7 ways to fail at marketing.

I’ve seen a lot of pieces floating around lately such as “Top 10 ways to market your business” or “The top 5 fool proof marketing methods”, so I thought I’d turn it on it’s ear and come up with what I believe to be the top 7 things you should NOT be doing in marketing.

Sadly, a lot of businesses continue to fall into many of these traps, and they remain completely oblivious as to why their marketing is failing.

Here we go…

  1. Not getting to know your audience.

If you don’t take the time to really get to know who you are talking to, then what chance do you have to successfully market to them?

  1. Failing to test.

They say the most common time to pick up a mistake or discover a problem is immediately after you have hit the launch button on a campaign. To avoid this, test, test and test before you go live.

  1. Trying to be everything to everyone.

By trying to please everyone, you’ll just find yourself running in circles and in the end, you’ll have pleased no one. It’s a trap that many marketers fall into as they feel pressure to never miss a potential customer. The solution is to identify your most appropriate markets, effectively segment them and then effectively target them. Market segmentation – It’s basic marketing 101.

  1. Ignoring the data.

News flash. The days of marketing on a gut feeling are long gone. We’ve got data available to us on pretty much everything now, which will tell you a lot more than your gut. Don’t be afraid of it. Look at the data, understand what it is telling you and start to use it to drive the direction of your marketing.

  1. We’ve always done it this way.

Six words that have been spoken all too often yet still send a shiver down my spine.  Whether you like it or not, the world is changing, and it’s changing fast. It is only the ones who are the most adaptable to this change that are going to survive. Complacency is no excuse.

  1. Ignoring the brand and focusing only on selling.

There is no quicker way to dilute any equity that has been built in a brand over time than by adopting a 100% sales focus. It is important to be the custodian of your brand – to protect it and strengthen it – because if you’re not, what are you going to be left with to sell?

  1. Having no empathy or authenticity.

How authentic is your marketing? How honest are you? How ethical are you? How empathetic are you?

If you struggle to answer these questions, then you’re going to have a problem. In the modern age, things like product quality and price are not enough. People want to know that you’re genuine and real. They want to know that you really understand their needs. They want to know that you treat your employees well. They want to know that your products are ethically sourced. The list goes on and on.

Fall down in any of these areas and you may quickly find yourself in the middle of a PR nightmare that you may not ever recover from.

What should number 8 be? Please let me know in the comments.


I always love to receive feedback (positive or constructive) on this or any of my posts. Feel free to contact me at any time.


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