Your Business Objectives: Where Marketing Conversations Need to Start

What are the top marketing mistakes made by business owners?

1) Executives make decisions based on what they “think” is true

“There is nothing wrong with intuition and ‘common sense’ and these are naturally part of decision making in business. However, where the decisions require large financial resources and where the costs of failure are high, there is a need for decision making based on robust and reliable data.”

- Paul Hague, Julia Cupman, Matthew Harrison, and Oliver Truman, KoganPage

2) Business owners refuse to share relevant information with marketing teams

3) Executives make decisions based upon the latest marketing fads

“Fads are here today, gone tomorrow happenings. They are sudden changes in consumer markets or tastes that happen momentarily but don’t create a lasting change on consumers or their habits…Fads emerge quickly, suck up a lot of attention and consumer demand for a short time, and then die off just as quickly.”

- Jeffrey Phillips, Senior Consultant, RTI Innovation Advisors

4) A marketing strategy is used because “we have always used it.”

5) Decision makers do not understand basic marketing principles

“Keep your overall goal in mind when you’re developing campaign strategies. If you lose sight of this, your efforts could be wasted and even damage your brand in the long run.”

- Jeff Previte, Marketing Specialist and Writer

What steps can you take to avoid these pitfalls?

Step One: Clearly outline your business objectives

“An “objective” is something you’re trying to achieve — a marker of the success of the organization. At the other end of the spectrum is “action.” This occurs at the individual level — a level that managers are presented with day after day…”Strategy” takes place between these two at the organization level and managers can’t “feel” that in the same way. It’s abstract.”

- Graham Kenny, Harvard Business Review

Step Two: Incorporate your marketing plan into all aspects of your business

“Marketing works best when fully integrated into all aspects of business strategy and function…CEOs can support the business (and not just the marketing team!) by making sure that marketers are involved from the strategy phase forward, assessing the market and customer needs from day one.

- Anne Ashbey, MDsave, Inc.

Step Three: Track your results

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

John Wanamaker

Step Four: Ensure that sales and marketing goals are aligned

“…There is no question that, when Sales and Marketing work well together, companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: Sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down, and the cost of sales is lower.”

- Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy, Harvard Business Review

Step Five: Review your marketing plan on a regular basis

“You need to make someone responsible for monitoring progress and chasing up overdue activities. Reviewing progress will also help you learn from your mistakes so that you can improve your plans for the future.”

- Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

The Bottom Line

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