Top Five Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Now

marketingmistakes-n2q

Written by guest blogger Corianne Burton, SEO Specialist with N2Q Consulting

“Make the customer number one.” “The customer is always right.” “Customer service is priority numero uno.”

These platitudes may seem tired, but they speak a long-known marketing truth. However, foundational marketing often makes the mistake of simply denying the fact that the customer comes first.

Thinking you know better than your audience, seeing consumers as numbers and not people, and failing to give customers their due attention are seemingly trite mantras from days of old… but they’ll come back to haunt you. If you become tone deaf to these truths, you’ll pay in lost traffic, missed prospects and opportunities, and even your loyal, long-time customers going a new direction. The good news is that you can still take back the success of your marketing campaigns. Just make sure to address these key foundational errors that many marketing firms make.

1. Thinking You Have All the Answers

…Or thinking that you need to have them. Marketing is tricky; it’s an ever-changing field of consumer attraction. While you may have great ideas, keeping current and creative requires humility. You must step back from all the good that you know (or, believe you should know) in order to listen. To learn. To ask questions.

Stop relying on the tried and not-so-true marketing methods. They only maintain the status quo and – as you can tell by our name – this is something we don’t like. To say no to the quo and move into the great beyond, you must listen to experts in the field, ask questions and get creative with marketing efforts that work well for your company and with its goals. If you need help, ask. After all, holding fast to the idea of being a jack-of-all-trades may hurt your endgame.

2. Believing One Size-Fits-All

Furthermore, making assumptions and following stock strategies reaps problems for campaigns and your client relationships. In other words, marketing proposed to “fit everyone” likely fits no one. Failing to listen to your audience or understand the goals of your company lead to lackluster marketing campaigns.

Focus on a segmented, targeted audience rather than a broad one. Taking into account the habits, triggers, interests, goals and hopes of prospects allows you to tailor your marketing to better meet their needs. Plus, matching these details to the goals, products and services of your company helps build relationships. This considerate attention leads to loyal customers.

3. Avoiding the Social Scene

You may desire to remain aloof from the crowd (whether digital or real world), but being antisocial in marketing efforts hurts your business. While social media proves vital to success (for those companies whose customers engage with it), half-hearted efforts produce full failures. Yes, nothing is better than a poorly run campaign.

To take advantage of social media, make sure you’re attending to Facebook or blog comments and questions. Build relationships rather than broadcasting or promoting yourself through these platforms. You’ll be rewarded by knowing more about your audience. The truth is consumers want to know that you see who they are beyond a mere notch in your sales belt.

4. Not Taking Advantage of Analytics

In the activity of a week, assessing the impact of marketing campaigns by “feel” proves difficult. Often this critical assessment gets set aside for lead chasing and advertising. Yet, marketing 101 teaches that tracking and measuring results is crucial for knowing what is working.

Fortunately, a host of analytics offer help in determining your return on investment. Google Analytics, social media analytics such as Facebook insights, and email campaign data give feedback to let you know where adjustments need to be made for greater success. Use the figures and switch up campaigns by concentrating your efforts on what works.

5. Failing to Draft a Strategy

Digital marketing and technology bring a flurry of business boosting options to your door step. It’s exciting! Unfortunately, these opportunities also prove overwhelming, even paralyzing to your marketing efforts. Or, if you eagerly jump in with both feet wherever you can, you run the risk of landing in the wrong place.

Marketing objectives and goals culminating in a strategy are vital. Identify where you want to go and the tactics on how to get there become clearer. Plus, assessing each marketing component to ensure it leads to the same destination proves easier. Your analytics will more accurately measure what you intend to when your direction is set.

The Wrap

Whether you go DIY or hire a creative agency to get your efforts flowing, addressing the details of your marketing campaign proves critical to your success. Your audience does come first. The customer really is numero uno.

Humble yourself to listen to your prospects, customers, industry experts and even your competition to adopt a marketing strategy which tailor fits your company and demographic. Engage with your audience to build loyal relationships. Be sure to use analytics to measure and adjust as needed.

Doing nothing out of fear or everything out of eagerness yields poor marketing results. Money and time are precious commodities poured into these efforts. Use them wisely by developing an intentional marketing campaign that avoids these top marketing mistakes.

To speak with a beyond the status quo marketing firm for help with any marketing efforts that overwhelm or allude you, reach out to N2Q today. We love to see you succeed.

 

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How Businesses Can Utilize Twitter Polls

Twitter welcome screen

Businesses are using social media to gain exposure and convert interactions into sales. This can often be challenging, but the tools on social media help to make it easier to figure out how to keep clients and customers engaged. One extremely effective tool is the Twitter poll.

Since Twitter’s inception, the website known for short tidbits of information has been updated in some significant ways. Twitter polls are one of the biggest updates business owners can use to drum up interest in their company.

Here are a few possibilities for how your business can utilize Twitter polls:

Find Out What Clients Want or Need

No matter what type of business you own, your main goal is to meet the clients’ needs and unfortunately, those can change often. The easiest way to keep up with the current needs and wants of potential customers is by simply asking what they need most. This will give you the information you need to tailor your advertising and improve on the programs, services, or products you offer.

For example, a plumbing business might create a Twitter poll asking what plumbing problem seems the most concerning. The options might include a broken hot water heater, a busted pipe, or a clogged toilet. Another example would be if a toy company asked what kinds of toys kids want for an upcoming holiday.

Bring the Human Touch to Your Company

You don’t have to stick to polls that only target your business. You can add humorous polls or polls that are about current events. These polls show potential clients that you care about more than just the services or goods you provide. They add the human touch to your business. However, if you opt to do polls on current events, be careful to avoid topics that might provoke negative reactions.

When you add this human touch to your company, you are also opening your company up to more people. Be sure to add hashtags in the introductory text of the poll so anyone who searches those tags has a better chance of finding your poll.

Let Customers Play a Role in the Company

A Twitter poll can make your customers feel like they are an important part of your business. Consider asking people what they think your upcoming discount of the month should be or gauge their opinion on a certain product.

If the Twitter poll is asking the voters to choose something, make sure you have options you can provide. For example, don’t include a free trip to France as a promotional contest prize if your company isn’t prepared to cover the costs of the trip.

Using Twitter Polls is Easy

It doesn’t take a lot of time to set up a Twitter poll, which makes them a great option for busy business owners. After you choose a question and answers, all you have to do is select how long you want the poll to run, which can range anywhere from a few minutes to seven days. Once the poll goes live, be prepared to interact with respondents if they comment or retweet the poll.

Overall, you should use Twitter polls and other social media avenues as a way to interact on a personal level with the clients and customers your serve.

How to Build Online Customer Reviews for Your Business

Feedback Word Cloud Screen Shows Opinion Evaluation And Surveys

Competition is tough, bad news spreads much faster than good news and most entrepreneurs try their luck online where it’s hard to stand out. How can one succeed in this tough market?

The old recipe of combining quality services with traditional marketing, search engine optimization and social marketing still works, but actually obtaining results takes a lot of time and effort or some customer reviews.

How Do Online Customer Reviews Help Businesses?

Nowadays, online reviews make or break businesses and it is easy to understand why. It is obvious that buyers will stay away from any business with bad reviews, but how do positive reviews help?

  • They draw potential buyers. Internet users are more likely to check out a business with a four- or five-star rating than one with no rating.
  • They turn prospects into buyers. When people read about other buyers’ positive experiences, they gain confidence in the business and the products or services it offers. The buying decision follows naturally.
  • They help improve the business’ position in the search results. Businesses with positive reviews are listed with priority by the search engines.

Otherwise put, good reviews guarantee quality products and services, they inspire buyer confidence and they consolidate a business’ position in search engine results pages (SERPs). Businesses with poor reviews or no reviews will either go unnoticed or be ignored by their target customers.

Now that the value of positive reviews is clear, the most important question is how to obtain them.

Three Steps to Obtain Positive Reviews

Getting customer reviews isn’t hard, but it is hard work. You are most likely already doing a lot of the work, so you’ll just have to make small changes to see big results.

Customer Reviews Blog 2

1. Ensure Customer Satisfaction

Positive reviews are obtained from satisfied customers, so the first thing every business needs is a few satisfied customers. The funny thing is that satisfied customers are far less likely to post reviews than unsatisfied ones.

This is why it is important to identify not only satisfied customers, but unsatisfied ones as well. This could be accomplished through periodical online and phone surveys. The results will reveal what aspects of the business need to be improved and can be used to counteract client dissatisfaction.

Finding the Best Review Websites

With so many review websites out there, covering all would be impossible and ineffective. It is better to identify the most important ones for each business and focus on them, at least in the beginning. How to identify them?

  • Company and Brand Name Search. It involves searching for the name of the company and of the brand online, with and without the words “review” and “reviews” in the search query. The purpose is to identify any existing reviews and their character. Websites with several reviews are a great starting point for anyone trying to build more reviews.
  • Non-Brand Keywords Search. Searching for keywords relevant to the business and its location online will reveal, among others, the most important review sites covering businesses in that field.
  • Industry Leaders and Competitors Search. The search should lead to websites hosting reviews of the competition. These, again, could be the starting point of any review-building campaign.

The results of these three searches can be compiled in a short list covering the review sites on the first positions in the search results for several queries, as well as the sites already hosting reviews of the business.

The next step is to drive customers toward those review sites, but, before that, it is important to make sure the company profile is up to date.

2. Get Customers to Post Reviews

Customer Reviews Blog 3

Because some review websites do not allow businesses to request reviews from their customers, the terms and conditions of each site should be reviewed. Assuming that the review site does not prohibit requesting reviews from customers, the next step is to get those reviews, and here are a few of ways to do it:

  • Creating a Webpage Linking to the Most Important Review Sites. The webpage can include links to the company’s profile on those review sites and a call to action, a message encouraging customers to check out the existing reviews on the company.
  • Including Links to the Review Sites in the Company Website and Email Signatures. The same message encouraging customers to check out the company’s reputation can be added on the company website and in the email signatures.
  • Handing Over Business Cards and Flyers. Make sure they include the URL of an important review site. Customers will most likely reach the site in search of reviews and end up leaving theirs.
  • Asking Clients. Clients can be asked to submit reviews by phone or email.

3. Turn Negatives Reviews into Positive Ones

Customer Reviews Blog 4

All businesses get negative reviews sooner or later. In fact, a business with lots of positive reviews and no negative reviews would look suspicious. The trick is to keep the number of negative reviews under control and use those reviews to improve the services or products offered.

Try to contact unsatisfied customers and address their issues. Sometimes the best and strongest advocates for a business’ service are unsatisfied customers who become satisfied after you’ve given them personal attention and solved their problem.

Customers will treasure a company that cares about their satisfaction, admits its faults and goes the extra mile to improve its services. What matters is to show commitment to client satisfaction and progress as far as the number of positive reviews vs. negative reviews is concerned.

 

BBB Customer Reviews – Great for Businesses Too

Are you familiar with BBB customer reviews? They are not just for consumers; businesses can benefit from them too!

Customer Reviews Infographic for Blog

To learn more about customer reviews, go to http://go.bbb.org/akorww-review. Customer Reviews from a Brand You Trust!