We all know that marketing changes on a daily basis, with new trends, technology, and insights. Because the industry moves so quickly, sometimes it can be difficult to see the red flags of a marketing project before it is too late. Outlined below are a few common mistakes I’ve seen and a few tips on how to avoid it.
1. Project Scope Creep
This is a common one that can easily affect your timeline and cost very quickly if it isn’t managed carefully. Project scope creep is when the requirements of a project increase over time. It is important to remember that when you add another element to your marketing strategy, it can increase both your budget and extend your deliverable date. Depending on your time frame, your marketing quality can also go down as you start to juggle more on your plate. Do you really need a brochure? Or, can this information be put onto your website? Can you realistically write 2 blog posts a week? Or, can you recycle that content and create more buzz around quality posts on a monthly basis. Think about how many elements are part of your marketing strategy and how you can consistently maintain that quality long-term.
How to avoid it? Set goals early in advance and establish objectives that are manageable within that time frame. Check these goals daily to ensure you are on track. This will help ensure you are not overspending your advertising budget, but also make sure you are aligned with your vision and values.
The industry is constantly full of trends and sometimes it can be easy to get carried away with whats “hot” and “trendy”. Be careful before jumping on the bandwagon until you know how this trend will impact your overall brand strategy. While you can write a catchy headline, this blog post may not resonate with your target audience, thus pushing away potential customers. It is important that your content is relevant to those who follow you.
How to avoid it? Consider your language and creating your brand voice. Think of your brand as if they were a person. If you are striving for a professional voice, would you share content that is more casual, comical and satirical? If your brand voice is more fun and playful, would you share content that is cold and disheartening? Remember who you want to appeal to and who you want to work with. Your content should then reflect this to create alignment with your target demographic.
3. Too many chefs in the kitchen
While it is important to get feedback from friends and peers, sometimes you can get lost with the opinion of others that do not completely understand your brand. How many times have you edited that logo? Have you changed your brand colours over and over again? Sometimes, having too many people providing feedback can be detrimental to your vision.
How to avoid it? Pick a few key players you want to keep involved and who understand your business, your vision, and your personality. Try to select a diverse group of people from your friends, work colleagues, and family, but know when to make the final call.
4. Ignoring your analytics
I remember going to business school and people always told me I was good with numbers and “data”. In return, they thought I would have been in accounting, statistics or even finance. How surprised they were when I pursued a degree in Marketing and how that gave me a leading edge in national marketing competitions across Canada.
Marketing is not just about the creative idea. In fact, it’s based largely on your analytics and how you use that information to create insight into your customer. The creative idea helps to pull together your brand in a strategic way. Do not get me wrong – this is easier said than done. While analytics can tell you about the demographics of your followers, it is important to understand the “why” more than the “who”. Why did they engage with this content? Why do they want to work with you? Why are they conversing with you?
How to avoid it? Don’t be afraid to test and check your analytics frequently. Try posting at different times, vary up your content, and examine which pieces resonate the most with your target market.
5. Not being engaged with your marketing contractors
Your marketing contractors success is just as dependent as your involvement in the project. You provide clarity on your business goals and that transparency can help when diving into the design stage of a project. By being accessible to your marketing contractors, they gain a better understanding of your brand and what you are trying to achieve. In return, they will produce high quality results.
How to avoid it? Have great communication and follow up to ensure they are on track. Always make time for a discovery meeting to talk about your business and ask questions if you are unsure. This is critical in creating alignment with your target market in an authentic and sustainable way. It is also important to do research into your marketing contractors before giving them the project to ensure they understand what you are trying to achieve in a desired time frame.
Hopefully that covers some of the basics to ensure you can identify red flags early on in your marketing projects. Knowing these mishaps early on can really save you time, money, and stress in the long run. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – Good luck on your marketing journey!