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Marketing Tactics

7 Dreadful Marketing Mistakes To Avoid In 2018

Costly missteps can break your business. Do your bottom line (and your customers) a favour by conducting a quick audit of your marketing strategy.

Reshu Rathi

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The marketing landscape is more diverse than ever before, with marketing strategies spanning multiple channels. To stay relevant, you must conduct marketing audits from time to time. With so many tasks to execute, you might be walking a fine line and making a few (or several) blunders.At Betaout, we’ve learned that these mistakes can cost you time and money you don’t have to waste. Avoid these missteps to help keep your marketing strategy in sync with your brand evolution.

1. Not taking the leap from personalisation to individualisation

Everybody’s talking about personalisation, but marketers still struggle to create meaningful customer experiences. The question isn’t whether you’re personalising your messages – everyone is, to some extent. Answer these pressing questions instead:

  • Are you still doing mass-level personalisation by simply inserting your customers’ first names?
  • Are you taking individualised insights into account?

Recent research reveals that only 6 percent of marketers worldwide report having a single customer view across online and offline channels. If you don’t fall in this narrow bracket (and the odds are slim, really), your marketing isn’t targeted enough.

Related: Daniella Shapiro Of Oolala Collection Club’s Smart Strategies For Marketing Your Online Business

2. Not following the cardinal 80/20 rule

You’ve no doubt heard the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle: 80 percent of the effect comes from 20 percent of the causes. But are you using it in your marketing?

Whether your focus is on content marketing, social-media marketing or email marketing, 80 percent of your effort should be spent providing value to your audience. That leaves 20 percent of your effort for promotional activity. This keeps your audience engaged and builds a long-term relationship.

Brand-oriented messages fizzle. Customer-oriented ones will help you sizzle.

3. Ignoring retention marketing

retention-marketingRetention marketing should be the backbone of your marketing strategy. Why? Two reasons: It’s easier to sell to someone you’ve built a relationship with, and it’s more profitable to sell to your existing customers.

Need some convincing? Check out these stats:

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. The probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere in the 5 to 20 percent range.
  • Acquiring a new customer costs six to seven times what you’ll spend to retain an existing one.

Once someone becomes your customer, make sure you don’t stop marketing to him or her. Customer loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. It all boils down to creating value so they’ll remain customers for life.

Related: Brand And Marketing: Finding The Balance For SMEs

 4. Not documenting your content-marketing strategy

Content marketing currently is your best bet to rise above the noise. No wonder it’s employed by 94 percent of small businesses, 93 percent of business-to-business (B2B) companies and 77 percent of business-to-consumer (B2C) organisations. Now, contrast that with the markedly smaller proportions of groups with a written content-marketing plan: 37 percent of B2B marketers and 40 percent of B2C marketers.

Document your content-marketing strategy before you start creating stories and other materials around your brand. It will make content creation and distribution not only easier but more effective, too.

5. Ignoring new channels and platforms

The most successful companies do what they can to leverage every marketing channel. They don’t just stick with the same old channels and strategies. According to a Harvard Business School study, retailers that took advantage of multiple channels were more profitable than those employing only a single channel.

The digital world constantly is evolving. Adopting the relevant, emerging marketing channels is paramount to connect with your audiences.

6. Using email as a promotional tool

email-marketingThere was an era in email marketing when emails were used solely for promotional purposes. Modern professionals know email marketing plays a critical role in building trust-based relationships to engage, convert and retain customers. Neglecting these responsibilities can have serious repercussions for any online business. If you want your email marketing to be a success, you need to accept a major mindset shift: Use email as an engagement tool, not a promotional one.

Related: 4 Ways To Implement Strategic Marketing Without Breaking The Bank

7. Not spending time crafting your message

This is the single-biggest mistake marketers make. They simply don’t pay enough attention to crafting the message before they push it out to an audience.

Carefully think through what you want your customer or potential client to believe. Whether you’re writing a blog post, composing an email, writing a Facebook status update or creating popup copy, every word you write should convey your message clearly and convincingly.

When it comes to marketing, it’s not just channel that matters: it’s also the message.

The future of marketing will be highly complex, and it will reward only those who can provide meaningful experiences to customers. If you want to succeed in the digital age, you’ve got to get the customer experience right.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Reshu Rathi is the digital marketing manager at Betaout, a customer intelligence and marketing automation platform for ecommerce. Her job is to create content and marketing campaigns to help ecommerce marketers personalize their marketing and increase conversion.

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Marketing Tactics

Ask These 3 Questions To Determine Where To Spend Your Marketing Budget

Stretching your marketing budget is imperative, especially when there aren’t that many marketing rands to stretch.

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As you grow your business, it’s important to be creative and efficient with your money. When it comes to marketing, there are a number of cost-effective ways to spend and save your money. So, if you’re worried about marketing on a limited budget, here’s some helpful info to know.

First, great marketing is about highlighting wants and needs and attaching them to desired outcomes. It’s possible to do that regardless of budget — and every company’s strategy will be different.

For example, when my consultancy worked with Dollar Shave Club to grow its platform beyond viral videos, we focused on establishing a unique voice, which led to creating an editorial component. When we worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger on his fitness and nutrition products, we focused on creating a core mission and understanding why he was involved in the product. And when we worked with Four Sigmatic to market its coffees and teas, we focused on customer acquisition and retention.

Related: 5 Ways To Market Your Business On A Limited Budget

3 Questions that Cut Through the Clutter

Those projects all started with the same three questions: What is the value and purpose of your product or service? Who is your target audience? And what is the best platform on which to reach them? That’s where you’ll want to invest most of your attention before you determine where to spend your money. (Notice my word choice: Your planning is an investment; where you spend is a cost.)

1. In general, we prefer to use digital campaigns

It’s easier to track what works and what doesn’t. Plus, digital creates multiple opportunities to engage. Think of it this way: 10% of your audience will buy, 10% won’t and 80% will be on the fence. Would you rather have one shot to convince that 80%, or multiple? By retargeting through something like Facebook ads or Google, or even creating a distribution channel like an email list, you can communicate repeatedly.

2. If you don’t have an audience, spend money fishing in small ponds where you know you can get a bite, and then set yourself up to communicate repeatedly

(This is where creating content as a form of acquisition or building an email list can be incredibly valuable.) Depending on your product or service, this could mean a very targeted ad to a small audience on Facebook — rather than attempting to reach millions — or setting up a pop-up shop, or getting a spot at a local farmers’ market.

Related: 4 Unique Marketing Ideas For SMEs On A Budget

3. If you already have an audience, turn them into super-fans who will bring their peers into your universe

Identify previous buyers and give them direct access to you through focus groups or calls. Reward them for their time with product or a gift certificate. When you show your consumer that you care about and appreciate them, it not only increases the likelihood of repurchase but also helps them personally invest in the soul of the business. Not to mention, their insights will help you understand why they bought and how to replicate that process.

Whatever you do — and no matter how big or small your budget — keep finding better answers to the core marketing questions and your success won’t hinge on any one platform.

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Marketing Tactics

Gen Z Is Coming! Are You Ready?

How do you market your company to this generation?

Stuart Scanlon

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According to the CNBC, about 61 000 Gen Zers are on the verge of entering the workforce and consumer market in the US alone.

They are digital natives; they have grown up in a world of vines, txts (yes, we know) and internet. Their attention span is shorter than ever, they are more connected than any other generation, and they are brilliant multitaskers. Gen Z is a more tolerant generation but also more cautious; studies have found less risk-taking amongst this group and an increase in thoughtfulness and questioning authority.

So, on the one side of this coin, how do you market your company to this generation?

1. By being transparent

Be upfront about your business, what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. They have lost faith in corporations. Thus, you must stop relying on and hiding behind small print. Yes, you need terms and conditions to protect your company, but when it looks like a miracle weight-loss advert of the 80s (“Eat anything you want just take this pill. Ts&Cs apply.”), you’ll lose customers.

Related: Investing in Young Entrepreneurs

Gen Z consumers want to see you are real; they don’t want models or celebrities but regular people who can assist them in a manner that speaks to them. And they will hold your business is socially accountable. Instead of producing millions of T-shirts at the cheapest possible price, they want local, equality and free-trade, and they want to know what businesses are doing for the environment and society.

Gen Z won’t accept your claims at your word; they want to see evidence in your company culture.

2. By offering options

A jewellery purchasing study has found that most Gen Zers don’t have a preferred shopping platform. What this means is your messaging, availability and culture need to be spread evenly across all contact points – sales, call centres, website and digital advertising. In fact, many Gen Z consumers rely on mixing their contact points.

That being said, they want immediate action. If they see something they want online, they will go to the shop just to have the item right now. More than immediacy, they also want custom-made or made-to-order products and services. They shy away from traditional made-to-stock methods, which creates plenty of room in the production industry.

3. By being forward thinking

We have to always remember what was mind-blowing inventions to other generations are the norm for Gen Zers. They hold brands and businesses to high expectations, and instead of being loyal to brands, expect brands to be loyal to them. As Gen Z is more focused on individuality, they are also proving to be a generation with a high entrepreneurial output. All this shows that they don’t want the norm; they don’t crave what’s new today, they want tomorrow, sustainability and innovation, and they want it now.

On the other side of the coin, how do you attract this generation to work at your company? In much the same way.

1. By being transparent

As much as you are hiring them based on what they bring to the table, so too are they looking at what you can afford them. But, they don’t just want to hear you tell them about the benefits, they want to see it – and they are not after just money. Gen Zers want to be financially secure, but also one that is fulfilling; one where they find purpose in their jobs and company.

2. By offering options

Gen Z employees don’t want to work eight to five, they don’t want to be chained to a desk, and they don’t want to be micro-managed. Give them flexibility on how they want to conduct their work and how they can communicate with their colleagues. Create an understanding workspace for their needs and help them improve their skills – for instance, it’s been reported that a stumbling block for Gen Zers is communication. Growing up with emojis and text messages make face-to-face conversations, business calls and writing emails difficult for them.

Gen Z employees want to work hard and grow their skills. Even though they’re growing up in a super-paced society, they want to climb the corporate ranks at the given speed. What they crave, with urgency, is gaining value from their jobs.

Related: The Z Generation

3. By being forward thinking

They are lateral thinkers, and their creativity is not just outside the box but has broken the box completely. Gen Z is incredibly tech-savvy, and they will challenge the systems and procedures you have in place if these are not providing the needed speed and data required. Thus, they crave to work in an environment where they can push boundaries and ultimately help the company move forward. Hiring from the Gen Z pool can provide you with innovative insights into your business that can grow it towards tomorrow’s giants.

The only way to be sure you are future-proofing your business is by guaranteeing it caters for future customers and employees, by relying on forward-thinking enterprise resource planning software, for instance. Epicor ERP software ensures that their clients stay agile and innovative through trusting top minds to build and develop intelligent systems that open doors for Gen Zers. It’s Epicor’s innate tech-savviness that allows them to visualise the landscape of tomorrow and develop the software to support it today.

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Marketing Tactics

Free Sample Marketing Plan Template

You don’t need an MBA to write a marketing plan for your business. While no two businesses are alike, all solid marketing plans need to provide specific information. Use this sample marketing plan template to get you started on the right foot and cover all the essential information.

Tracy Lee Nicol

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Your marketing plan should provide a comprehensive blueprint of the business, its market and associated market activity, its position in the market, target and expected customers, offerings, competition, solutions and contingency plans.

Using a sample Marketing Plan Template can save you a lot of time in creating your own marketing plan.

Download a Sample Marketing Plan Template

Use the free templates below to help make sure you’ve covered all the important bits:

Download Our Free Marketing Plan Template Here.

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Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

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