Marketing has really changed dramatically over the past few years.  Are you keeping up?  If any of these marketing mistakes resonate with you then now may be a good time to re-evaluate and switch gears.  Companies that are still using old tactics will quickly be left behind, especially those that are targeting millennials and baby boomers.  Here’s what I’m learning from companies, the mistakes and the best ways to get ahead.

Mistake #1: No mobile strategy   

This is a huge mistake.  We live in a world now where apps can lead your marketing strategy, or even a new business/product launch.  It is now imperative your website is mobile-friendly. Why? Mobile search is predicted to surpass desktop search in 2014.  Wow, that’s next year.   Right now half of all searches are performed on a mobile device.

If you are a service or transaction-based business you should consider mobile leading your entire strategy.  This is especially important for tourism businesses.

According to a Google study in 2012, 61% of respondents said that they’d quickly move onto another site if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site. In addition, 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site.  So this means if you’re site is not mobile friendly, you will be driving users to your competitors.  If your site is not mobile friendly, then it’s time for a new site.

For businesses considering developing apps, you need to think about how your customers can book, buy and transact on the go.  Apps are essentially tools that make it easier for them to interact with you.  You may find that an app makes sense for a certain a part of your business, as a tool. It should never replicate your website. Think mobile first.

Mobile Friendly Sites Google 2012 Survey
Google Mobile Study, Sept 2012

Mistake #2: Sending too many emails / sending emails that are not targeted

People are suffering from email fatigue to start with.  Think about it, how many emails do you get per day?  The days of sending untargeted emails at a high frequency are gone.  The risk of unsubscribes is higher than ever before and we all know how hard it can be to get qualified subscribers in the first place.

The world of email marketing is now dominated by big data and those companies that will survive need to personalize emails and segment audiences in such a way that they are related to a person’s passions, previous purchases and general likes.

Email passions?  That’s weird.   Well, not really.  For example if you know I am passionate about let’s say wine or travel, you should theme emails or tie the message into these types of themes. Do not send me an email about the Superbowl, or I will unsubscribe. (just for example)  How can you make your content relevant to a person’s passions?  You can bet the open rate is going to increase, as will their brand loyalty.

Are there subsets of your audience that fit into certain passion profiles?  (Let’s forget demographics when you are building an email strategy)  As a startup or small business this is harder to do.  You can only really do it well if you have a substantial database.  Email-dependent companies have one chance to keep sign ups and that is to provide relevant content at the right time.  Collecting data on your customers is even more crucial than ever.

Mistake #3: Relying on Google Adwords and Facebook ads to drive search

When was the last time you clicked on a Google ad or Facebook ad?  For me, the answer is almost never.  I’m almost immune to it, and I don’t think I’m alone.  What is really driving traffic these days?  Let me introduce you to two of your new best friends, Pinterest and Google+.  Social media platforms like these along with rich content like images and video content will continue to be the biggest way to drive traffic and engagement.

You may have heard this before: “Men are from Google +, Women are from Pinterest”. Time Magazine’s article last year led to many articles on this top and piqued the interest of many marketers. Pinterest is perfect for brands in luxury lifestyle businesses such as wine, food, fashion, home – and it skews female.  To reach the male demographic, consider Google+, where two thirds of their users are male.

Pinterest Sugarfly Marketing

Mistake #4: I’m posting on Facebook, doesn’t that mean I’m using social media?

No, not really. I am still amazed by companies that still don’t understand how to use social media.  Social media sites are simply a tool to allow you to have a TWO way conversation with your customers/fans, or potential customers.  It’s is not an opportunity to push your sales pitch.  It’s not a numbers game, it’s an engagement game.  Look beyond your own Facebook and Twitter feeds and start thinking about influencers in your industry with large networks you can get to blog, tweet and post on your behalf. Consider what networks you want to be seen in and how you can make that happen, with links back to your own site.

Mistake #5:  I don’t think I need to have a blog / I don’t have time to write a blog

Wow, this amazes me.  Blogging is free.  You are creating original content for Google to pick up, and increase your ability to be found and drive traffic, now and for years to come.  You get incredibly detailed insights of how your readers are interacting with your blog.  You are broadening people’s awareness of what you do, and engaging with them through comments.  This is especially important for sites that do not have static content, like deals sites, or simply to keep customers updated with what is going on in your business.  I cannot think of a business that would not benefit from a blog.

Mistake #6: Not being aware of what is going on in your industry

The biggest tip I can give businesses is to really watch what is going on in your industry and your competitors.  Google Alerts are my #1 tool for this.  Noone has time to read industry blogs all day, but getting these alerts allows you to stay informed and react to changes in the industry, and get ideas of things you can do for your own business.  I am constantly getting ideas and learning from the news I get every day.


Sugarfly Marketing Mobile vs Desktop