What would you say are definite no-nos in the world of marketing?

There are plenty of articles across the net and in books that explain what you should do, if you want to realise success with your marketing efforts. However, there’s not quite as much information on what business owners shouldn’t do…and many of us only tend to find out what’s actually a mistake after we do them.

So, what should you not do when in business, if you want to attract customers and sell your products/services?

Neglect your website and social media profiles

Go back twenty years and few people had a website. Today, however, and it’s unheard of to not have a site or landing page of some sort. It’s also inconceivable, if you run your own business, to not have a social media presence.

If you do have these things – hurray! – you’re halfway there. However, simply putting these things on the net and assuming that’s all you need to do is the mistake. If visitors to your site don’t see any evidence of recent activity, they’ll either assume you’ve gone out of business, or they’ll be wary of your service - believing that, if you don’t care about your own assets, you won’t care about them.

Show up as much as you can across social media. Post content that your target market would like to read/watch. Include new content on your website frequently, i.e. blog posts, images, news, testimonials, etc.

Treat your online ‘leads’ differently

When selling online, try and engage your customers with the content you produce, via your web copy, Instagram images, Facebook musings, etc. Resist the temptation to post any old tripe, just to tick it off your list.

Interact with your online customer base/community/audience in the same way you would if they were in front of you in person. For instance, if someone walked into your shop/office premises, you wouldn’t shout, ‘Buy this chocolate/insurance/car (insert as appropriate) the minute they walked through the front door. No…you’d schmooze them. You’d get to know them, find out what they’ve come to buy, their needs, etc. You’d perhaps swap a joke, put the world to rights for a few minutes. Why should you change your approach just because your potential customer is online? Don’t talk at your digital leads, talk to them.

Forget about your competitors

Maybe, when launching your business, you analysed the market and cast a glance at what your competitors did. Maybe you carried out a full SWOT analysis or mystery-shopped within their premises.

Time runs away with us. If it’s been a few years since you last dissected your competition, make it a priority to know what they’re promoting, at what price, and what value they’re adding. Their customers could become your customers if you can better your competitors’ offering – why would you forget that they existed when such easy wins could be yours?

Don’t become a poor imitation or copy what they’re doing, always aim to go one – or two, or three – better.

Take the scattergun approach

This is a definite no-no. Your products or service will have its own unique market. Not everyone will need, want or even like what you have to offer. Shouting about what you do/sell to anyone who will listen will only result in a lack of sales. The people who really want your product won’t be able to distinguish themselves and your efforts will simply be seen as noise.

Successful marketing requires a detailed understanding of both your product(s) and your customer(s). You need to know your product’s USPs, and what would motivate your customer to buy it – does it satisfy a want or need? Is it aimed at customers who live a certain lifestyle, with an income to match? These are just a couple of considerations; drill down to the nub of your offering as much as you can. By doing so, you will know what messages to include in your marketing that will resonate with your target market and see them act.

Ignore your analytics

Believe us, they can tell you a lot about your customers, and even your potential customers who don’t follow through with a sale.

You can learn where they’re based, how they’ve found you, how many times they may have visited your site before parting with their cash, what time of day they like to hang out on your site…and so much more.

You could even be missing out on a heap of sales; where visitors get to a certain point in your sales process then jump ship. Wouldn’t you want to know if this was the case, so you could do something about it? The world is already overpopulated with every type of product or service under the sun…if someone has actually discovered you exist amongst all the distractions and things competing for their attention and hard-earned pounds, why would you want to fail at the last hurdle?

We could go on, as there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to make mistakes. These five no-nos are not ground-breaking, but you’d be surprised how many business owners do them, and yet they’re simple things to combat.

What would you say is a huge no-no? Tweet us at @intheknowemag

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