Classic marketing mistakes

by smartamarketing

Everyone markets.  Some do it well.  Others not so well.

There are many mistakes in marketing which we see time and again.  Are these mistakes you are familiar with?

Our market  is – Everyone

Not Marketing to a Defined Group: Find your target audience and gear your marketing plan to that audience. Trying to appeal to everyone typically does not work.

We need new customers

Not Focusing on Repeat Business: Repeat business typically makes up 80 percent of customers in most businesses. Too often marketing campaigns are heavily focused on bringing in new customers and not building relationships with current ones.

The Research Tells Us …

Relying on the results of market research as the deciding factor when making marketing decisions is a risky proposition. Why? Because research is inherently fraught with many potential problems. These problems are often the result of how the research is designed or how it is executed.

Pump More money/effort into Promotion

Viewing marketing problems in terms of promotional deficiencies is extremely shortsighted. Marketing is much more than advertising. Sales problems could be the result of numerous other marketing problems. Before deciding to spend more on promotion it probably makes more sense to spend time reviewing all marketing decisions to make sure problems do not lay elsewhere.

Not Having a Clear Marketing Message:

Marketing messages that are contrived, confusing, too subtle or too long can easily miss the target market entirely. The most ingenious marketing plan is wasted if no one gets it.

Having the Best Product on the Market

You might think it’s the best product, but remember the marketer is not buying the product. The marketer’s target market is supposed to buy it. If a marketer can’t understand why customers are buying a competitor’s product when the marketer thinks the competitor’s product is inferior then the marketer does not know the market well enough.

Our Customers Only Care About Getting the Lowest Price

No they don’t. They care about the best value for their money. Customers first and foremost want to feel comfortable with their purchase and know they got their money’s worth from their decision.

We Know Who Our Competitors Are

Most marketers when asked to name their competitors can easily rattle off a list. While the length of this list shows strong knowledge of the market, what is more important is who is not on the list. Companies not viewed as competitors are potentially the biggest threat to a company, especially for companies operating in a rapidly evolving market.

What Matters Is Profit

Sometimes a firm must make strategic decisions that sacrifice profits in order strengthen other parts of the company.

No time to Plan

Marketing executives within fast moving industries often feel planning beyond the short-term is useless since the market changes so rapidly.. A marketing plan can help the company insert controls on marketing expenditures. It also has the added benefit of having marketers take a step back to see where the company has been and may uncover important information that was not apparent earlier. Additionally, a marketing plan may help ensure that everyone within the company is on the same page with regard to the basic direction of the firm’s marketing efforts. This may prevent finger pointing down the road. Even if a plan is limited to only covering the next six months of operations it is an exercise that should not be avoided.

Not Getting Feedback:

Test your marketing ideas and do focus groups. Don’t launch it without getting some feedback first.

Making a Change for the Sake of It:

Just because you are tired of your marketing plan doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Too many marketers make changes because they think they have too. Often a tried and true formula will keep working.

Want more marketing ideas?  Have a look at  And check out the Marketing Association website –

Brian Monger