In this new world of social-distancing and other preventive measures, the way we conduct business has been changed for the foreseeable future. No one knows what that means for the long-term, but, at the very least, companies need to take a deep breath and focus on how to adjust their marketing strategies.

Regardless of current events, having an effective marketing plan is vital to growing and retaining business. SMART goals should be the cornerstone of every marketing strategy. (A SMART goal is used to help guide goal setting; SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.) More on this topic later.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at three marketing mistakes that could be negatively impacting your business’ bottom line.

  1. Not having a solid marketing plan.

All businesses, regardless of size, should have a documented and organized strategic plan for their marketing initiatives. Unfortunately, many companies tend to put this task on the “back burner.” Even those who have a plan may not designate a primary point person or committee with authority to make marketing decisions. This inaction can lead to wasted and misguided efforts if too many people within the organization can make marketing decisions on a whim.

For example, if vendors can call on anyone within the company, and the company has not communicated a policy about who has the authority to vet marketing-related products, the results can be disastrous! The least of which is wasted time and resources.

You wouldn’t ask your production manager to handle your accounting, so don’t allow your sales staff to make your marketing decisions. Businesses need to thoughtfully determine who in the organization is best suited to make marketing-related decisions. This can be one person or by committee. Take the time to develop sound policies, and then communicate the information throughout the organization. Ensure that everyone is on the same page with how to achieve goals and objectives, including branding awareness, lead generation, customer satisfaction, and positive ROI.

  1. Being too impatient.

Today’s society expects immediate results. And “Why not?” Advances in technology have streamlined many activities, where with one click, we get results. This leads to unrealistic expectations, particularly related to marketing activities. As with any endeavor, marketing tactics take time to generate results. A business cannot expect to put a social media plan in place and then expect inquiries to pour in within a matter of days or weeks. Growing your audience and increasing awareness takes time and consistent evaluation, regardless of the product or service.

Therefore, have a plan in place (see point #1), know your target customer, measure results, and be patient. As noted earlier, using SMART goals will lead to greater success, but it’s a success that takes time. Realize that it may take six months or more to see the desired change in customer behavior. Engaging a consultant who can take a deep dive into your marketing strategy and help monitor trends to identify opportunities for improvement can keep you grounded throughout the marketing process.

  1. Jumping on the latest bandwagon.

Just because a specific marketing trend is popular right now does not necessarily mean that it is a good fit for your business. Podcasts and video marketing have been all the rage in recent months, but if your target customer does not use these platforms, you’re wasting money. For instance, businesses that are marketing to older adults need to be mindful of their awareness and comfort level in using newer technologies. On the other hand, if your audience is young business professionals who listen to podcasts on their commute to keep up with industry best practices, a podcast could be a worthwhile pursuit.

Just because you are sharing content, doesn’t mean your target customer is consuming the information. Invest in marketing platforms that your customers do connect with, and that will catch their attention. Do your research and then determine if the latest marketing fad is right for your business.

So, what can you do to avoid some of these common mistakes? Make it a point to get everyone on the same page when it comes to marketing plans and strategies. Have a solid plan in place first, and then you can figure out which tactics to use to implement it. If you do not see the results you expected, consider working with a consulting firm like YGL Enterprises to refocus and assess your current strategies. Optimize your resources and develop a focused approach to put the most effective marketing solutions in place. Contact us today to get started.