Six Marketing Pitfalls to Avoid

As a business consultancy that helps growing companies, we have seen numerous marketing traps business are susceptible to. We have listed the top six to avoid below:

1.Undefined Target Market

A start-up company looking to attract its first clients or customers may be tempted to serve whoever comes its way. As your business grows, it is impossible to attract your ideal demographic without knowing your target. An undefined target market leads to mixed marketing messages, confusing all stakeholders.

2.Non-Strategic Marketing

Through trial and error, we may form our own conclusions as to which marketing tactics work. What seems to be a fool-proof marketing plan, however, can sometimes be non-strategic. In addition, maintaining too many tactics that do not support each other is expensive and can result in insufficient frequency of deployment.

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The Anatomy of a Compelling Company Story

Every company has a story. Some are exciting like Virgin’s, some tug at your heart like Tom’s shoes, and others are more utilitarian (important note: confusing “utilitarian” for “boring” is usually a mistake). The most successful companies spend time finding their niche in our world – following market trends while looking beneath the surface of their product or service to uncover the true value of what they offer and why consumers should care.

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What is a random market – and are you serving one?

Do you know your ideal market, or markets? Were your marketing materials deliberately designed to appeal to this group? Are your messages and taglines targeted to your particular client demographics? Have you performed market research and based your advertising on the findings?

If you answered no to some (or all) of those questions, then you may be trying to serve a random customer base. Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. Let’s explore.

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Advertising: short-term brilliance or long-term strategy?

Imagine that you are an established company who creates a product that is valued by consumers. You devote a $50,000 advertising budget to boosting your market presence – but your revenue doesn’t change. Who’s to blame? The magazines for misrepresenting their readership? The radio stations for exaggerating their audience? The agency for not being “clever” enough? Let’s look at a few places where this process can (and often does) go wrong.

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Pacific Coastal Airlines Ad Campaign

Pacific Coastal’s passion is British Columbia. They are intimately familiar with the most idyllic and untouched parts of a province where over half of the population occupies only 0.5% of the land. Since many of their past promotions were aimed at business travellers, Pacific Coastal launched the 4for3 campaign to inspire BC residents to explore their own unique province. Living Blueprint brought the campaign to life through a video accompanied by web, print, and point-of-sale advertising.

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Stop dreaming and win your marketplace.

So your competitor is doing better than you, are they? Why did that happen?

You have been in business for a few years now, have a handful of employees and are still struggling to get by. You meet someone at an event who is in the same marketplace as you, with the same product or service, with the same time in the market. Difference is, they have 10 times more employees and customers.

Could it be they are infinitely smarter than you? Or could it be that they understand the client in a way that you don’t?

I have been in business long enough to know the first is not usually the case. I would like to share an idea – better, a process – to get past the obvious in the pursuit of that little bit of magic that seams so hard to attain.

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You’re a perfectly fine company – So why don’t I like you?

Why a customer’s choice of products or services often comes down to what feels right – and how to tap into that.

Have you ever had to choose between two products that were almost identical? What made you pick one over the other? Assume that a potential client has seen your advertising and is comparing you to one of your competitors. How can you tighten up your brand and company to ensure that they choose you?
Have you heard or said any of these statements?

  • “I have a feeling about these guys”
  • “Everything seems to be in order”
  • “This just feels right”

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