Marketing, at its best, is an art form, a form of creative expression. But that is a bit of an overstatement. Marketing is a tool, a means to an end. And that end is to get the right message to the right person at the right time.
At its worst, marketing turns into an abuse of power, a practice that is unethical, underhanded, manipulative and dishonest.
But the truth is that marketing is a tool that’s used to help us build relationships with customers, with each other, with the company itself and with the products or services we are selling.
Sometimes it’s used to achieve a marketing goal. And sometimes it’s used to achieve a business goal. That’s the job of marketing.
So we’ve got to be careful with our marketing. There are things that marketing is good at (branding, positioning, storytelling, etc.) and things that marketing is bad at (promoting products and services, for example).
But we should take care to avoid falling into the traps of bad marketing.
Here are some ways that you can avoid falling into that trap.
1. Don’t use the wrong goals for your marketing
When you think of marketing, you may think of it as a way to generate leads, sell more products, boost revenue or increase brand awareness.
But this is not the only goal that marketing can achieve.
At its best, marketing helps us build relationships and strengthen our brand. It helps us promote or market our products and services and reach our customers or target audiences.
This is the goal of most marketing.
If you find yourself trying to achieve this goal, but failing, don’t worry. Just remember that marketing is a tool, not a goal.
2. Don’t try to market your products and services in a way that makes them seem more than they are
We all know that products and services that claim to be the best are often the least effective.
We also know that being overly promotional can be a negative.
So don’t use your marketing activities to try to promote your products and services as if they were the best.
If you think that your products or services are the best, then use marketing to tell the world so.
If you think that others think your products and services are the best, then use marketing to tell your target audiences so.
Just remember that, in both cases, your job is to tell the truth.
3. Don’t be afraid to use marketing to educate
Marketing is an art form, not a science. And if you don’t use it to educate, you’ll never learn.
If you want to improve your marketing, it’s vital that you understand your target audience.
And it’s vital that you understand what your target audience wants to know.
That’s marketing in action.
4. Don’t create marketing campaigns just to sell more products and services
If you take any of the marketing activities listed above and try to use them just to sell more products and services, you’ll quickly find out that they don’t work very well.
You’ll find that your efforts are much more effective if you use them to educate the people who have already shown interest in your products and services.
And this is a key reason why marketing activities that you find ineffective in the past should not be used to market your products and services any more.
5. Don’t deceive people into thinking that a marketing campaign will work
Remember why a marketing campaign is intended to achieve?
It’s not to sell your product or service. It’s not to generate leads or promote a product or service.
It’s to build relationships.
So don’t deceive your target audiences by pretending that you’ve got a great marketing campaign on your hands.
6. Don’t be afraid to try something new
We’ve already mentioned that marketing is an art form. And it’s true.
But that doesn’t mean that we should stay within the safe zone of the tried-and-true methods of marketing.
In fact, we should be willing to try anything. Even the things that seem unappealing or even risky.
Marketing is a tool, not a religion. You can use it to achieve many things, and those things may look different to your target audiences.
Whatever you do, just remember to be open to new ideas.
7. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marketing techniques
There’s no limit to the kinds of things that marketing can do. And there’s no limit to the things that marketing can be used for.
So don’t be afraid to take risks.
You’ll find that the most effective marketing strategies are often those that are the most risky.
For example, you may discover that an old-time sales technique is the most effective for generating leads and then you use that technique.
Or you may discover that a new-age technique is the most effective for generating leads and then you use that new-age technique.
You may discover that a new-age technique is the most effective for promoting or marketing your products and services.
You may discover that a new-age technique is the most effective for getting your target audiences to buy your products and services.
Just remember that marketing is an art form, not a science. And that there are no rules.
8. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different content marketing activities
We’ve already mentioned that content marketing is about creating useful and effective content.
But that doesn’t mean that we should create all of our content with a single goal namely, to get more traffic and more leads.
We can use content marketing activities to achieve other goals, such as:
- Educating our target audiences
- Increasing our brand’s reputation
- Establishing relationships with our target audiences
These are all important goals to achieve with content marketing.
So don’t try to create content that has a single goal in mind.
Instead, focus on creating useful and effective content that helps us achieve these goals.
9. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different social media marketing activities
Social media marketing is about building relationships with our target audiences. And it’s about telling stories and connecting with people.
So it’s also about telling the story of our business.
However, we often find that social media marketing activities that seem to be effective do not work very well.
This is because social media marketing activities are often done in public.
We’re often trying to establish relationships with our target audiences in public.
And so people often don’t trust what we say and so they don’t respond.
So social media marketing activities that seem to be effective often don’t work very well.
They often just make our target audiences feel uncomfortable.
10. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different website design activities
Website design is about creating beautiful and functional websites that are user-friendly.
But that doesn’t mean that we should design websites that are functional and beautiful.
Things to keep in mind
Whether it’s with marketing or with social media, you always have to keep in mind some key things.
If you find that your marketing activities don’t work very well, that doesn’t mean that your website isn’t user-friendly. It’s just that your website isn’t yet perfect.
There are many things that you can do to improve your website’s user experience.
Here are a few things that you can do:
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different content marketing activities
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