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Every business makes marketing mistakes, and while the goal of any error is to learn from it, some companies continue making the same mistakes. Over time, these mistakes can damage a business’s credibility and brand appeal. Mistakes can be costly from a marketing perspective, especially for small to medium businesses. Smaller companies have smaller marketing budgets, and every cent counts. To help shed some light on what you should avoid or stop doing right now, we’ve put together five marketing mistakes that successful businesses don’t make. 

Thinking everyone is your ideal customer.

If you are going to invest in marketing, you must identify your target audience. This is a group of people who are best suited for your business. While your knee-jerk reaction may be to try to serve everyone, there will be people your business best serves. For example, while a physical therapist may treat patients of all ages, they may specialize in treating pregnant and postpartum women. Therefore, it is important to focus marketing efforts to attract this demographic. Understanding your target audience will help you spend your marketing budget wisely and effectively.

Not segmenting email lists.

Many businesses create a general contact list in their email marketing platform when beginning email marketing. When a blog or newsletter goes out, it goes to everyone on this list. The mindset for this tactic is to reach everyone, but this isn’t always the best thing for the health of your email list. Email marketing can be a very effective way to reach and connect with people interested in your services. If you segment your email lists, you can send very targeted emails to the people interested in receiving them. For example, if you’re a pediatrician, targeting your mailing lists by age bracket will allow you to send specific content relevant to the parents at a particular stage in their life. Sending teen content to new moms is very irrelevant right now and sending breastfeeding content to parents of teens is also entirely irrelevant. You will have better open and click rates and fewer unsubscribes by segmenting the lists. 

Ignoring comments, reviews, and posts made about your business online.

Your reputation can be significantly impacted by online comments – both positively and negatively. Ignoring comments can be perceived as ignoring a customer. Likewise, getting into a back and forth with an unhappy customer online can also be perceived as childish and unnecessary. If you value your customers, encourage them to write reviews and make comments online. According to recent research, family, friends, and Google are the top ways businesses receive recommendations. If you aren’t paying attention to what’s being said about you online, you can adversely impact your business. Set up your accounts so you receive notifications whenever anyone writes a comment or review about your business and respond to them quickly and professionally.

Expecting one marketing tactic to be enough.

We like to call this type of marketing “putting all your eggs in one basket.” It is best to diversify your marketing strategy to reach people where they are. Today’s customers consume content and make purchasing decisions in various ways. You limit growth if you’re only using one marketing tactic (i.e., social media). Diversify your marketing to include tactics such as PR, email, social media, content marketing, SEO, and referral marketing. Other traditional tactics such as television, print, and radio may also be added depending on your goals, budget, and target audience. The point is to identify where your target audience is consuming content and go there with your marketing. 

Not taking care of your customer.

We tell prospective clients that it is critically important to ensure your customer experience is stellar before beginning any marketing campaign. If you are having an issue with recurrent complaints, why would you bring more customers into your business to experience the same thing? Address any “back of house” issues to ensure your team is on the same page and committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences. Every prospective customer or existing customer encounter should be a pleasurable experience. A warm, friendly voice and a genuine smile can make a difference. Help your customers feel like they are the most important person to you at that moment. If you make customers feel special, they will notice and remember, which will help make marketing a bit easier.