Are You Making Any of These Marketing Mistakes?
Enter Margo Aaron, founder of That Seems Important, a site that explores the intersection of marketing, psychology, and entrepreneurship (because she herself is an expert in each of these areas).
“I’ve always been curious about what makes people tick, what motivates behavior, and why we do the things we do," Aaron told me. After she completed graduate school at Columbia and went into marketing, she became what she calls a "de facto translator" between academia and the real world. "I started my consulting practice shortly thereafter and continued to ‘translate’ psychological research into marketing and eventually business,” Aaron said.
She added that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. "It doesn’t matter what the ‘industry norm’ is," she said. "It matters that your approach connects with your target market. That’s it.
"The only thing that really matters is your customer: Who is she? Where is she? What does she want? The answer to those questions is your marketing strategy.” Here are the mistakes that you, as did I, might be making and Aaron's advice on how to avoid them:
Spending too much on paid ads
"Most entrepreneurs who rush to paid ads are doing so because they want to automate their funnel and scale out of the gate. A better approach is to build a relationship with your customers first. Once you get to know them, you’ll know where, how and when to reach them with a paid ad,” Aaron says.
Paid ads, of course, have value. They make sense when “Your cost per acquisition [CPA] is less than your customer lifetime value [CLV],” says Aaron. If it costs you more to get a customer than he or she is worth, your business loses money. If you don’t yet know what a customer is worth, it’s hard to know if you’re wasting money. “Paid ads are also useful when you understand which metrics are useful to you [impressions versus sales, for example], or when you know what benefit to lead with and what call-to-action to employ,” Aaron explains.
Jumping into affiliate marketing too quickly
The goal is to develop a relationship with your affiliate and his or her audience before you start selling them something, Aaron says. This can be a lot of work, but it’s valuable. “To start going after affiliates when you’ve never sold anything before is like a meeting someone at a conference who immediately asks you for money for charity," she says. "It’s a great cause, but you just met this person. He hasn’t earned your trust yet.” The affiliate approach seems easier because you can piggyback off someone else’s existing relationship with his or her audience. But you don’t want your first impression to be transactional. You want it to be relationship first. Especially if you’re building a brand.
Broadcasting updates on social media
Like the methods described before, social media is an important, if not critical, tool in most businesses marketing plans. However, if your first approach is to write something like: "Hey guys, just launched a new website and you should check it out!," you run the risk of being annoying rather than valuable to your audience, Aaron says. “That’s what we call ‘broadcasting’ -- it’s when you scream at people instead of talking with or to them,” she explains.
Broadcasting your message is no longer effective. “People don’t appreciate being yelled at; they want to be spoken to like a human, Aaron continues. "They want a relationship with you (or your brand). Social platforms are designed to be social. When you broadcast a mess