5 marketing mistakes to avoid

As marketers, we often get caught up with pressing timelines, endless campaign iterations, and worrying about superfluous minutiae. And within all that frenzy, we miss seeing the big picture – while making some mistakes along the way.

But don’t fret! Here’s a list of five marketing mistakes to avoid so you can stay on track:

1. Lack of version control 

While working on a document (such as a PDF, Word file, PowerPoint), marketers need feedback from different teams and departments. And while the feedback is crucial, the multiple marked-up versions can bring headaches when trying to cull all the edits. Questions may arise: Who made this comment? Was this draft changed back to the original? What is the latest version? Time spent spinning around trying to control the latest version is time wasted. Thankfully, ​tools like Central Desktop now help marketers share, edit and sign off on finished work. File sharing and project management save a lot of headaches.

2. Not knowing your audience 

Do you really know who is buying your service or product? Is your message appropriate for your target customer? Once you have knowledge about your audience (gender, age, location, economic status, etc.), you’ll be able to customize your marketing message.

It’s a pretty basic rule, but it sometimes gets overlooked. Don’t send a big national brand pitch to a local mom and pop advertiser. Keep the audience in mind and bring a valuable message.

3. Working in silos 

In the old advertising days, teams could work in seclusion and add their piece to the creative assembly line process. Well, it seems that some teams still work in silos and become extremely protective of their work and process. Lack of communication and sharing can bring disastrous results.

In the new media landscape, there are many marketing components (print, online, mobile, etc.) moving in different directions. Collaboration is crucial.

To learn more about how you collaborate and how to encourage more cross-departmental silo-breaking, ​check out our quiz and ​our report on the 9 types of collaborators.

4. Jargon vs. plain English

Not too long ago, your humble author drafted how “the local ecosystem evolved into top of mind synergistic swim lanes” before he caught himself. Just use plain English, folks. Our industry is inundated with new buzzwords and, though they may sound grandiose, they don’t really work with the owner of the local bike shop.

Keep the tone conversational and, above all else, clear.

5. One-way marketing

Send your marketing campaign out into the world, then walk away. That’s how it’s been done for decades and it still works, right? Not really. With interactive media, advertising has shifted into a two-way conversation between seller and consumer.

Though “engagement” may be a marketing buzzword, it’s worthwhile to consider. If social media is appropriate for your marketing campaign, take the time to monitor comments and connect with your customers. Consider creating ways for customers to participate with the brand. You’ll learn from each other and it’ll help your business grow.

As I mentioned above, use plain English and talk to your customers as a person.

For more on the challenges faced by brand marketers and creative agencies, read our free “State of Agency/Client Collaboration Report.”

Post by Roger Park

Roger Park is a writer and marketing consultant based in Los Angeles. Previously he was the blog editor for the YP corporate blog and a staffer on the Yahoo! search marketing blog. He also served as the news editor for iMediaConnection. His articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Wired, LA Weekly, Los Angeles magazine and various publications.