Mistakes. Errors. Missteps. Failures. These words can strike fear into the heart of the average human, not to mention a business professional or web marketing expert. To most of us, a mistake is a major problem that only brings with it bad outcomes and negative results. Mistakes can feel like the end of the world.
However, like the inimitable Steve Jobs once said, “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
Even one of technology’s most enterprising geniuses has made mistakes. The key, of course is learning from them and moving forward. Missteps can be made better. Even significant errors can be turned around. If you’ve ever committed a web marketing no-no, or implemented a strategy which failed, read on. We’re here to talk about turning web marketing mistakes into WINS.
Mistake: Neglecting the importance of record-keeping and testing
Doing something great…and forgetting how you did it. If this sounds like a common refrain in your business, you may be neglecting a crucial part of any successful web marketing strategy: assessing your results. Trial and error are important elements in social media, content marketing, and other types of lead-generation. But without careful records of what works and what doesn’t, how do you know how to adjust your current methods accordingly? As you perform that essential A/B testing for ads, or try out different email marketing tactics, be sure to note diligently what proves successful, tracking the relevant data and using this to inform your future web marketing approach.
Mistake: Not having an integrated strategy
You’ve heard it before: strategy is everything. Yet, a surprising number of brands find themselves relying solely on random tactics that have no unified strategy. This yields haphazard results, and turns hot leads into dead ends. Your web marketing strategy must align with your product strategy, corporate strategy, and more, ensuring a cohesive approach that ends in increased sales and profits.
If you’ve been going after customers in a tactical manner, you do however have the benefit of having tried a variety of techniques. To turn this error around, start sifting through data, brainstorming about what your successful tactics have in common, and start combining the positives into a united, well-conceived strategy. What you’ll find? WINS.
Mistake: Targeting the wrong audience
You’ve studied and surveyed a specific demographic. Spent marketing dollars on customised ads devoted to attracting a certain type of customer. But suddenly, somewhere along the way, things have taken a wrong turn, and you’ve discovered your target audience is completely different than you originally believed. What’s a wise web marketing pro to do?
The answer may harken back to an earlier method: recording, testing, and tweaking. Think of your previous targeting as a testing ground. Even if you initially chose the wrong audience, it was not without benefit. You can glean valuable data and ideas from the results of your previous campaigns. Now, it’s time to adjust accordingly. This may be a great opportunity to revolutionise your strategies as well. Consider alternate or unusual markets. Reevaluate your approach. And if the “wrong” audience still brings you leads and sales, think about expanding and refining your approach to continue including them. In some cases, such “mistakes” lead to remarkable surprises.
Mistake: A social media snafu
A true web marketing mistake that can be a genuine nightmare for most brands: making a social media gaffe. We’ve all looked on in horror as big brands make huge, embarrassing faux pas for all to see. Whether it’s a poorly-timed Tweet, an angry ex-employee with something to “prove”, or even a simple honest mistake, businesses that commit the sins of social media are met with a major recovery challenge.
Even the most well-intentioned of brands can be subject to such a snafu. What do you do if it happens to you?
The only answer is to proceed with grace and humility. Delete the offending Tweet. Block the spammer. And always keep your social media accounts as secure as possible. Issuing a heartfelt apology can do wonders toward repairing your image. Don’t hide from your error. Owning these mistakes is the vital first step towards moving forward and leaving the infamous moment far in the past.
Mistake: Not prioritising customer experience
One final mistake that many brands make is forgetting to prioritise their customers’ experience over everything. It’s easy to get sucked in, focusing on numbers and growth. But by not keeping it authentic and placing your customer’s needs below your own, your business is falling into a very bad trap. This approach not only results in poor reviews and a reputation dashed against the rocks of the Internet, but can negatively impact the rest of your web marketing strategy.
The remedy? Always, always, consider the customer’s needs and wants when making a decision. What would make their lives easier? When contacted, respond quickly to customers, striving to fix their issue whenever possible. Continue adjusting products and marketing strategies to meet a need and be of value. Do this over and over and over, and you could find yourself in the midst of your biggest business win yet.
What marketing mistakes have you made? Tell us how you turned them around in the comments below.