The primary function of marketing within businesses is changing and evolving so rapidly amid the pandemic and the increased pressure on businesses to adapt to unusual market conditions. Marketing is now an essential aspect of revenue generation. But many companies still make the critical mistake of “failing the marketing department.”
AT AZK-Media, we’ve seen companies succeed, and we’ve also seen companies go horribly wrong. From experience, these are habits and systems to avoid to get the most out of your marketing efforts.
Confusing marketing with advertisements
Yes, advertising has its place in the marketing mix. But just paying for “ad space” disregarding the organic, inbound marketing as part of a long-term strategy is expensive. It is also unsustainable.
Like any investment, when investing in marketing it should be treated as a active. Organic content and earned media placement activities can be easily scaled. So create a variety of engaging content for your prospects. Then build trust and help build an authentic community around your brand.
A good cadence of organic content, PR, and social media can drive inbound leads organically, without ads. So even when you’re “shifting gears in your marketing spend,” your organic content can still drive traffic and inquiries. However, if you combine all your marketing expenses in Google Ads, when you turn them off, all your marketing effectively stops! The same can be said with social media and banner ads.
Here is a concrete example of a company we met that came to us for help. They had an outdated website, no internal marketing functions, and all marketing spend was spent on Google Adwords. They would get three, maybe four leads a month. We came up with a healthy mix of brand marketing, social selling, and inbound lead generation, along with building a new SEO-rich website.
The CEO didn’t “get” marketing and just increased spending on Google Ads. Two years later, they’ve barely moved on the company’s growth. Instead, their competitors, who have invested in their brand, public relations, social media and customer advocacy, have taken over their market share. They came back to us tired and devastated, wondering why their brand didn’t look as “sophisticated” and “attractive” as their competitor’s.
Obsolete systems, processes and “activity”
In the age of innovative marketing agencies, data-driven marketing platforms and real-time collaborative project management tools, there is no excuse for slow marketing processes, decisions made by the committee, “corporate navel-gazing”, the “bingo post-it note” and other meaningless marketing. activities that make marketing teams seem “busy” when, in fact, they are ineffective. Because we all know that “activity” does not necessarily lead to good “business”.
By investing in the right people, the right tools, and the right processes, you can streamline marketing. This will help reduce costs and significantly reduce time to sale. For example, our clients don’t need to waste time and money juggling multiple video, marketing, PR, event and content agencies, they simply come to us for all their needs. in inbound marketing – simple processes, easy project management and fast results.
Neglecting regional needs
A common mistake companies make when expanding into new markets is reusing the same messages and customer testimonials. They do this without localizing the marketing messages or content. For example, a US-based tech company might not expect a use case, featuring an obscure local retailer, to resonate with APAC or UK/EMEA prospects. If you’re considering regional marketing, find your local customer champions and build a customer advocacy program around them.
However, an integrated customer advocacy program often involves many moving parts. This includes public relations, content production, writing, project management, event management, webinar management, storytelling, video production and social media. This is usually well beyond the remit and capabilities of a single regional marketing manager. This is where we come in. We do the heavy lifting and relieve the local marketer, while helping to build regional business and company growth.
Misalignment of sales and marketing
At the C-Suite level, it is often mistakenly believed that marketing is secondary to sales, while, in reality, the two must work hand in hand to ignite the main generation engine.
Marketing teams are under pressure to “attract leads”. Meanwhile, the disconnect between marketing and sales means sales are under pressure to convert those “leads” into sales faster and at scale.
The reality is that many of these “leads” aren’t quite ready to convert. They should be fed slowly. In many large SaaS/Data companies, these leads can take 6 months to a year to materialize. Meanwhile, sales marketing teams are getting more and more burnt out, more frustrated, and looking to other businesses. Then, if the pattern is also broken there, the cycle begins again.
In a data-driven environment, there’s no better time than now to start reassessing your marketing and sales data and taking it more seriously. Make it meaningful, create a collaborative revenue engine, and unlock your business’s true potential to attract and retain customers.
Azadeh Williams is the founder and managing partner of AZK Media.