Are basic marketing mistakes forgiveable?

I know we all make mistakes. It’s one of the ways we learn. Reading the recent post by Tecmark Eight expensive marketing mistakes got me wondering if some marketing management mistakes are unforgivable? I’d always assumed in business that serious entrepreneurs and professional marketers got commercially involved a market sector because they appreciated the fundamental factors for success in that sector. That through deep understanding of the sector it meant they were a credible supplier and didn’t make basic mistakes.

Tekmark’s post about mistakes got me thinking; are there really businesses involved in the creation and supply of content marketing services that have no idea about concept creation and development processes and basic market understanding? I then thought, why not test my own content generation (this post) against the mistakes.

The infamous 8 mistakes are:

Limited investment in the generation of a range of conceptual possibilities. The technical term is ‘ideation’. I find it incredible that anyone would simply start writing content without first having a conceptual frame that guides the what, how and why of the content being generated. Do content marketers just write stuff with no idea why they are doing it!?

I couldn’t have written this post without some idea of its theme and structure. I could have just passed the link on and instead I spent a few minutes thinking how I could add to the debate Neil Barraclough at Tekmark had started. I also had in my mind the TORE model of communication (cf Professor Sam Ham) which emphasises establishing a clear theme, having an organised structure, being of relevance to readers and providing an enjoyable approach.

Not setting clear goals is next. Seriously? Do content marketers write without a goal in mind?

My goals are to increase my blog readership, develop my writing style, encourage debate and dialogue about marketing management and promote interest in Sheffield Business School

Deciding the format first. Suggests the purpose of the content is not thought through before the most appropriate way of conveying information is decided. I’m minded here of Maslow’s phrase ‘if you only have a hammer then you see every problem as a nail’.

In my case I deemed writing a blog post best because it allows me to explain and discuss ideas. It’s quick and convenient and I’m too shy to do a podcast/YouTube and rubbish at graphics so an infographic is out of the question!

No promotion budget. This is interesting. Not providing adequate resource to implement and exploit an idea seems daft to me. It’s either a good idea with potential or it’s not. If you are going to invest the time and energy into ideas surely it’s an obvious aspect of the starting raison d’√™tre and business case to consider the cost of making the idea happen too?

In my case writing this is just about time. Worth it because it makes good use of time on my commute. It costs me an hour and I can easily commit to it to make it happen.

Forgetting how users will access your content. Isn’t this a bit like designing a car and forgetting how drivers drive? Content appears in different formats and much of it is accessed on mobile devices.

In my case WordPress converts posts to the appropriate reading platform which means I don’t need to worry to much. I guess the advice would be design to the simplest format and assume people are reading content on a mobile phone.

Not understanding target audience. Let me check…you’re in marketing right? What on earth are you doing if you have no idea of your target audience! In my case I am targeting readers who are interested in marketing management and who enjoy a slightly skeptical and provocative take on conventional themes and issues.

I don’t think I appeal to readers who want particular problems solved or those who want affirmation that marketing is the solution to every problem in the world.

No sharing buttons. The clue is in the title isn’t it? Social media. Why generate digital content if it isn’t shareable? If there is one aspect of digital marketing that is different to previous ways of doing marcomms it has to be the quick and easy sharing of stuff.

In my case WordPress provide buttons to do this. Neat!

No embed codes in your infographic. Ok you got me! We’ll sort of…it just means that you embed an html link in your image so when people click on it they go to your website or a you tube or anywhere else you want. Part of the driving traffic and sharing gig.

Me? I’m not sure I’ve done that. So need to check. All in all I reckon Neil Barraclough’s post is really helpful for start ups and inexperienced in-house marketing teams more than experienced content marketing companies. The bonus is it gave me something to chat about on my commute too!

In the end all mistakes are forgiveable except I guess the one’s you keep making ūüėČ

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