Making mistakes can happen just as easily in the office as at home, but with consumer confidence at a “five year low”, how can you ensure that – no matter what happens – your customers place their trust in your brand?
From not understanding your target audience to getting it wrong with your message layout, there are some very easy pitfalls that businesses can fall into. Before that happens, however, we’ve put together some of the most common marketing mistakes, along with our recommended life hacks to avoid them…
Who can I contact and how?
The greatest hurdle that many will face is choosing who will receive their brand message, which – as of May 2018 – encompasses not only who that customer is in terms of demographics, but how that person’s data has been collected, stored and used.
It’s important post-GDPR implementation to keep clear records of this information, as it will give you some much-needed peace of mind when it comes to sending your campaigns, and help you to keep your database up-to-date and compliant.
Next, it’s all about personalisation.
One of the quickest ways to make your way from a customer’s inbox to their spam folder is to send irrelevant communications. So, instead of going for a mass marketing approach and hoping that it sticks, segment your contacts by buyer behaviour or customer type.
For property, this might mean looking at what your contacts have interacted with in the past, such as: guides for first-time buyers, information on letting, or your online valuation tool.
Whereas for insurance and leisure, you could look at what policies or fitness classes they have already taken out with you, and send targeted messages that cross and upsell your additional policies and services.
After a message has gone and you have your open and click-through reports, a common mistake is failing to then use that data, as these interactions should feed into your team’s follow-up calls for the week ahead to increase conversions.
Straying too far from your brand
Having a brand narrative is incredibly important for the majority (79%) of consumers, with the most popular brand stories incorporating: “regular people” (liked by two-thirds), brand customers (38%), employees (19%) and CEO or founder (10%).
So, what are your brand’s core values and how are these communicated to your customers?
Once your brand message is out there, it is – to a certain extent – open to interpretation.
To avoid confusion, you therefore need to consider what tone you use and how much you adhere or stray from it.
Putting yourself before your customers
When we’re talking about the benefits of a particular product or service, it’s easy to lose track of our customers and become too “inwardly focused”.
Using jargon or becoming fixated on the finer details are quite common with this marketing pitfall, affecting business owners in every sector.
One study found that in finance and banking, 58% of the content “does not work” for the average consumer, with readability hindered by the structure and presentation of the text as well as the actual language used.
It’s considered best practice to check that your content is proofread and can be understood by someone with little to no experience in your industry.
Another tip to avoid coming across as overly ‘salesy’ and inwardly focused is to remember the Pareto Principle, which claims that the content ratio for customer engagement to promotional pieces should be 80:20.
How do I stand out from the noise?
It’s estimated that the average consumer is exposed to 10,000 brand messages a day, for which they’ll switch screens up to 21 times an hour.
What this tells us is that there’s an increasing amount of noise out there, yet – despite that level of competition for their attention – getting your brand in front of your customers is easily achieved if you maintain consistency.
Firing out a random campaign here and there will not gain you results.
It can feel demotivating when you don’t generate the results you’d expected from a campaign, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Consumer Behaviour Expert, Jaime Veiga Mateos, suggests that the way to combat the attention span challenge is through “repeated messages”, as these “generate a strong footprint which is easier for consumers to access in the future”.
By providing a customer journey that nurtures your leads and your past customers, landing in their inbox at regular intervals, yours will be the first brand they think of when they’re next looking to buy a product or service.
Forgetting to include relevant call-to-actions
Depending on the nature of your communication, you’ll want a different response from your contacts, which might include a call-to-action for: ‘contact us’, ‘book your X appointment’ or ‘provide your feedback’ – to name a few.
These need to be prominently placed within your email to increase customer engagement, and should ideally sit above and below the fold, i.e. the top half of your message.
Tempting as it is, don’t just throw these in all over the place, because you will pull focus from the message’s main point.
Overcomplicating it for yourself and your readers…
You have 1,001 things to communicate to your customers and not enough time or space to squeeze it all in, so why try?
The purpose of your email campaign is to be received and read, which means that the presentation needs to improve readability.
If it comes across as cluttered or disorganised, your readers will form the perception that it requires a lot of time, attention and effort.
Whether you’re confident with marketing or just starting out, go for a minimalistic approach and build on that once you start seeing some engagement.
To hear what our Digital Design team have to say on what makes an effective email, read our blog.
Not investing in the right tools
Time and limited resources are barriers to marketing for a lot of business owners.
There are around 2,000,000 SMEs within the UK that still don’t have a website, even though 54% are aware that it will impact their growth opportunities in the next 3-5 years.
Technology has revolutionised the customer experience, meaning that consumers are only going to become more reliant on it in the future, not less.
How your business responds to that consumer demand will have a lot of bearing in 2019.
At, we’ve seen how much video marketing has taken off over the last few years, with the average Brit spending an hour and a half using this medium each day.
Our Professional Video Production Service and multi-channel marketing platform offer a solution to busy professionals, providing the content and the tools to get your message to the right person at the right time.
For more information…
Book your online consultation on 0344 800 84 24 to find out how our proposition has helped 100s of agents, insurance brokers, leisure operators and hospitality businesses.