Marketing is often seen as a support and not a strategic function. These are some of the common things we see happening, when marketing takes a supporting role, that lead to companies wasting time, effort and money.
1. Not starting with the customer
So many poor decisions in marketing stem from the underlying problem of not having ‘understood’ who your customers really are and what drives them to make decisions to buy products and services like yours. If you really understand your customers and what makes them tick, then you will make sure that what you make or offer, how it is delivered and serviced really hits the mark. It will also make communicating it much easier as your creative agencies will have the insight they need for their messages to really resonate.
2. Looking across at competitors
Looking across at your competitors and saying ‘look what they are doing – we need to do some of that’. Unless you know the needs of your customers you might be embarking on an expensive strategy that ‘nobody cares’ about – least of all your customers. Competitor reviews should always be conducted within the context of knowing what your customers want. Only then can they tell you what you have that is truly differentiating and what your competitors have that you should.
3. Sales teams hiding behind marketing
We see so many organisations whose sales teams are all powerful in directing marketing to produce reams of collaterals and campaigns to help support their sales effort. The majority of the time this is misguided effort and if marketing is being used as a crutch in the sales process then it is more likely that you haven’t got the right people with the right skills in your sales team. An example might be a ‘credentials presentation’ that you can leave behind to be shared with other decision makers in the company. If you have the sales people with the right skills they will be making sure the right decision makers are in that meeting in the first place and don’t need a credentials presentation to try and buy-in distant decision makers.
4. Chasing NEW leads
Spending all your marketing budget on trying to generate leads from cold. Your most powerful marketing resource is your existing prospects and customers. Marketing shouldn’t just stop at the point you have generated a lead but is crucial as the prospect buys from you (to make sure they don’t drop out) and becomes a customer. Your best source of warm, engaged leads should come from your customer base and this only happens if you invest time, effort and resource to communicate with them effectively. A quick question – has your website been designed with your existing customers in mind? Or purely to talk to new prospects?...
5. Not being integrated
Marketing is separate from sales, is separate from product development, is separate from customer service etc. Operating in silos will result in a disjointed proposition that creates a disjointed customer experience, and this will leave you having to win lots of new clients to sustain your profitability – because you are not getting enough from your existing customers or prospects. Marketing is about really understanding the customer and making sure every interaction has a purpose and is connected. This also goes for running campaigns – the messages that you have in advertising, need to be consistent with what is on your website, with what your sales staff say and how your customer service teams behave. If not you have disconnect and disconnect means you are wasting time, effort and money.