6 Marketing Mistakes that are Killing Your Business

6 Marketing Mistakes that are Killing Your Business

It’s maddening, isn’t it? Marketing is talking about all the great things they accomplished last month.

Social media likes are increasing.

Newsletter opens and clicks are increasing.

Blog traffic is increasing.

And now they’re excited about a producing a video.

Yet there are no leads for you to follow up on. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

All of these projects made perfect sense when they pitched them. But when it’s YOUR business, the sales pipeline is dry, and no leads are coming in?

So, you throw your hands up in the air and go back to what you’ve always done — going to networking groups, sending emails into the ether and making phone calls to people that never pick up or call you back.

And you think, there’s got to be a better way. What are these other companies doing that generates leads?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In fact, you’ve probably produced enough content in the past that simply making a few small tweaks can turn this around.

Marketing must support your sales process or it’s a waste.

But you can turn it around quickly by correcting these common mistakes:

Marketing Mistake #1: You Try to Build Your Brand.

Marketing practices over the last 50 years have taught us that people do business with brands. The Nike Swoosh. The apple with a bite out of it. The Amazon arrow.

Branding is a one-to-many strategy. Your message is blasted to as many people as you can afford to reach and see what comes back.

That works when you have large budgets and small numbers of mass media options where they are guaranteed to hang out. (Think Mad Men where there were only three major networks and no DVRs to avoid advertisements.)

Audiences today are fragmented, and it requires a different approach.

Your marketing strategy should be one-to-one.

Rest assured, there are plenty of people out there with a problem that you can solve — but they’re not looking for your logo.

They want to know whether or not you can help them.

Start talking to them directly in your content and stop worrying about your brand image, positioning and marketplace perception.

Your brand becomes a byproduct of good content helps someone solve their problem. That’s what produces sales conversations.

For example, “Wow, that Jason Myers sure seems to understand my problem. I’m going to reach out and see if he can help me get more sales from our marketing.”

Marketing Mistake #2. You Create Content Without Knowing Why.

Marketing’s first impulse is to generate content. We write blogs, post on social media, produce video, create webinars, and so on. Web traffic spikes and the likes to our article on Linkedin goes viral.

People consume your content, but you don’t know anything about them. And worse yet, no one calls.

Your marketing must inspire the right people to take some sort of action, and by taking that action, it tells you something about that person’s problem.

For example, if you’re already getting lots of sales leads from your marketing, you probably wouldn’t have read this post.

If it’s a problem you want to solve, you’ll enter your contact information, download a white paper, and reach out to me for more information.

Once you have contact information such as an email address, research them to see if they meet your qualification standards.

If so, reach out to them directly and ask how you can help.

That’s a much easier call to make — and even if they don’t respond, there’s a high likelihood that they will stay in your database and reach out when they’re ready.

It happens all the time, which is why it’s important to nurture these audience members that you’ve brought into your database.

Marketing Mistake #3. You Think People Care About What You Do.

Don’t take it personally, but people don’t care about what you do.


They care about the problem they must solve.

If they think you can solve their problem, they’ll call you.

If they self-identify with a problem and found your article, they’ll probe for more information and perhaps reach out.

Your content should always focus on the prospect’s problem and what might happen if they don’t take action.

The more compelling that argument is, the faster they’ll reach out.

Marketing Mistake #4. You’re a Keyword Worrywort.

The early days of blogging were like magic! Maximize keywords and create content was all it took. People would found you.

Now, there’s so much content out there, getting your blog to rank on the first page of Google is nearly impossible.

But you don’t have to rank on the first page to make sales.

If you’re speaking directly to the customer’s problem with engaging posts, it will attract the right prospects.

The goal is audience engagement and not search engine ranking. Engaged audiences buy stuff, and your superfans will help you develop more.

Marketing Mistake #5. You Put the Cart Before the Horse.

Many marketers do this backward — they start with projects and campaigns.

They launch social media content, write blogs, place ads, and produce videos. But they haven’t thought about how it turns into a sales conversation.

Start your strategy sessions by answering these questions:

  • What do we want them to do? Download something? See a demo? Buy something?
  • When someone takes action, what does it tell you (potentially) about the person’s problem?
  • How can I use that information to get them to talk to me?

Marketing Mistake #6. You Measure the Wrong Things.

Web traffic, social media likes, Linkedin connections, rising search rankings, Facebook likes — marketers love to track these measurements and boast about their increases.

But the only measurement that truly matters is revenue, and anonymous traffic doesn’t help.

Did anyone download your whitepaper, watch a demo, sign up for a webinar or reach out to you for more information?

Marketing should be measured by sales activity. Here’s how:

  1. How many leads did you generate last month? A lead is defined as someone taking action on something. They clicked on an article. They downloaded a white paper. They took your survey. Now you know who they are (or at least you have their email address).
  2. Of those leads, how many turned into sales conversations? How many MQLs reached out to you directly, responded to your email follow-ups, or took your call.
  3. From those sales conversations, how many were qualified? Qualified means they have a budget, the authority to make a decision, the need for your product or service and timeline to get it done, and at this point you’re working on a proposal and contract.
  4. From those proposals, how many closed? There is a marketing formula that will work for your business. But finding it requires everyone to be aligned around the common goal of getting more business — generating leads and actionable lead intelligence for sales.

Your Marketing Must Generate Sales

If marketing didn’t work, no one would do it.

Increasing web traffic and social media likes are useful for distributing content.

But if you don’t know who they are it’s not helpful in supporting your sales process.

Don’t get frustrated though — a few small tweaks just might do it.

Take control of your strategy and get everyone aligned to the same goal — increasing sales.

Start with what you want them to do and work backward.

Do you want them to download a white paper or an infographic? Take a demo? Set up time for a complimentary consultation?

Once you’ve developed your irresistible offer, then you can write that blog or make that video that drives them to it.

That relevant traffic will take action, and that’s a good lead.

In just a short time you’ll have a bigger problem — you’re getting so many leads from your marketing that you can’t get to them all.

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