Quality Assurance Specialist Faith Manning

5 Marketing Myths to Ditch

Faith Manning

Customer Success Officer

Over the years, marketing misconceptions have developed and, unfortunately, lingered, thus complicating efforts for brands big and small. While there are far more than five, avoiding these marketing myths will help you and your business stay on the path to success as you work to boost your brand.

Myth #1: Marketing and Advertising are the Same Things

We’ve tackled this subject a few times in our blogs, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the importance of the distinction between the two. Often, businesses will use marketing and advertising synonymously when discussing their efforts to create sales. However, understanding the difference will improve how you organize, prioritize and execute your strategy.

Marketing is the planning, the research, the identification of needs, the solidification of your brand, and the driving force behind your promotions. Advertising is the promotional aspect of marketing. It’s the visual and audio representations of your brand that are presented through mostly paid channels to engage your audience, create brand loyalty, and drive sales. Your marketing strategy will determine your ads’ design, copy, and channel.

Understanding these differences and treating each separately (even budgeting for them separately) will maximize your efforts and help you successfully boost your brand in the marketplace.

Myth #2: Word of Mouth is Enough

The mindset of depending on sales from word of mouth alone might work for some businesses, but they are few and far between. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there’s nothing better than a satisfied customer. They share something more effective than any ad — details of a successful experience with your company.

While you may have happy clients sending folks your way — do they all make it? Do your customers carry your business card or phone number to hand out? What if their friend can’t remember your business name correctly, or they are distracted by a competitor’s ad when searching for you? Factoring in word-of-mouth referrals to your strategy is essential; however, ignoring other promotion streams limits your potential for growth and reaching new customers to spread the word.

Myth #3: I Only Need Online Marketing

Many businesses are turning their backs on traditional advertising in our increasingly digital world. The notion that digital marketing is the only way to reach your audience couldn’t be farther from the truth. Think for a minute about how you have learned of other businesses or products in the past year. Did you see a billboard? Hear a spot on the radio? Receive a mailer?

With a huge shift to digital in the marketplace, there is a tremendous focus there with tremendous possibilities, but there is still opportunity in traditional means of promotion. No matter where your audience lives, there is bound to be at least one non-digital outlet that targets your market. You have to do your homework, and you have to be creative. Delivering a well-executed ad offline could have a more memorable impact on some audiences than an ad in their scroll.

Myth #4: Only Immediate Results Equal Success

Viral social media content and hopping on trends can sometimes yield quick (and exciting) outcomes, but they tend not to bear long-term results for your business. Most measures of success are identified around 30 days after launching a campaign. Learning what worked and didn’t work in that time is a guiding force behind subsequent campaigns. Metrics tell us where to shift focus or where to dial-up or dial-down efforts.

Studying aspects of your marketing campaigns like reach, engagement, and conversion will help you identify your KPIs (key performance indicators) and structure future marketing strategies. Quick successes are fun and important. Riding a trendy wave or hitting a note with a particular audience and reaping the reward is great, but don’t lose sight of those undercurrent strategies that keep propelling you forward for the long haul.

Myth #5: One Size Fits All

A marketing plan that lacks customization and attention to audience variables is bound to fail. There is no blanket solution or quick fix for successful marketing. A high-profile law firm will have a much different strategy than a donut shop. Start with examining the parallels between your brand’s purpose and your audience.

Take notes from your competitors, but think outside of the box with a response that draws from your company’s strengths and uniquities rather than doing what’s already been done. Looking to national brands for inspiration is great for brainstorming, but make sure that you keep your budget and market in focus. Shape your promotions to meet your target audience through the proper channels, and you’ll find the marketing plan that fits just right.

Dear Reader:

Marketing is not a straightforward journey. Pay attention to your audience, competition, and analytics from your content and promotions to help determine your next steps. If you need help, working with an agency is an excellent way to develop and execute a plan while accessing experts in many different marketing fields, saving you time and frustration. If you’ve hit a few stumbling blocks, drop us a line.