The 5 Most Common Marketing Blind Spots
Not knowing something you should know is bad, but not knowing what you don’t know is even worse. These are our “marketing blind spots” – the areas in our business lives where we lack sufficient visibility in order to understand what is really going on. Blind spots can be very costly. The first step to gaining visibility is identifying your blind spots.
Here are the 5 most common marketing blind spots:
1. Not knowing the real reasons your prospects and customers make the buying decisions they do: You probably know which products or services your customers buy from you, but do you know WHY they do so? If you did, you could incorporate those reasons into your messaging so that new prospects get exposed to that same message. Unfortunately, most business owners skip the important step of understanding their customers and instead just keep hoping that they are doing something right. But they are likely leaving money on the table.
2. Over-reliance on your website to tell the whole story about your company: Website have become a cornerstone of most companies’ messaging strategy, and rightfully so. But can a website tell the whole story? Hardly. At its best, a website correctly orientates the visitor in terms of what a company offers and the space it occupies in the marketplace, along with providing some general reference information. But just sitting back and relying on your website to get prospects interested and “make the sale” is not wise. The best websites rely on a host of other factors to complete the picture for the prospective customer, including means of driving traffic to the site, word of mouth referrals, brand equity built over time, reviews, phone-based sales efforts, and an integrated suite of supporting marketing vehicles.
3. Being unable to get a handle on which marketing initiatives are actually moving the needle: Most CEOs and mid-level managers alike expect a lot from their marketing efforts on the whole, but they know little about the effectiveness of the individual pieces. This is partly due to the fact that some vehicles, like TV, radio and newspapers, can be harder to measure than others. However, this problem is mostly due to inertia and – yes – even a bit of laziness. It is all-too-easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “Well, something is working, so let’s just keep everything going for now.” Months and years pass and few changes are made. This is the recipe for marketing failure. Tracking performance results and then tracing them to specific marketing vehicles is essential for continually-improving performance.
4. Thinking that more data is better than less: Data is such a buzzword nowadays that many managers believe that having more data at their fingertips must be better. Nothing could be further from the truth. Surrounding oneself with too much data can just muddy the waters and REDUCE clarity about what is important. Rather, having access to a few, key performance metrics is the best way to run and manage your business. The challenge is to squelch the data noise in order to tune into the clear signal that informs to your next successful business decision.
5. Failing to articulate a clear strategy: Strategy is about the what, tactics are about the how. Marketing 100% deserves – nay demands – a strategic approach. And yet most business owners just kind of fall into one tactic after the other. “Let’s try this, it looks kind of neat.” Or, “let’s do that again – it seemed to work last time.” The problem with tactical approaches to marketing is that they waste money and, as a group, they under-perform.
You may get lucky on a few tactics, but without a strategy in place you will never be truly connecting your business goals with your marketing activities. Start with setting some sales goals – including defining which which products or services on which to focus. Then figure out what your best customers look like, where they their spend time and how they think. Next, put together a positioning strategy that develops the right image of your company in your prospects’ minds. Craft the right message that reflects all of this. Finally, decide the marketing tactics or vehicles you will use to get that message out. Strategy, then tactics.
Do any of these sound familiar? If not, try reviewing them with a colleague. After all, it may just mean that you still don’t know what you don’t know. Want to shine more light on your marketing blind spots? Give MindEcology a call or write us today.