Thursday, May 19, 2016

Common Marketing Problems

I wish I could say that these problems were rare, but they are not. I run into these problems quite frequently. Admittedly, it is usually when a person who is not trained in marketing is at the marketing helm of his or her organization. Apparently, people responsible for choosing a marketing head (in some organizations) think that little skill or experience is required to do the job well. But that is a topic for another blog post.

Here are the most common problems I have witnessed:

  • There is no brand positioning.
  • There is no brand architecture.
  • There are no brand identity guidelines.
  • The logo is not functional for all uses.
  • No one has established a hierarchy of target customers.
  • There is no communications plan or media plan. The marketer responds to the most compelling media pitches, often resulting in a completely ineffective and inefficient mix of publications and media vehicles. 
  • Organizations only target and interact with their current customers, not new ones.
  • Organizations rely exclusively on social media for their marketing efforts. 
  • Organizations forget to solicit email addresses and other contact information at trade shows and other outreach efforts.
  • Organizations assume that a good website with good SEO efforts is all they need to build brand awareness.
  • Advertising focuses exclusively on functional (versus emotional) messages.
  • They load marketing communication up with multiple complex messages of brand benefits thinking that will make the communication stronger.
  • They conduct deeply flawed marketing research. Maybe they solicit the wrong people for their responses. Maybe the survey instrument is designed in such a way that there is significant biasing. Maybe the sample size is not large enough to conclude anything definitively. Sometimes the analysis (and its underlying logic) is flawed.
  • The marketing program consists primarily of price discounts and other price promotions because it results in a (temporary) sales lift.
  • They have little to no marketing budget because they don't believe in the power of marketing or because they believe the product should sell itself.
  • They never stop to think about the customer's beliefs, attitudes, values, hopes, fears, shopping behaviors, product usage behaviors or anything else that would help them design successful marketing programs.
  • There is no "integrated" marketing. It is all conducted ad hoc as opportunities arise. Nothing is designed to work together. 

I hope you do not have these problems. And I hope this makes you feel good about your marketing abilities. I wish you great success with your marketing efforts.

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