By Jenna Lebel
By now you’ve probably started carving out your 2013 marketing budget and developing your plans for the year. As marketers, we have a lot of things to consider when planning our efforts for the year. As you put the finishing touches on your 2013 plans let’s review 5 common marketing mistakes for you to avoid to save you time, money and a lot of frustration.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen marketers make is overlooking mobile. Currently there are over 5.5 billion mobile device subscriptions across the globe. As a consumer, I definitely access as many websites from mobile devices as I do from a desktop or laptop. And it turns out, I’m not alone. By 2015, it is predicted that we’ll see more than 788 million mobile-only Internet users with mobile browsing (for the web) surpassing desktop browsing. A mobile-optimized website is no longer a “nice-to-have,” it’s a must. Your customers expect you to have a mobile-friendly site. Mobile should be a critical component of your digital marketing strategy this year.
Focusing More on Acquisition than Retention
As marketers, we have to develop a strategy that focuses on both acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. Far too often we see companies shift that focus to be too acquisition centric. Acquisition is important don’t get me wrong, but there needs to be a balance. The cost of retaining a customer is significantly less than that of acquiring one (as much as 20% less!). Another hard truth is that repeat customers spend more than new ones. Marketing is equally about retention as it is about acquisition so don’t forget to consider how you’ll deepen relationships with existing customers (particularly high value ones) in 2013.
Marketing Your Aspirations
Every company aspires to be something greater. We all have (and should have) that big hairy audacious goal. But we’re not marketing what we aspire to be, we’re marketing who we are today—in the present. Marketing your aspirations can create major problems if you can’t live up to them. Keep your aspirations in mind when planning and executing, but don’t market them to your customers.
Letting Research Dictate Plans
As a self-proclaimed data junkie, I believe strongly that data can lead to better decision making. You should review data and research to keep you informed, but you shouldn’t let it entirely dictate your plans. Research is a valuable tool for marketers, but research can be misleading at times. There are just some things that research simply can’t predict. And consumers don’t always know how they are feeling or what they want. And they don’t always know how they will feel in the future. Two years ago my mom told me she would never own a tablet. She just didn’t see value in it when she had a laptop and a smartphone. Guess who bought the iPad 3 two weeks ago? It’s hard to predict how consumers will react to things in the future. Research should guide, not lead.
Playing Exactly by the Book
Plans are important. We need plans to keep us focused and on track, but at the end of the day plans are just words on paper. We should always count on plans changing course. Think of your marketing plans as a compass and not a map. Leave some room for adventure and spontaneity and use the plans as your guide.
Can you think of other common marketing mistakes to avoid? Share them in the comments!