LEWIS 09 Dec 2016 // 4:41PM GMT
Marketers are human, and we sometimes get into bad habits. There are lots of reasons why we do the things we do, but in this season of resolutions, it’s worth thinking about what behaviors might be hurting our success – and making a conscious decision to fix them.
Here are five common bad marketing habits that are very easy to fall into, but could be holding you back from delivering truly stellar results.
1. Not tracking campaign and program performance all the way through to closed deals.
As marketing and sales automation tools have gotten more sophisticated, it’s easier than it used to be to track attribution. But it still isn’t easy. Some organizations are able to do this very well, but many others are still struggling to make it happen. If your organization is among the latter group, you can’t simply throw up your hands in despair – it’s imperative that you understand how your programs and campaigns are influencing revenue. Click-through rates, engagement rates, and leads generated are important metrics and you need to measure them, but they simply aren’t enough. In the end, if all that activity doesn’t turn into revenue, it doesn’t really matter. But you don’t have to get there all at once. Start with making the link to just the next step, whatever that is for you – sales activities or qualification or new opportunities. Then take the next step. Then the next. A slow-and-steady progression beats ignorance every time.
2. Developing content without a strategy.
Content has become a critical component of most organizations’ marketing strategies. But content can feel like a beast that needs to be constantly fed – and that’s when it’s easy to fall into the trap of churning out quantities of stuff. But creating content for content’s sake won’t deliver results. To do that, you need a strategy. A smart content strategy will help you understand who the content is for, as well as when and why they need it. This will ensure that every single piece of content is designed to achieve a specific goal. And when you understand the purpose for each piece of content you create, it becomes easier to plan new content mindfully – you’ll have a better handle on when you can leverage existing assets and when you have to create something brand new.
3. Running programs with a set-and-forget mentality.
I get it, you’re running in a million different directions. There aren’t enough people on your team – or hours in the day – to get done everything you need to get done. Sometimes we let things run on autopilot. Like the Google AdWords program that hasn’t been touched since the beginning of the year. Or the paid social campaign that launched last quarter. Or the email drip campaign. Chances are, they’re delivering results (if not, turn them off right now), but if you’re not reviewing them on a regular basis, they’re probably not performing to their highest potential. The old adage is true: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Either make managing and optimizing them a part of your regular routine or reallocate those resources to activities that you can proactively focus on.
4. Confusing website pages with landing pages.
When visitors come to your website, you want to make sure that they can easily navigate your site to find the information they are looking for. Because you don’t know where those visitors are coming from, which page they’ll land on first, or what they are looking for, you need to structure and design your site to be easy to navigate and to provide content that all your constituents are looking for. So when you launch a digital campaign – Google AdWords, paid social, banner ads, remarketing, etc. – it’s tempting to find an existing page on the site to use as a landing page. Resist that temptation. No matter how effective your website is for general inbound traffic, you’re doing your campaign a disservice. That’s because in this case you do know exactly where the visitors are coming from, which page they’ll land on first, and what they are looking for. You have important information that enables you to craft a landing page designed to maximize conversions. After all, driving traffic to your website is good, but getting more of those visitors to take action, such as downloading an e-book or requesting a trial, is much better.
5. Thinking that it’s all about you.
We all know how important it is to focus on benefits, not features. But when you live and breathe your products and services every day, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in it that you can’t recognize what your audience does – and does not – care about. If your prospects are lying awake at night, it’s because they’re thinking about their problem, not your product. And even if your product is the perfect solution to their problem, that problem is probably only one tiny slice of their universe. So don’t miss the mark by putting your company at the center of your messaging and content – the real hero of your story is the customer.
Break out the champagne and celebrate the successes you had in 2016. But also resolve to start the new year with a new (marketing) you. Ditching bad habits and adopting good practices will set the right tone for a successful 2017.