Here is a list containing 15 things marketers must stop doing now largely based on recent conversations I’ve had with marketers, things I’ve observed and also from my own previous experience working client side for a large product manufacturer.
1. Stop wasting money on big, heavy, glossy product brochures
Start putting things online. Drive people to the website where the information is most up to date and can be viewed on mobile or tablet. Save money on print costs and valuable space in the back of sales reps car boot. That space could be filled with golf balls.
2. Stop doing the same things you did in 2007
Start experimenting. Try something new for a change. Challenge the status quo for once. Push the boundaries and start learning something new. Stop something and see what the impact it has on the business (hold-out test) then you’ll realise how valuable that tactic is.
3. Stop paying more attention to print than digital
Print is ok, but digital is even better. You can react quickly and afford to be flexible. You can measure it too! Digital is faster. You read print magazines to learn about what happened last month, you read websites to learn about what happened today. Print adverts can’t talk, but tweets can. Not saying print is not effective but make print work harder when used with digital.
4. Stop living in your own product bubble
We make windows. Did I tell you we make sustainable windows? Hey, we are a window company? According to our last press release, our last project had just windows, no bricks or tiles or slabs or lights or cabling, just windows. Tell Architects and Specifiers, designers, engineers what your product is of course but also step outside your product boundary once in a while. Educate what works best with or compliments your products. Architects, Designers and Engineers are solving multiple problems on one project. Help them out a little.
5. Stop trying to constantly out-do your competition
Out teach them. As the saying goes “The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than your competitors”. Start teaching. Start writing. Start filming. Do what ever it takes to teach and inspire your audience. Anyone can copy your product, but they can’t copy your organisation.
6. Stop marketing ‘we are the U.K’s leaders’.
You and all your competitors are market leaders in some shape or form. Google this ‘market leader cladding systems’. There is no set criteria and only you believe in it. Work hard to find a true USP. (Clue: it’s not what you do, it’s why you do it. Go figure.)
7. Stop working with no marketing KPI’s or objectives
Set KPI’s be it lead volumes, cost per lead, lead conversion, new enquiries, website traffic, number of new relationships created (targeted marketing). How do you know the marketing dept are improving marketing year on year? Be clear about what a lead actually is and what it looks like and make sure it’s the right type of leads. If not, nurture it until it is the right lead.
8. Stop marketing the same old messages time after time
Develop new marketing messages regularly. Don’t let things go stale. Keep your audience interested. Re-read to point number 2.
9. Stop setting fixed budgets at the start of the year for print, website, advertising, PR, brochures, exhibitions, hospitality…
Be flexible in how you allocate your budget. Base your budget on point number 7. Things change. Assess, evaluate periodically and don’t be afraid to drop things. Use analytics and campaign performance reports to help you spend more efficiently. Don’t compromise one tactic for another. You should never be asking yourself “Should I print more brochures and do less website updating?”. Re-read point number 1 again.
10. Stop working in silo
Marketing is everything. Your receptionist is marketing. Your car park is marketing. Your sales reps are marketers. Get involved in everything technical. Involve others in marketing too. Learn about the industry and learn about everything that impacts a building. Re-read point number 4.
11. Stop building crappy apps that only make you look cool
Solve real problems which your customers are shouting about. If you don’t know what they are, go ask them. Meet them. Go have coffee with them. Get out more. I don’t hear any Architect or Engineer screaming “OH MY GOD! I wish this u-value calculator was available on my Blackberry!” If you do have an app then re-read point number 7.
12. Stop asking your boss if you can introduce social media into your marketing mix
Your boss has no idea! Just because they don’t like it doesn’t mean it doesn’t make business sense. Ask your customers instead. Your prospects. Go research. Ask anyone but people within your own organisation. Unfortunately we are lacking data in the construction industry on social media usage, budget allocation, priorities etc so stop relying on other peoples data and go create your own.
13. Stop BLASTING irrelevant emails out to your customers
Split your database (if you have one) into REALLY small segments. I mean so small that each segment is like 20 names. Then try and figure out what makes these people tick. What do they want? And then email them with relevant content. If you get existing customers unsubscribing from your emails then you have a SERIOUS problem. They are telling you “Stop talking to me!”.
14. Stop creating corporate blogs containing just press releases
Go write about stuff that will help people value you, that will promote your expertise as a company. The biggest mistake a marketer can make with a blog is not having the technical team own it.
15. Stop creating QR codes if you don’t understand mobile engagement
Use QR codes appropriately and in locations where it works and adds value to the mobile user. Learn about what a QR code is and how it works. Look beyond just the ‘scanning on a mobile’ part. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. Don’t make people pinch and zoom to read text. QR codes in print mags that link to a unfriendly mobile website. See that one before? Well done to the marketer who thought of that one! Marketer of the year right there!
Any more? Hopefully some Architects and Engineers may leave some comments and help me out here on some of the things they find annoying and wish marketers would stop doing and do better.
Please also do check out out ‘Random Acts of Marketing‘ post which talks more about implementing random marketing tactics.