When Bad Marketing Happens At Good Companies

Scott Dieckgraefe, Managing Partner, President, Studio/D

9-Bomb copyIf we were to ignore problems caused by poor leadership, bad financial management, and inferior products/services, most other business problems are marketing-related. Each of these mistakes take an incremental toll on a company’s success and can make the difference between an awful year and a record-breaking year.

As we put 2018 behind us and move forward to the opportunities of the new year, this is an opportune time to evaluate your company’s marketing efforts against these “nasty nine” marketing mistakes often made by good companies:

  1. Your path to success isn’t clearly understood. Ask key employees to express your company’s success strategy. You may be surprised by how different their answers are, and how they vary from yours. Until there is uniformity in direction, significant energy is wasted. Are metrics set and monitored regularly?
  2. Your company is not well positioned. Is your branding authentic? If you don’t position your own company, your competition surely will. Own your positioning.
  3. Your audience is not engaged. Are buyer personas/individual needs adequately considered? Are purchase journeys and cycles respected? Recognize that one size doesn’t fit everyone. Is your messaging on-target for each audience?
  4. You are always selling. The adage of “always be closing” is terribly outdated. Try being useful instead – your customers will appreciate it.
  5. You are doing too much (so everything lacks focus). Prioritization works. Limit yourself to a small number of key initiatives and crush them all. Learn from each, apply the learnings, and move forward.
  6. Your pricing isn’t right. There are good reasons to raise or to lower your prices. Understand when and how to adjust without hurting relationships or your brand.
  7. Your marketing efforts aren’t well coordinated. In today’s market, content creation is king. Are you using the proper channels for your audiences? Are your marketing and sales efforts integrated? Is messaging continuity built between all marketing disciplines?
  8. Your go-to-market strategy is antiquated. What was right yesterday may not be right tomorrow. Don’t assume.
  9. You are working with the wrong marketing communication firm. Does your marketing partner aim high enough? Do they provide all the resources you need? Sometimes familiarity breeds contentment. How well do they understand you needs? When goals are not set, or metrics are not monitored, your disappointment is virtually guaranteed.

Don’t be shocked if you’ve identified a couple of these mistakes in your own company. We often see great companies making these mistakes and many others. Situations change and plans are not always updated frequently enough. The important point is that by fixing them now, you’ll be charting a course for a more successful 2019.

Give us a call if you need help correcting any of these mistakes – with over a hundred years of collective marketing experience, Studio/D has probably seen your problem before and can recommend corrective actions to quickly put your company back on the right track.

Scott Dieckgraefe is President and Managing Partner at Studio/D, a full-service brand
communications agency working with mid-market manufacturers. To discuss your
specific situation, please call Scott or his partner, Rich Meyer, at 314-200-2630.

Let us know what other marketing mistakes you see happening at good companies.