4 Classic Marketing Communication Mistakes to Avoid
- Author Kl Yong
- Published October 8, 2020
- Word count 1,198
Say, for example, your company has produced a fresh set of marketing collateral. Other than traditional materials such as brochures and flyers, your corporate website has also been completely revamped.
A campaign is then launched. Diligently, the marketing department distributed the physical collateral and informed existing clients, and prospective contacts, to check out your swanky new website.
Six months later, an internal review is performed and to everyone’s horror, it was discovered that sales barely improved. In fact, for certain months, total turnover actually went down.
What went wrong? Were there mistakes during the distribution process? Some unknown environmental factor that discounted your marketing push?
Or could it be that the collateral themselves were severely lacking? In some cases, maybe even detrimental to your business standing?
A classic case of marketing communication that did not invite business, but rather, pushed prospective clients away?
WHAT IS MARKETING COMMUNICATION?
Frequently referred to as MarCom, these are all the messages used by corporate entities to communicate with their target audience(s).
In the modern world, most if not all companies use a variety of channels to deliver these messages, channels that include online, offline, and interpersonal avenues. Importantly, MarCom isn’t necessarily only sales messages too; in many cases, it could also be to establish presence or reputation.
Regardless of the end objective, though, MarCom is a bridge between a company and its clients. It is also a connection that often requires constant maintenance, reviews, and renewal. The absence of which can immediately bring about profitability downturns.
4 COSTLY MISTAKES TO AVOID IN MARKETING COMMUNICATION
- You Tell Nothing
“Welcome to XYZ Company’s website. We were established in 2010. We sell so-and-so & so-and-so. We believe in providing only the best products at the best prices, and we operate on a philosophy of total customer satisfaction …”
Does the above sound familiar?
If so, it’s likely because you’ve seen too many such corporate profiles. I bet none ever invoked any real interest in you too. That is if you even finish reading them.
For reasons such as information leakage to competitors, many companies are wary about releasing information to the public. Even when it's for marketing purposes, details tend to be minimal. There is an overt reliance on ambiguous statements and cliché claims to fill up word counts.
This is prudent; in some industries, probably even necessary for survival. That said, when it’s overdone, don’t you agree that any business identity is completely removed?
So you are XYZ Company. So you sell this and that, and you treat customers like kings. And so? Why should I buy from you? Why should I even remember your name in an economy with hundreds of companies all claiming the same thing?
Here’s the foremost requirement of effective marketing communication. No matter how cautious you are with introducing yourself, you must always include a unique reason to justify having a relationship with you. And nope. Top-quality, best prices, tip-top customer service, these are not reasons. These are overused catchphrases that savvy professionals immediately disregard because they have heard these claims too many times.
To put it in the parlance of writers, your marketing communication must always answer the question of why should I do business with you, and not just inform who-you-are and what-you-do.
Fail to do so and you lose any hope of a fruitful connection with a prospect. Given today’s busy world, you might even be instantly forgotten.
- You Deliver the Irrelevant
This is a variation of (1).
“You are so-and-so company. You were established by a resourceful, intrepid, ex-WWII veteran, who saw an immense opportunity while careening through the jungles of strife-torn tropical Malaya. Throughout the years, you continue to crave the best methods to produce, whatever you are producing, and today you are, you are, you are ... ...”
How did you feel when reading the above paragraph? Did you roll your eyes?
While colorful stories and testimonies could spice up communication, many a time, they could be annoying too, if not distasteful. This is especially when crucial details are submerged in a sea of information. An ocean of words no one can easily navigate through.
As useful as storytelling techniques and client testimonies could be, often, it is best to just get to the point and deliver the flesh of the message.
All else aside, minimizing fluff is a form of respect for any client. Nobody likes having to waste time reading the irrelevant in today’s busy world. To company owners jaded by years of industrial bluffing, such respect could even be the deciding factor in whether to give you business.
- You Brag Too Much
Bluntly put, always expect prospects to be skeptical. No matter how cordial or friendly an initial meeting is, there will always be a degree of doubt. This is doubly so when there is no interpersonal contact involved, such as in the case of a corporate website.
Thus, never fill your marketing communication with outrageous claims and accolades. Never let such bragging be the heart of your message too. You are also inviting future troubles if your claims are but exaggerations i.e. untruthful.
Now, you might ask. What if such accolades are the true selling points of your products? What if they are what differentiates you from competitors? Should you not emphasize them?
The short answer is, you must, but you should also highlight such competitive advantages tastefully and objectively.
To give an example, instead of filling the first page of your corporate profile with glossy pictures of awards your company has won, consolidate these into a professional-looking list and present that after you have introduced your core setup and offerings.
Alternatively, simply present these accolades or accomplishments as embellishments on your collateral; many usually come with some sort of badge or logo for you to display. Doing so removes that unpleasant element of bragging. If they are indeed of real relevance, chances are, your prospect would also already know about them i.e. without the need for you to further elaborate.
- Your Collateral Has No Call-to-action
A call-to-action sounds straightforward and simple to create. The truth, though, it could be the hardest part of any marketing communication to craft.
If not the hardest.
There are many reasons for this. For example, some clients might be worried, or should I say paranoid, about “committing” to you. To these folks, just a consultation might equate an obligation to buy.
Others might be hesitant because of a variety of other inexplicable reasons, including industry norms, personal negotiation style, individual preferences, etc.
Whichever the case, the takeaway is that you must phrase your call-to-action after putting yourself into your clients’ shoes.
Do what would least upset them, in other words.
If your products and services are substantially priced, obviously a “Call us today!” or “Buy now!” is going to be a huge turn-off.
Vice versa, if you’re promoting a sale for discounted furniture, electronic items, etc, then “Buy now!” is completely appropriate, if not a must.
To put it in yet another way, your call-to-action is the epilogue of your marketing communication. How you craft it heavily determines whether your entire story is remembered, then embraced.
Singaporean writer, photographer, and business owner.http://articlebiz.com
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