9 common marketing mistakes that could have a big impact

Making mistakes is a great way to learn, particularly when you’re at the beginning of your career and have the world at your feet. When you’re responsible for a global brand strategy on the other hand, there’s so much to focus your attention on, that sometimes mistakes can go unnoticed. 

Our team has compiled some of the most common and avoidable mistakes that we see time and again. Sometimes it’s difficult to take a moment, step back and re-evaluate a particular approach, but when you do you will see how easy it can be to avoid marketing disasters. 

Not understanding your audience

Having a product or service that is doing well is no reason to be complacent. What is affecting your audience at this very moment? What are their current pain points? What resources do your team have access to which gives you up-to-date insights on what they are facing? 

If you’re not sure where to start, consider how your existing clients and customers are segmented; is there anything you can do to gather information on their needs and wants?

A targeted email campaign that includes a survey is a great way to keep people engaged, while proactively showing that you care about what’s going on in their lives. If you proceed with a strategy such as this, it’s important that you offer your clients something in return; If they are in the B2B category, it may be in the form of a whitepaper following the results of the survey. Conversely, if it’s a B2C audience, you may offer them more tailored content in the future based on the insight they provide. 

If you don’t have them already, it’s important to create personas around your different audiences, whether they are based in different demographics, verticals or various territories. The latter of these is incredibly important. While the fundamental USPs of your brand may be the same, the responsiveness to its benefits may vary from country to country. Having regular calls with employees abroad or reviewing insight reports from them frequently will help you build a more complete picture of potential marketing gaps and opportunities. 

Talking like a robot 

When it comes to marketing mistakes, this is one of our personal pet peeves. While many brands require a more formal, corporate tone, this doesn’t mean having to litter every sentence with business jargon. 

One of the best ways to ensure your campaign is fitting is to run it by someone outside of your department. While they may not be the exact audience, if they can’t understand it on a basic, human level, it’s worth re-looking at the language that has been used. This doesn’t mean dumbing it down, but looking at opportunities to make the word choices more coherent. 

Content for content’s sake 

Every brand should be proud of their voice, and the stories they tell. But simply posting social or blog content for the sake of it, and jumping on every trending topic even if it has nothing to do with the values you hold as a company, may muddle your messaging. 

Make sure your website and pillar pages have been properly structured for your SEO strategy, and create content that supports this. Likewise, the age-old rule of ensuring it engages, entertains and informs is a safe rule to abide by. 

The reason this common mistake can be so detrimental to your marketing is because content creation takes time, money and resources. If there’s no strategy or value to your brand, you may as well be pouring money down the drain. 

Not localising campaign imagery 

When budgets are tight, it can be tempting to change as little as possible on a campaign in order to make it suitable for other regions in the world. While this makes sense as a short-term fix, what it’s actually doing is jeopardising your message. Understanding the customs and cultural nuances of the countries you are advertising in is key to making them effective. 

Local people want localised messaging, with imagery they can relate to. Anything less, and this could be missed entirely or disregarded as lazy advertising. Advertising mistakes such as these could cost you your entire campaign in that location, so think twice about scrimping on localisation. Or look for software that makes it easy for campaigns to be adapted without incurring additional costs. That’s just one of many benefits of BAM by Papirfly™.  

Letting prospects drop off the radar 

There are multiple scenarios where this can take place. We’ve chosen just a few to highlight how these situations can be avoided.  

Email prospects

All email journeys and schematics should be carefully planned and bespoke to different demographics as best as possible. Warm prospects should be nurtured on an individual basis, so the more you learn, the more you can tailor the information.  

Website visitors

Utilising cookies helps you to continue serving visitors content once they leave your website. This may be in the form of a Facebook advert, or as part of another remarketing banner network on a website they visit later on. This serves as a second touchpoint for the user and reminds them of your offering should they forget. Not including these cookies could be a wasted opportunity to nurture visitors further and a critical marketing mistake. 

Social media

Having a solid social media strategy and content plan in place is vital, but it’s also important to make sure you have an effective monitoring schedule in place. If someone makes an enquiry via social media, time is of the essence in composing a response. While it may be impossible for you to monitor all day, even leaving an answer as long as a couple of hours could mean that your prospect has looked elsewhere in this time and found an alternative company to interact with. 

Social media monitoring checklist

  • Create dedicated ‘check-ins’ at least 3 times a day
  • Put in place automated initial response for inbox messaged to buy you some time
  • Build a response playbook that keeps tabs on trending questions to save time
  • If multiple people manage an account, us a sign off name when commenting so you can keep track of who said what
  • Reply to any negative comments in a calm and constructive way

Not storing files correctly

New campaign V1 draft. 
New campaign V2 draft. 
New campaign V2 final. 
New campaign V2 FINAL FINAL. 

We’ve all been there. When your team is against the clock, things can get pretty messy in terms of how files are saved. Keeping track of what’s been approved, who needs access to what and how can be a nightmare to navigate, but is a critical marketing mistake to avoid. 

An easy-to-use DAM portal will ensure global teams have access to what they need, when they need it. Papirfly’s very own DAM enables teams across the world to edit files directly from the portal, within set parameters that don’t compromise the hard work that’s already taken place. 

Underestimating the importance of consistent marketing collateral 

When large creative campaigns are executed, they have often been painstakingly planned and created. When these are filtered down into less substantial assets or across various territories across the globe, the messages can be diluted and the brand governance can lose its power. 

Everything a brand produces should epitomise the guidelines, values and visual identity that has been set out and communicated to employees from the business. 

Having a messy approvals process 

When a global company has different marketing departments and agencies engaged, there may be any number of methods for sign off. Emails, in-person reviews, physical sign off sheets, etc. 

Having set guidelines for your brand education across your teams will be crucial in making this as pain-free as possible, but also having a centralised place where approvals can go through reduces the need to keep track of multiple streams of communication. 

The ‘so what?’ factor 

We’ve saved one of the biggest mistakes in marketing until last. While marketing ultimately exists to sell, the way in which this is done doesn’t mean what you produce always needs to be a hard sell. A brand needs to build a relationship with its audiences, and this is done by addressing the needs and wants of the people you are targeting. 

The next time your team puts a sales email in front of you, put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and ask yourself ‘so what?’. Is this providing any value to them? Is this solving a problem? Is this engaging or informative? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you may want to re-evaluate parts of your strategy. 

A final word on marketing mistakes

While it’s difficult to avoid every possible mistake, just familiarising yourself with some of the most common ones can help you learn from the frustration of others.

BAM by Papirfly™ is an all-in-one Brand Activation Management tool that can help you avoid the above marketing mistakes and many more. 

Our powerful creation suite is built from your bespoke, pre-defined digital and print templates. This allows users with limited or no design skills to quickly create, edit and share assets without ever compromising their brand. They have access to a dedicated education section that outlines any additional brand governance collateral, a powerful DAM where they can centrally store and access everything relevant to them and a range of campaign management tools – all from one place.

If you find your team encountering many of the same problems when executing global campaigns, BAM by Papirfly™ could be the answer you’re looking for. Learn more or get in touch to book your demo.