Careers Business Ownership The Top 5 Marketing Errors Common marketing mistakes and how to avoid them Share PINTEREST Email Print Business Ownership Operations & Success Marketing Sustainable Businesses Supply Chain Management Operations & Technology Market Research Business Law & Taxes Business Insurance Business Finance Accounting Industries Becoming an Owner By Laura Lake Laura Lake Laura Lake is a marketing professional with experience working for agencies and as an independent consultant. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 11/20/19 A strong marketing campaign will connect you with the right customers, get people talking about your company, introduce your product or service to the media, and set up your business for financial success. Thoughtless marketing, however, can do the opposite. Marketing mistakes can cost your business quite a lot in lost revenue and other expenses. In some cases, marketing errors may even cause a public relations problem. Are you making any of these five common marketing mistakes? If you are, there's still time to turn things around. Most marketing errors can be avoided with careful planning. 05 of 05 Lack of Research and Testing Skipping research and testing is one of the most common marketing mistakes that companies make. Market research and testing save time and money by predicting how your products and promotions will perform before you launch a single campaign. They give you a snapshot of how the public will respond to your marketing campaigns, which can help you flag ineffective or unpopular ideas before you go to the expense of putting them into practice. To understand how consumers will respond to your marketing efforts, do your due diligence. Develop multiple offers, prices, packages, and promotions, then see how potential customers react to each. 04 of 05 Improper Focus and Positioning Brand positioning is an important part of creating a space for your company and standing out from the competition. Strategic market positioning creates momentum, which means that every time you market a new product or service, you are building on the previous product. But many companies market single products without thinking about how their overall brand is perceived. They then have to start over with every marketing campaign, which costs time, money, and effort. Avoid this common marketing error by using positioning strategies to influence how customers compare you to your competitors. Are you luxury or budget? Are your products for a specific situation? Are you known for high quality or a certain type of customer? Every product or service that you market should relate back to your overall focus and positioning. This creates a specific niche for you in your industry, allowing you to develop a loyal customer base. 03 of 05 Marketing Without a USP Your USP is your unique selling proposition: the single statement that sets you apart from the competition. It shows how the benefits of your product directly address the needs of consumers in a way that no other product does. Are you solving a problem no one else is solving? Creating luxury quality for a low price? Are you selling a specific lifestyle? Do you use materials or resources in a new and desirable way? Customers have a lot of marketing messages clamoring for their attention. If you don't present them with a USP, your business is likely to get lost in the noise. Avoid this marketing error by making your USP the foundation of every marketing decision. This will help customers understand why they need your business and what sets you apart from your competitors. 02 of 05 Failing to Capture Repeat Customers Focusing exclusively on attracting new customers, and missing the revenue created by repeat business, is a common marketing error. New customer acquisition is important, but it isn't nearly as profitable as marketing to returning customers. On average, selling to a new customer is five times as expensive as selling to an existing customer. A repeat customer has fewer barriers to overcome before making a purchase because they have already trusted your business once. And the more a customer buys from you, the more likely they are to continue buying. If your marketing strategies are directed only at new customers, you're missing an important segment of your market. Avoid this marketing mistake by devoting as many resources to capturing repeat buyers as you do to acquiring new ones. 01 of 05 Lack of Focus on Potential Customers' Needs How well do you know your customers and the problems they want to solve? Surprisingly few businesses take the time to figure out exactly what their customers need and want. The secret to avoiding this common error is simple, but not easy: find a need that you can fill, then fill that need better than anyone else. To understand those needs, you'll need to do some research and testing. Once you know what customers really want, you can create a profitable USP, which will position your brand within the overall market. And with a strong understanding of what your customers need and want, you'll have no trouble attracting repeat buyers. Marketing Mistakes Happen Even with the best planning, marketing mistakes can still happen. If a marketing plan doesn't generate the response you want, take time to reflect on what might have gone wrong and how you can better position yourself in the future. When your business is struggling with marketing, it's time to return your focus to understanding and addressing your customers' needs.