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Common Marketing Mistakes

When a firm lacks a well-thought-out marketing plan and takes a scattershot approach instead, the result can be a number of costly mistakes. I thought I’d share with you the most common marketing and PR mistakes that I see firms make and the reasons why.

Spending a small fortune on a website that doesn’t engage the visitor

Why this happens:
•    No clear marketing messages: benefits are buried in the copy.
•    Poor design: cluttered and confusing, with too much copy.
•    No clear call to action like “call for a consult” or “sign up for my free report.”
•    No search engine optimization (SEO) to rank high on Google (see exception below!).

Paying a high monthly premium for SEO that generates leads from the wrong type of client
Why this happens:
Ranking high on Google can be an ego thing. It makes sense to spend on SEO services if your ideal clients often find you through a Google search. But if the calls you get from the Internet are not from caliber of client you’re targeting, it makes little sense to put valuable marketing dollars into this pot.

Commissioning a pricey brochure that just sits in boxes in a closet
Why this happens:
Often the target audience or marketing direction was not in clear focus when the marketing piece was created. The piece may not be appropriate for a firm’s needs: too big, too bulky, or too long. Including employee names is a surefire way to quickly outdate a brochure (they might leave!).

Paying thousands of dollars for a press release that produces no results
Why this happens:  
•    Topic is not interesting to the target market.
•    It’s a “one-off’ and not part of an integrated PR strategy of interviews, guest columns, articles, and panels.
•    Relying on the target audience to see the release and not pushing it out across all marketing outlets: social media, email blast, on your website.

Have you made any of these mistakes??
The primary reason why firms make these marketing mistakes is because they did not establish a foundation beforehand. The following questions are key to any well-thought-out marketing plan: Who is your target market? What are the key marketing messages that resonate with that target market? What are the best tools to convey those messages? Who are the experts that can do that for you?