Marketing is always changing, thanks to fleeting digital trends, new technologies and platforms, and the ever-shifting state of the market. In the time of COVID-19, many marketers are struggling with how to promote their products and services in a way that doesn’t feel tone-deaf or pandering. Right now, some marketing techniques just aren’t going to resonate with consumers who are reeling from the impact of the pandemic.
With that said, the fundamentals of marketing remain important. Not only is it important to follow the timeless best practices of what to do, but it’s also important to know what NOT to do. Here are the 3 biggest marketing faux pas to avoid in the digital age.
Getting Stuck Using Traditional Tactics
In marketing, you’re always going to have to understand human psychology in order to sell effectively. But you also have to stay on top of trends and understand that “the way things have always been done” is not always the best way forward.
The world is changing rapidly. Marketers who fail to notice big cultural shifts will ultimately be unsuccessful, and might even end up alienating their customers altogether. A good example of a brand sticking to the status quo for too long is the Washington Redskins football team, which only just decided to change its name and branding after years of pressure. But sports marketing is just one of many sectors that are having to pivot due to social changes and the reality of the pandemic.
Today, brands can’t afford to cling to logos and names with a troubling past. The world is now demanding social justice and equality, and companies can no longer remain “neutral.” Instead of providing merely a product or service, brands are expected to communicate their values so customers can make choices based on what they do and do not support. Marketers have to continually evaluate what’s “traditional” in their marketing plans to see if these tactics no longer serve the brand’s mission and message.
Assuming New Technology Is Always The Best Choice
New technology is exciting, especially when you’re trying to stand out in a crowded market. But just because new technology exists, that doesn’t mean that you should use it in your marketing plan. In some cases, using a new technology can help you get better results, but it often ends in expensive campaigns that produce very little buzz and fewer sales.
One good example of this is augmented reality (AR). AR has been used successfully in contexts like sporting events and phone games, but it doesn’t always perform as well in the digital marketing space. Unless you have a specific plan for a new technology (like IKEA’s AR furniture visualization tool), it’s probably best to stick with the platforms and technologies that perform best for your product or service and avoid the gimmicks of brand-new technology.
Forgetting To Analyze The Data And Optimize
These days, there’s just no excuse for neglecting to use marketing data. Instincts and experience are extremely valuable, but it’s also important to pay attention to how each campaign is performing through the use of analytics. Marketers today need to continually refine their approach. With so much data available from each campaign, it’s a huge faux pas to let all of that information go to waste. Monitor each campaign carefully, collect data to find out what does and doesn’t work, and change your approach as necessary. Marketers don’t need to be data scientists, but it is important for the modern marketer to know how to analyze marketing data and leverage it for use in future campaigns.
Remember: It’s All About The Audience
As a marketer, the most important thing to remember is to consider the needs of your audience. Instead of getting caught up in the latest shiny technique or sticking with what you know, really take the time to learn more about your customers. If they don’t feel understood, they won’t buy from you. It’s as simple as that.
To avoid these 3 faux pas, you just need to step out of your shoes and into your customer’s. What do they need from you, and how can you deliver that? If you can answer those questions and show your customer how your product or service will make their life better, then you’ll be well on your way to great ROI and a successful business.