Classic marketing mistakes

Here are some of the bases for Classic marketing mistakes


“Marketing is what the folks in the Marketing Department do”.  

But the real Marketing is what the whole organisation is about.

“Our market  is – Everyone”

Not Marketing to a Defined Group: Find your target audience and gear your marketing plan to that audience. Trying to appeal to everyone typically does not work.

“We need new customers”

Not Focusing on Repeat Business: Repeat business typically makes up 80 percent of customers in most businesses. Too often marketing campaigns are heavily focused on bringing in new customers and not building relationships with current ones.

“The Research Tells Us …”

Relying on the results of market research as the deciding factor when making marketing decisions is a risky proposition. Why? Because research is inherently fraught with many potential problems. These problems are often the result of how the research is designed or how it is executed.

“Pump More money/effort into Promotion”

Viewing marketing problems in terms of promotional deficiencies is extremely shortsighted. Marketing is much more than advertising. Sales problems could be the result of numerous other marketing problems. Before deciding to spend more on promotion it probably makes more sense to spend time reviewing all marketing decisions to make sure problems do not lay elsewhere.

“Not Having a Clear Marketing Message”

Marketing messages that are contrived, confusing, too subtle or too long can easily miss the target market entirely. The most ingenious marketing plan is wasted if no one gets it.

“Having the Best Product on the Market”

You might think it’s the best product, but remember the marketer is not buying the product. The marketer’s target market is supposed to buy it. If a marketer can’t understand why customers are buying a competitor’s product when the marketer thinks the competitor’s product is inferior then the marketer does not know the market well enough.

“Our Customers Only Care About Getting the Lowest Price”

No they don’t. They care about the best value for their money. Customers first and foremost want to feel comfortable with their purchase and know they got their money’s worth from their decision.

“We Know Who Our Competitors Are”

Most marketers when asked to name their competitors can easily rattle off a list. While the length of this list shows strong knowledge of the market, what is more important is who is not on the list. Companies not viewed as competitors are potentially the biggest threat to a company, especially for companies operating in a rapidly evolving market.

“All That Matters Is Profit”

Sometimes a firm must make strategic decisions that sacrifice profits in order strengthen other parts of the company.  Unless you have satisfied customers you wont have profits

“No time to Plan”

Marketing executives within fast moving industries often feel planning beyond the short-term is useless since the market changes so rapidly.. A marketing plan can help the company insert controls on marketing expenditures. It also has the added benefit of having marketers take a step back to see where the company has been and may uncover important information that was not apparent earlier. Additionally, a marketing plan may help ensure that everyone within the company is on the same page with regard to the basic direction of the firm’s marketing efforts. This may prevent finger pointing down the road. Even if a plan is limited to only covering the next six months of operations it is an exercise that should not be avoided.”

Not Getting Feedback”

Test your marketing ideas and do research. Don’t launch it without getting some feedback first.

“Change for the Sake of It”

Just because you are tired of your marketing plan doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Too many marketers make changes because they think they have too. Often a tried and true formula will keep working.


Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

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