THE BLOG
01/27/2017 09:39 am ET

11 Costly Mistakes You're Making With Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing may be a game of trial-and-error, but you never want to make these rookie mistakes.

A. You're Not Automating

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A sound marketing strategy can be enhanced by using marketing automation to manage your communications and social media posts. Marketing automation can free your daily schedule to work on growing your business while your marketing strategies are automatically working for you. And marketing automation lets you reach more people in less time than trying to handle your marketing manually. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

A. You're Not Targeting

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When you're paying by the click or impression to promote your business, it's important to get to the correct audience, even if that means limiting your reach. Just because you can reach millions of people, doesn't mean it will work better than targeting the few that will actually use your product. Define explicit demographics and interests for your marketing efforts and dial that in first. - Tyler Hanway, InMyArea.com

A. You Assume Your Strategy Is Scalable

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Early-stage founders often find one or two highly efficient marketing channels and assume they can grow these channels indefinitely. The problem is that these channels, even seemingly infinite ones like Facebook, are rarely scalable or they're vastly less efficient. To scale, entrepreneurs need to develop a large basket of effective and mutually reinforcing channels. - Jacob Chapman, Gelt Venture Capital

A. You're Afraid to Be Bold

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I hear so many entrepreneurs complain that they're not standing out, but when I look at their sales and marketing assets, they use the exact same messaging as their competitors! Particularly in the age of social media, I encourage other entrepreneurs -- even startups -- to make bold claims that will lead people do a double-take. None of us can close deals if we don't stand out in the first place. - Peter Kozodoy, GEM Advertising

A. You Don't Stay Up to Date With Trends

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Marketing is a very fast moving industry; tools, platforms and technology change constantly. Entrepreneurs need to stay up to date on the latest trends, otherwise, they may miss out on the next big thing. For example, stay aware of Google search algorithm changes for SEO, use social media channels like Snapchat, and build on new platforms like Facebook Messenger. - Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS

A. You Don't Have a Strategy

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Lots of entrepreneurs don't have a marketing strategy; they invest in all types of different tactics with no real end goal in sight. This is an easy way to blow through your entire marketing budget without seeing any meaningful results. Creating a detailed marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals may be time-consuming, but it's necessary. - Jared Brown, Hubstaff Talent

A. You're Tempted to Use Every Latest Marketing Tactic

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Getting distracted by the latest "bright and shiny" marketing tactics can be counterproductive. Create a high-level roadmap with goals and support tactics (not one-off efforts) and stick to it. Marketing plans are fluid, but let strategy guide you, not the latest whiz-bang product the salesperson says you have to have. Know your prospect, tailor your plan, follow the outlined strategy, then test, measure and tweak. - Peggy Shell, Creative Alignments

A. You Spread Yourself Too Thin

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Many entrepreneurs feel obliged to tackle every marketing channel (search engine optimization, pay-per-click, email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) without having a clear idea of why they're doing what they're doing. You're better off mastering one channel and doubling down on that then trying to tackle everything with poor preparation. - Richard Kershaw, WhoIsHostingThis.com

A. You Spend Too Much on One Strategy

2017-01-13-1484335166-4254261-bethdoane.pngMarketing is largely a game of trial and error, so spending a lot of money on one type of marketing can all too often backfire. No one strategy works for every brand, and no brand survives without evolving to the rapidly changing digital landscape. Spend small amounts of your budget on a few diverse strategies throughout the year and see what works. You might be surprised by what you discover! - Beth Doane, Main & Rose

A. You Don't Measure Results

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If you notice a sudden surge in your email subscriber numbers but have no idea where it came from, you can't repeat the feat. This is a huge loss because you'll now have to think of new ways to achieve the same goal and probably end up spending far more money due to trial-and-error marketing strategies. Aim to diligently track every link, every ad campaign and every discount code. - Ajit Nawalkha, Evercoach

A. You Don't Properly Track Your Marketing Channels

2017-01-13-1484335254-5001101-ScottKacmarski.pngMost entrepreneurs are too interested in seeing whether anyone will buy their product that they skip the most important step: tracking their channels. While proper tracking is much easier now thanks to a number of great products, it still takes time to set up. And in the end, it pays off. What's the point of marketing if you don't know what's working? - Scott Kacmarski, Reps Direct

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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