7 sins of marketing

Happy Halloween everyone! To coincide with the holiday, I’ve written a somewhat related post, discussing the 7 sins of marketing. This post outlines what not to do with your marketing, so you can build and progress and become better. This is only an opinion piece, but they’re all tips which I believe are practical, useful and ring true in the industry and therefore can be implemented easily by yourselves.

I had originally researched 7 random areas, which I believed to be sins of marketing. However, I decided it would be better if those areas could somehow be related to the real 7 sins – I also think the sins speak for themselves, so it makes it easier for you to remember what to do and what not to do with your future marketing activities. Lets take a look at the 7 sins of marketing.

1. Sloth

Don’t do your research

The biggest mistake you can do in marketing is assume you know your company, market and audience better than anyone. That’s wrong. The people who know this best are your customers. They are the reason your business exists and thus your marketing should revolve around them, not you.

I hear on so many occasions of businesses just going ahead implementing strategies, without the research to back it up, because their higher-up’s think it’s best / like the idea. You don’t know what your customers are thinking or feeling unless you ask them. Markets are constantly changing and they change quickly, if you’re not doing any research you may find that the market moves  on without you.

2. Envy

Don’t replicate

Somewhat related to my above point – don’t assume what works for your competitor will work for you. Every brand and company is different, although you may be targeting the same customers and the same market, how you target them defines you, your brand identity and will be different to how your competitor targets them.

So don’t look at their latest marketing tactics and be jealous, or think it’s amazing and replicate it.Instead turn it on it’s head, think about how you could evolve and enhance it, how could you make it work for you? Use it as a base of inspiration.

3. Greed

Doing something only to hear how wonderful you are

Don’t do marketing for vanity sake. You customers and everyone else will see right through it and know it’s not genuine and that can be more damaging than not doing anything at all.

We are flooded daily with messages of “like us on Facebook for a chance to win” or “RT and follow us to enter” which is fine – it is a tried and tested and effective model. But incorporate that model into your ideas and strategies, don’t create ideas around getting followers or likes.

4. Gluttony

The glitz and glamour!

There are many companies out there who spend a hideous amount of money on things that have no substance, just because they think it makes them cool (it doesn’t). In some cases it can be worth doing, or being an early adopter of a new technology, but do your research and really think about your return on investment. Getting, or doing something just because you think it makes your company look better impresses no-one and feeds no-ones ego but your own.

5. Lust

Lets make people want to be apart of us…

…whether that’s getting investors, business partners, encouraging people to work for you, increasing your followers and likes, or doing some PR etc… Similar to the point I made in ‘Greed’, don’t revolve your marketing activities around this. This is a very common mistake made for 7 sins of marketing. Although gaining investors or followers may be a possible return on investment, it should never be your sole goal or message. It’s not all about you.

6. Wrath

The line between persistence and annoyance

Perhaps your tweeting about a news story, or a new campaign, or you’re trying to sell a product or strike a potential business deal over the phone. Whatever it is, make sure you get that fine line between being persistent and annoying just right. Get it right and people will admire your hard work and dedication, get it wrong though and you instantly become a hassle that no-one wants to deal with.

It sounds harsh but customers and consumers are fickle people. Get your marketing tactics wrong with them and they won’t think twice about moving on to a competitor; whether you’re a relatively new brand, or a well known established brand.

7. Pride

Awards and good press

Being an award winning company does wonders for your credibility, but one, don’t revolve your marketing around winning awards and gaining great PR and two, if you’re going to nominate your company for an award, or enter, don’t enrol in every single award going. It gets old very quickly and word in your industry will spread fast, people will soon hear of this company that keeps cropping up at awards and if anything, it comes across as desperate.

If you are going to do so, choose your award selections carefully, pick an award which truly has some meaning to you and which reflects your company and your marketing work.

I hope you’ve found this article of use and hopefully something you will learn from? Perhaps you’ve learnt from your own 7 sins of marketing, or you’ve got something different to add? Please add them to the comments section below, or let me know on Twitter, thanks!