consulting with the customer. How do you know what to say in your ad or which marketing tool is most effective without asking the recipient?

Mistake #8: Measuring everything.
Too many executives rely on metrics that look good in a report but don’t relate to an organization’s goals. Pick metrics that are easy to understand and use, are available on a regular basis for comparison purposes, and provide actionable information. Help your team focus. Less is more.

Make it a great 2017. Avoid all of these marketing mistakes! 


Laura Sheridan
Laura Sheridan, Founder & President of Viva La Brand has a proven track record of effective branding and advertising, spanning over twenty five years with some of the best in the business: Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago; Hill, Holliday and Polaroid in Boston; and, Progressive Insurance and Viva La Brand in Cleveland. Laura founded Viva La Brand to offer large and small organizations alike strategic marketing expertise to catapult their visibility, growth and profitability. Viva La Brand develops effective brand strategies and conducts ad agency searches that successfully match clients with the optimal ad agency partners. Laura is proud to work with smart, innovative leader Brands in a wide range of industries from health care to manufacturing to technology and financial services. In addition to her work with clients, Laura is an author and speaker on all topics related to Brand.
More articles by: Laura Sheridan
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