The Mercator is your bible and Seth Godin your spiritual guide. You are full of good marketing intentions and determined to spread the good word of the Religion of the Customer throughout your company. But beware of the bad marketing pitfalls to which countless missionaries, and sometimes the most seasoned, have succumbed! Here are three common mistakes to guard against.
Sin #1: Sycophancy
Trying to please the boss can lead you down the path of bad marketing. Unless the boss is the embodiment of your typical customer, your buyer persona made flesh, it’s highly unlikely that what he or she likes will also appeal to your targets. Non-experts don’t know what they don’t know, and in marketing, bosses tend to believe that their “likes” have any relevance (they do… to bad marketing!). The marketer needs to be brave and patient in explaining that marketing is not just about pleasing internally, but first and foremost about achieving specific customer objectives.
Sin #2: Lying
Piping the customer exposes you to an inevitable backlash. If you take him for a sucker, he will realize it very quickly and will be very angry with you. With their trust, you will lose their loyalty… and, in the age of social networks, they will not fail to talk about it around them. The “good marketing” adopts a speech consistent with the reality of your company, its values and its offer. It must certainly emphasize the benefits that the customer can expect, but without inventing anything. Beyond its discourse, it is in the practice of marketing that customers expect honesty and transparency – for example in the management of their personal data<.
Sin #3: pride
News flash: marketing is not the center of the world! Sorry to break the myth so brutally, but marketing alone cannot change the culture of your company. The “bad marketer” tends to stay in his ivory tower and look down on his colleagues who don’t understand customers; especially those salespeople who are not able to convert the leads they receive on a plate. Yet the marketer is not above the rest! This sin of pride is deadly for three reasons:
- Marketing does not have a monopoly on customer knowledge and its vision must be complemented by that of other departments;
- Marketing must not forget that it also serves internal customers;
- To be innovative and inventive, marketing must be a champion of collaboration and idea sharing throughout the organization.
If you feel safe from the above, beware of yourself: the game of “politics”, personal ambitions and silo habits can very easily obscure common sense. Remain honest and vigilant so as not to fall into the trap of bad marketing. Do good marketing first (the recipe for good marketing is here), your career will win… and your clients will thank you.