Part 3: The Upsets of Marketing Madness

marketingThe past few weeks have been a wild ride for college basketball fans, with this past weekend alone being full of excitement as Michigan took down Loyola Chicago. Tonight marks the end of March Madness with the men’s final championship game. Michigan and Villanova will face off to determine the 2018 March Madness champion.

“If Michigan is going to win its second national title ever, it’ll do it with its defense.” –Daniel Wilco

While a strong offense is important, for your company to be successful in its marketing strategy, you’ll need a good defense. In honor of the 68 teams competing in March Madness, the past two weeks we have been covering 68 issues that can arise in The Upsets of Marketing Madness series. In this final part, we’ll look at the bigger picture. Any B2B company can encounter these common marketing mishaps and issues that affect the entire strategy, rather than just one component. Offensive tactics like email, prospecting or video are essentials, but an overall defense will make those individual methods more effective. Below you’ll find examples of these common mistakes and mishaps.

#45 Securing a Budget Creating a marketing budget is not always a simple task. By only focusing on the previous year’s plan or a marketing budget template, you could be ignoring potential new opportunities. Marketing is an ever-changing industry, so it’s important to have a budget that’s part data-analysis and part fortune-telling.

#46 Keeping Marketing and Sales Separate There once was a time when marketing and sales were siloed departments. However, today there are too many benefits to ignore when implementing a strategy in which sales and marketing work together. Both teams should ensure that lead generation efforts are being focused correctly.

#47 Confusing a Marketing Tactic with a Strategy Focusing money, time and effort on one tactic versus an overall strategy typically leads to ineffectiveness. Lead generation shouldn’t be viewed as an a la carte initiative. A comprehensive and cohesive full meal plan is in your company’s best interests.

#48 Identifying the Right Technologies for Your Needs With so many tools and resources available, how you do identify which are right for your company’s needs? To narrow down your search, define what your needs are. Then, check out a list like this one to decide which tools are right for you!

#49 Focusing on Your Products and Services If you want to get the attention of your prospects, speak to their needs and wants. Your prospects’ primary concern isn’t that you’ve been in business for 25 years; it’s that you have the solution to their problem. Use your marketing to identify at least one common problem and highlight the benefit of using your product or service.

#50 Having a Weak Marketing Message Make sure your ad copy includes a 7-10 word description of the problems you solve, so prospects who read or hear it know how you can help them. Bonus points for including your keywords!

#51 Using the Wrong Words When you spend money on PPC or other paid marketing, first A/B test two versions of your copy to identify the one that works best. A simple revision in copy can make a huge difference!

#52 Focusing on Creation Instead of Promotion  A piece of content shared once doesn’t mean that anyone saw it. Share content multiple times and across multiple platforms to make the most of your content marketing. The piece may not have been relevant to them at the time it was created or more likely, they just didn’t see it. Creating a quality piece is useless if it isn’t promoted!

#53 Missing Motivation Don’t miss the opportunity to move prospects to your website or a landing page. To effectively do so, include an offer that motivates them to take action like a free infographic or quote.  

#54 Lacking in Frequency Most prospects won’t make a spur of the moment buying decision with your business-to-business company. They may need to become familiar with your services and products, which takes time. If you want your advertising to work, you need to ensure that your prospects see or hear it regularly, which should happen through a variety of methods.

Coach K#55 Training Your Team As the marketing landscape continues to evolve, training your team will become a greater challenge. Whether it’s training your team on the concepts and tools they’ll be using or ensure they’re achieving their full potential, it’s important that your team is fully equipped to handle anything that may come their way.

#56 Lack of Tracking Do you know the ROI of your marketing efforts? Track each of your marketing campaigns to know where to spend money in the future, what to modify and what to eliminate.

#57 Spending Too Much Time Planning and Not Enough Time Doing At some point, you are going to have to jump. Don’t hurt your strategy by waiting to implement.

#58 Pursuing Everybody Not everyone is a quality lead for your company, and that’s okay. Make sure you aren’t wasting your marketing budget by going after everyone. Rather, define your target audience and the qualifications a lead should have in order to have the best leads filling your sales funnel.

#59 Believing in Magic Marketing results don’t just appear overnight. Like most things in business, there are no shortcuts, silver bullets or magic buzzwords to suddenly increase sales overnight. A digital marketing budget should take into account the time it will take to implement your marketing goals, rather than just assuming those results will magically appear.

#60 Skipping the Romance Stages Very rarely does a first date lead to an immediate wedding. Avoid skipping the stages in which the decision maker gets to know your company, and be patient with a strong nurturing strategy.

#61 Getting Distracted by 80% and Not Focusing on the 20% The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, says that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes. One application of this rules involves how money is spent on campaigns versus the results produced. In general, 20% of marketing messages should produce 80% of your campaign results. Read more about Pareto’s 80/20 rule here.

#62 One Size Fits All Not all leads are the same, especially at different stages in your pipeline. Each phase of the buyer journey should have its own specific messaging.

#63 Believing ‘Content’ Just Means Blogs Quality content shouldn’t be limited to just blogs! Create ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, etc.

#64 Reevaluation Making mistakes in your strategy is inevitable. The real failure, however, is not reevaluating after a campaign or idea flops. By learning from the mistake and adjusting your strategy, you allow your company the opportunity a second chance that will hopefully perform even better than the initial attempt.

basketball net#65 Lack of Follow-Up Process When a user fills out the form on your website, what happens next? Having a process in place as to who will follow-up with that contact, the method of follow-up and how quickly it’s done will ensure that lead is kept warm. A strong lead nurturing process can do wonders, especially against the competition.

#66 Your Data is Outdated Databases decay by as much as 40% every year. (Wait, what?!) Even worse, some of your contact records may not have been accurate in the first place. If it’s been a while, cleanse and maybe even fresh it up with new data.

#67 You Don’t Convey Credibility Digital marketing isn’t kindergarten show and tell. Demonstrate knowledge, rather than just telling prospects that your company is credible.

#68 Focusing Only on Digital Methods Incorporating a direct communication element to your lead generation strategy can prove to be one of the most effective methods of converting your prospects into leads. By coming from a consultative approach rather than sales, your team is positioned as a resource ready to assist.

There you have it – 68 common marketing mistakes and mishaps that can drive you mad. B2B marketing mistakes are common, yet overall, preventable. If they do occur, there’s always a fix. Take a step, and reassess. Once you’ve established an adjusted strategy, it’s time to get yourself a piece of that championship net (or maybe just a large quantity of quality leads) .