1. Trying to Manufacture Word of Mouth

To lift brand exposure, marketers are resorting to some of the goofiest and phoniest campaigns. Although typically entertaining and sometimes even viral, these campaigns fall short in one of two areas: they either lack relevance to the customer to move beyond entertainment or lack a significant association with the brand or product. So if you aren’t selling more or at least endearing customers to your brand, what’s the point?

The only profitable way to harvest word of mouth is to provide customers with a product or service experience that’s worth talking about.

2. Expecting Customers to Behave Like They Did Before the Internet

It’s still unsettling how little some companies have changed their marketing outlook in spite of the new media landscape. They mistake using new media for taking a new marketing approach. They misunderstand the nature of new media vehicles and how customers behave differently because of them.

Prospects have more control than ever: more choices and more information. Yet companies still attempt to spoon-feed the public a flavourless, neutral, old-time ad campaign. Then they’re confused when people ignore it or spit it out.

The new marketing world is about relevance, not about traffic, reach, or message posturing. It’s not just getting your message out there. It’s about being real and saying something true and meaningful in the most compelling way possible.

3. Lacking Relevant Messaging

Many marketers still seek that silver bullet message, the one message that resonates with the entire audience.

Give up. There is no silver bullet message.

Although you can find a big message that will resonate with a large segment of your customers, you’ll always leave a significant portion of prospects cold or indifferent. Some may be perfect customers for you but need to buy and be sold to differently.

One advantage of the new media landscape is customers take different angles as they approach a product category. You can saturate these angles with relevant information for each different type of buyer. Persuading these segments could mean the difference between meeting marketing goals and not.

4. Approaching Best Practices as a Religion

Beware of best practices. Typically, they’re born out of successes gained under very specific circumstances. Many of those circumstances may not apply to you or your marketing situation.

5. Mistaking Traffic for Results

Companies are still able to buy traffic and, in essence, buy themselves top-line business, but this is quickly becoming too expensive to maintain.

Average conversion rates are going down, and online traffic costs are moving skywards. Businesses must learn how to do more with the traffic they have and find ways to attract even more qualified traffic. The only way to do that is to better understand that each visit and click are a person with real needs and real motivations. How well does your marketing speak to each person? What brand impact does the experience have on these typical customer groups? How concerned are you with persuading them to your product? Or would you rather just have their attention? Why not both?