bad marketing habits

Marketing done right can get you a lot of attention, not to mention traffic and accolades.

The sad thing is that marketing is many times approached and done wrong.

Many of us as marketers have started our journey and learned as we went along. Quite a lot of online marketing professionals started off by being self-taught and incorporating this knowledge into acquiring qualifications in line with their expertise.

The problem with coming to the table having trained yourself is that you tend to pick up some pretty bad habits along the way.

Regardless of what professional field you are talking about, be it engineering, science or psychology, there will be amateur individuals that teach themselves the basics of the craft and then go on to become fully trained professionals in the field. Their final result can be quite impressive on occasion, but their methodology is flawed.

Identifying The 9 Worst Marketing Habits So You Can Avoid Them

What you should consider doing in this coming year is finding the habits that crop up and make you look like an amateur. Do any of these habits apply to you?

1. Keep Data in its Place: Analytics is one of the new buzzwords that the Internet has taken to using when it comes to tracking statistics of your marketing efforts. Analytics is an innovative way to garner information and by representing this information in a format that is easily readable, you can make critical decisions that can improve your efforts.

The bad habit that marketers cultivate (especially those coming over from the traditional field into the digital world) is that they tend to become overwhelmed by the data they have.

  • How to break it: If you try to do too much with your data, then it becomes more of a hindrance than a help. Try to compartmentalize the “good” data and throw out all the excess filler.

2. Skipping Steps in Brand Development: Branding is one of the most important things that marketing professionals do. Developing a brand and growing it to become a major player is one of the dreams of every marketer. To get branding done right, however, there are a series of things that you need to get done before your brand starts to get off the ground. Branding personifies your business and everything your business does comes from the idea that the brand represents to the customers.

  • How to Break It: Just like firing an arrow at a target, you need to have an idea of what you want your brand to be and aim for it. Follow the roadmap to brand development as closely as you possibly can. Not having a plan for your branding will only end with your brand failing spectacularly.

3. Falling Prey to Quantity over Quality: In the old days, there was a saying that went “more is better”. Whilst the general idea is that more can be better, it isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to marketing content. Good content varies from bad content because good content gives something back to your audience.

  • How to Break It: Because of the tight schedule, some marketers cut corners with their content production and start creating substandard content. We can’t expect you to produce great, clear, concise content all the time (that’s why auditing exists: to throw out the substandard content), but you should try to create great content as much as possible. You’ll know you’re going in the right direction when your traffic numbers swell.

4. No Content Strategy: What is the aim of your content production? What are you trying to accomplish with your content? Are you trying to sell to the consumer or simply to build the customer’s loyalty? Critical questions like these help you to develop a content strategy that can be used to direct your content production efforts.

  • How to Break It: Your content needs to speak to someone and it needs to accomplish an aim. If it doesn’t have an aim, then why was it created? Having the right tools to develop marketing content is only halfway there. You have to have a road-map to know where you’re going and how to get to your destination. If you don’t have one yet, you can always consult a professional content production company for help with developing one.

5. Wanting to do Too Much: Does your audience NEED to know that? How does this benefit your audience? How does it advance your content strategy? Marketing is about getting the right information to the consumer at the right time. It focuses on covering the bases that need to be covered and converting the customer over to your point of view. How you go about this is your own decision.

  • How to Break It: Keep the information you present to the potential buyer concise and to the point as much as is possible. The new breed of consumer appreciates brevity and factual statements over appeals to emotion. Use that to your advantage (especially in campaigns that focus on social media). Twitter can only take one hundred and forty characters. You should say what you have to say within that space and not waste your potential buyer’s time with excess information that is of no concern to them.

6. Not Making a Personal Connection: The Internet has made it very easy to be impersonal with our marketing tactics. Connections over digital media are fleeting and they don’t come with any emotional attachment. In the past a smile, a handshake and some clever conversation could ingrain you to a client within the first few minutes of meeting them. Now, it takes quite a lot more to get into a potential buyer’s good graces. The short attention span that many consumers have today only seems to exacerbate the problem.

  • How to Break It: Stop treating your clients like names on a list to be called or emailed and discarded till the next email round comes around. Make connections and start conversations. Remember that marketing is all about making that human connection despite all the odds stacked against it. Personal connections are the way that you can successfully win a modern consumer over to your side. Don’t underestimate the power of caring.

7. Don’t Follow Trends: When we were kids, we used to go for the thing that was most popular because everyone else was going for it. Marketing is about finding what works for you. Since each company and each campaign is different (even if it’s based on another company’s campaign) you cannot hope to gain success by following a formulaic strategy. Following a “tried and tested” method will work half the time, but has an equal probability of flopping.

  • How to Break It: Examine what you want to accomplish through your marketing campaign. See where you want your content to appeal to your consumers. Do you want to raise awareness? Would you prefer building customer loyalty and developing a customer base that you can reliably depend on? Develop your own methods for accomplishing your aims. Sometimes the craziest ideas work out beyond your wildest dreams.

8. Stop Talking about Yourself: Telling a story and making your audience feel involved forms the backbone of good content marketing. You are trying to give them a reason to think positively about your brand. In order to do that you have to determine what the audience wants and try to link that to your brand image. However, how you do this differs greatly between B2C marketing and B2B marketing.

  • How to Break It: In B2B marketing, talking about yourself is expected. In B2C marketing, you need to talk less about your products and features and focus more on developing a story around the consumer. You can still keep your facts in your marketing efforts, but consumers put a lot more stock in the stories you tell them.

9. Stop Waiting, Start Doing: In the recent past it has been the norm to see companies looking at how a particular marketing scheme was employed by other companies and adopting it to their own needs. With all the information we have on how certain campaigns perform and how successful they are in certain niches, there is no more need for you to wait and see how things turn out. Things have already “turned out” and the longer you wait the further behind you fall.

  • How to Break It: This comes from a double-pronged problem of procrastination and fear. Marketing is an inexact science (even with our tons of analytics to help us out). However, the good thing about marketing is how flexible it is. Even if a particular type of campaign performs poorly at the start, we know enough about customer mentality and our own audience that we can adjust the campaign to be more successful as time goes along. Procrastination ends in certain failure because nothing can succeed if it never starts.

Make the Decision to Change

It’s just the beginning of the year and a lot of us have already fallen prey to at least one (if not more) of these bad habits in our marketing. Breaking a habit requires a concerted effort on your part. That’s why you can’t afford to waste time dwelling on what you’ve done so far. Make the decision to change your bad habits now.

While you’re working on them, consider hiring a professional content writing company to aid you in filling out the gaps. Unless you take matters into your own hands you’re going to find yourself in some dire straits further down the road.