We always assume that the best products and services are the ones that will win in the market place. We believe that as long as we offer the best services to our customers and clients that they will buy from us. This simply isn’t true.
The simple fact is that many great products and services fail. And often it’s not even because people don’t need what they offer. The saddest reason for a business not to succeed is that they haven’t communicated their message clearly enough. This makes it hard for potential customers to understand the value that the organisation offers, and so they just don’t buy.
Here are some of the significant marketing mistakes most businesses make, and how to avoid them:
1. You’re confusing your market.
The fact is we don’t buy the best products and services; we buy the ones we can understand the fastest. So, if you force your customer think too hard about how you will add value to their lives, they will go back to their friend Mr Google to find a competitor who speaks more clearly than you do.
To illustrate the point. Think about who would you rather buy from:
Company A who tells you: “In today’s highly competitive world, our robust platform is designed to you to evaluate and optimise sales performance.”
Company B who says: “We help you track your sales figures, the easy way.”
Speak in clear and simple language and get straight to the point. Complicated doesn’t cut it. Neither does cute and clever. Keep things clear and simple.
2. Beautiful design gets in the way of what you are trying to say.
It’s too easy to get blind-sided but beautiful creatives. But, as marketing guru, David Ogilvy once said, “I do not regard advertising as an entertainment or an art form but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”
The lesson is simple. Always focus on speaking the words that make people want to buy. The creatives come should fit the message, but never distract from it. A clear website is vital.
3. You’re not talking about your customers’ problems.
We know that in stories when the problem is resolved, the story ends.
The same is true in marketing.
If you stop talking about your customers’ problems, they will stop listening. When we correctly identify their problems, we show customers that we’re a brand that understands them. This increases the willingness of customers to connect with our brand and want what we have to sell.
Are you making it clear what problems you solve? If you’re not, you risk missing out to your competitors’ who do.
4. You don’t show customers a vision of success.
If you don’t show your customers how buying from you is going to make their lives better, then they have no reason to buy. “Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them” (Donald Miller).
Be specific here. Tell your customers exactly what their ‘happy ever after’ will look like if they buy from you.
And, you don’t need to rely on words here. The images you choose are equally important in helping customers to visualise what success will look like when they do business with you. Choose pictures of happy people using your product/service and, in most cases, you can’t go wrong.
5. You’re not telling people what they want to know.
Most businesses avoid answering some of the most commonly asked questions. It’s one of the common marketing mistakes. What’s one of the most frequently asked questions? How much is it going to cost? Yet, outside of e-commerce, very few businesses make it easy for customers to see prices at a glance. Considering that price is a consideration for most buyers, make it easy for them to find what your costs are to make it easier for them to move forward and do business with you.
What else do they want to know? They want to know what other people think. In today’s world, people will trust total strangers far more than the marketing materials that you produce. They need social proof that the product/service that you are offering is as excellent as you say it is. Testimonials, reviews and case studies will show that you have the authority and credibility that your customers are craving. Make sure you include them in the marketing collateral you produce.
So, when you’re next looking at marketing strategy, focus your efforts on the clarity of your messaging. Speak clearly, and your message will rise above the noise, and your customers will listen.
Fix these five marketing mistakes, and you will be on the road to generating more leads and making more sales.
Want my help? As a StoryBrand certified guide, I’m here to help you make sure that your marketing is working for you and not against you. I can help you create a clear message that will captivate your audience and grow sales. Get in touch for a free one-hour marketing consultation to see if we’re a great fit firstname.lastname@example.org or 07436 884807.