THE BLOG

6 DON'TS of Marketing

06/11/2014 09:56 pm ET | Updated Aug 11, 2014

It's amazing how many tips there are for marketers. Because technology, the Internet, mobile and social are all changing at warp speed, we have to continually change with them. With that being said, it's pretty easy to find advice on what to do. Hmm... after all, I am one of those people writing on tips and advice. This blog is a little different. It talks about some of the things that you need to stay away from. I like to call them, the six DON'Ts of Marketing.

1. DON'T: Be All Things To All People

You've probably heard the phrase, "don't be all things to all people." Well, this applies to your brand and how you create and implement your marketing as well. Don't water down your marketing by making it so vague nobody knows what you're selling. Be specific; know your customers, their needs, their sensitivities and why they should want to spend money on your product. Have a marketing plan that factors in all these things. Target your customers specifically, and create your marketing with that in mind. It will be much more effective.

2. DON'T: Create A Marketing Campaign Because "You Like It"

Your marketing should be created to elicit a response from your target audience based on the information you know about them. Do not create a marketing campaign because the owners of the company want to do some unique idea because they thought it was cool. Also, as a marketer, don't create a campaign jusr because you like it. Like is subjective, and as the employee, it really doesn't matter what you like. It does matter if the customer likes it.

3. DON'T: Rely On One Channel To Generate Leads

Another marketing no-no is putting all your eggs in one basket. Generating leads for your sales team is not putting on blinders and tossing your marketing out to the world on one channel with the hopes of someone discovering it. It is most effective to diversify your marketing approach and make it more integrated with other channels. You want to appear where your customers will be. An example is: Web Display, Social Media Advertising, TV, Sponsorships, Search, and Email. These are all different types of ways of reaching your customer with the goal of getting them to take action. Just one of these media channels alone won't do the trick.

4. DON'T: Worry About Social Media And Customer Feedback

Years ago, before social media existed, companies would spend lots of money to get customer feedback, which often took a long time. Well, guess what? Social media is a way for you to create an immediate dialogue with your customers and your prospective customers. It also allows you to get their feedback for free! You should want to have your customers telling you what they think. This is valuable, instantaneous information for you to be able to make changes to your marketing and advertising.

5. DON'T: Accept Proposals That Fail To List Descriptions, Dates And Delivery

As marketers, we have to review proposals all the time, it's just part of the job. There are a few things that should be included in proposals besides the money part. Here are three that I feel are critical to be put in proposals. These often get missed or are not articulated clearly.

• Detailed description of work being performed
• Date(s): Description of when the work will be started and completed
• The Description: Description of how the work will be delivered.

If you don't know these things, you may be up for a big surprise when your work isn't completed on time, isn't done correctly and you don't receive the final product the way you thought. Hmm... now that could be a problem.

6. DON'T: Work With People That Say "I'll Try To Do That"

This is a pretty simple one to spot. However, it's not as simple to stay away from as you might think. Why is it us marketers seem to employ people that use this ugly phrase anyway? My suggestion is, make sure your staff knows your expectations up front. This even goes for vendors and sub-contractors. Eliminate the word "try" from your vocabulary. The word try tends to give people an escape. I would rather hear, "no problem, I'll take care of it."