Avoid These Marketing Strategy Mistakes – At All Costs!

It’s the stuff of nightmares.

You’ve got a great eCom business, or you work in one. You think you’re using good marketing tactics, and you should start seeing great revenue growth. 🚀 But…

Arghhh! Sales are only trickling in. ☹️  What the… (…insert your fave expletive here!)?

What to do?

The issues could be one of two things (or at the worst case, both):

  1. People are not finding you (problems getting traffic)
  2. Problems converting the traffic (design, pricing, UX, conversion optimisation, etc)

Well, the first place to look is your marketing strategy. Are you doing things the right way or are you being your own worst marketing enemy?

Be honest now – when was the last time you stood back and had a good look at your marketing strategy? We’re not talking tactics here, but strategy – ya know, that thing that connects all your tactics together!

Without a solid strategy, devised before you use tactics (strategy dictates tactics!), you’re at risk of flipping from one strategy to the next, increasing your stress levels, and placing yourself at even more risk of making marketing mistakes.

Don’t worry, you’re defo not alone! In fact, this is a common occurrence, even with larger eCom brands!

Don’t be one of those people…

We’ve put together this guide to help you identify costly errors you might be making and how to put them right – like, now, before you lose any more potential customers.

Mistake #1: The impulsive, random, scattergun approach (ya know… no strategy!)

You know what we mean.

You’ve read about the latest tactic, social media platform, or app gizmo thingy, so you jump on board and start using it. The following week something else comes along. So you set up some more posts, ads, etc. The following week… well – you get the picture!

In other words – you don’t really have a marketing strategy at all. You’re just jumping on every bandwagon that comes along and ending up with a disjointed, badly-thought-out, mess of marketing.

Sounds a bit harsh, but sadly it’s true. And it’s all too common. This is usually the number one mistake that people make – not having a joined-up strategy.

The upshot is that you end up with mixed messages, across multiple channels, which are unfocused and not attracting your ideal customers. Basically, you’ll end up with low traffic, crap rankings, confused messaging, and a shoddy conversion rate.

To overcome the temptation to throw the kitchen sink at your marketing. Just use a few tried and tested techniques to help you reach your goals. More on goal setting in the next section…

Mistake #2: Ineffective planning

You can’t implement a marketing strategy without planning and prepping it first.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and all that.

Be as specific as possible with your strategy. For example, when setting goals, don’t just set vague goals like “publish 4 blog posts per month…” You need to set out what you want to achieve from your marketing. A better goal would be “to get 25 new leads from published blog posts this month” or something along those lines.

As Stephen Covey says in his brilliant book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you need to begin with the end in mind. You need to know what marketing success looks like.

Don’t just put a bunch of ads on Tik Tok because the latest marketing guru said it’s the right thing to do. Or spend hours tweeting your latest news when you’ve only got 10 followers.

To focus your strategy in the right areas, first you need to decide what you want to get from your marketing efforts. That’s how you strategize effectively. Use SMART goals to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives.

  1. Specific – It makes your next steps clear
  2. Measurable – It makes it easy for you to track your progress
  3. Attainable – Aim high, but be realistic about what you can achieve
  4. Relevant – It helps you move in the direction you truly desire
  5. Time-Bound – Adding a time-frame is a big motivation boost!

Check out this blog post to learn more about setting up your SMART goals.

From these goals, you can then build a strategy of tactics and techniques to get there.

Mistake #3: Not making the most of the data

Does data make you go – “Urghh. Maths. I hate maths!”

Well, you’re not alone.

Unless you’ve got a flair for it, most people avoid anything to do with data like the plague. It reminds them of being confused or bored out of their minds in school maths classes!

We don’t need to tell you this, but it’s worth reinforcing it – if you neglect the analytics, you won’t survive in today’s data-driven digital world.

But it’s not enough to just gather the data, look at the automated visualisations and tweak a few things in the hope of making a difference to your bottom line.

To stay competitive you need to effectively piece together all the data insights and create a killer strategy from them. Unfortunately, this takes time. And we know that successful eCommerce owners don’t have a lot of that on their hands.

Luckily there are plenty of automated tools out there that can help you record the right metrics, pinpoint important data, generate insights, and even advise you on strategy changes to improve things.

But some of these data insight generating tools are tricky to set up and navigate. Good news – there are plenty of marketing agencies out there that can help you with that (Thinkable being one – shameless plug alert!)

Mistake #4: Being shortsighted – not prepared for growth

Show me the money!

Or not – if you’re not prepared for growth.

Unless you happen to own a non-profit organisation, it’s likely that one of your business goals is for sustained growth.

That’s great. But not so great if you’re not prepared for it.

The number of sites we see out there that have grown past their capability is astonishing. They are plagued by issues such as slow page loading, invalid links, ineffective CTA buttons, poor checkout design, badly laid out text… the list goes on.

Your marketing strategy should include both the appearance and tech side of your website and user interface.

If your website is unappealing or performs badly, you might as well hang a “closed for business” sign on the door.

As an eCommerce brand, you likely know the importance of measuring performance and split-testing campaigns, CTAs, and other elements, but be honest… How confident are you that you’re:

  • Testing the right elements
  • Measuring results the right way
  • Implementing the improvements & iterating for greater improvement

We get it… there’s enough to do with managing stock levels, keeping up with orders, returns, and running all your marketing efforts. Testing & iterating often takes a back seat, even at big eCom sites!

However remember, all the other efforts will fail to yield the best results if your conversion rates are lower than they could be… and without testing & iterating, how do you know if your conversion rate is as good as it can be?

Mistake #5: Obsessing over traffic with too little attention to conversion rate

Yes, traffic is important. But do you know what’s also important – conversions.

Sounds obvious, especially for eCommerce sites… right?

But it’s amazing how many people obsess over acquiring new traffic, but forget about converting their existing visitors.

We’re not saying to neglect your attraction marketing – ads, social media, content marketing, etc. But you do need to balance this with conversion rate optimisation (CRO).

The truth is, spending more and more on ads and social media leads to lower profit margins, because you are spending a lot to get the traffic you need. By applying CRO techniques such as upsells, offers, order bumps, discounts, and any other tactic that leads to visitors staying longer on your site and buying more, you boost your overall profits.

Mistake #6: No follow-up marketing

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because someone didn’t buy on their first visit, that’s the end of the story. It’s just the beginning.

Most customers don’t buy on their first visit.

They need repeated exposure to your brand to build awareness and trust.

In fact, a whopping 98% of first-time visitors to a website don’t buy anything!

What you need to do is follow up with these visitors. Retargeting and remarketing campaigns are super-important for eCommerce websites.

If you’re not using retargeted social ads and follow-up email marketing campaigns, you’re losing out on muchos sales.

Retargeting tactics are highly effective as they put your brand back in front of people that have already shown an interest. It’s like hiring a persistent and persuasive, but subtle, salesperson to drive up your sales figures.

Mistake #7: Not personalizing your message

Ok, so maybe your product is difficult to be too enthusiastic about – especially if you’re selling something ordinary like paper clips for instance – How do you write engaging copy about paper clips? We hear you!

Think about adding product use cases or guides – help with selecting the right product, links to guides etc. Also, make sure product pages have plenty of useful information – People DO want to get informed before their purchase – yes, even paperclips!

Also, you can still make things more interesting by adding some personalisation,

It doesn’t have to be funky, or overly creative (unless that suits your brand – in which case go, go for it!). All you need to do is be friendly and authentic, with customized messages.

To do this, you should segment your audience – people who have already purchased, abandoned carts, visited but didn’t buy, loyal repeat customers, etc.

Personalizing your messages will increase the chance that people will take action when they see your message.

Mistake #8 – Being boring and stuffy

Creative, fun content, mixed with some PR, can work well. Find fun facts about paperclips, unusual stories about paperclips, any world records around paperclips – have fun, be creative.

Even humorous product videos can help… look at the success of Dollar Shave Club – Despite selling ‘cheap razors’ (not paperclips, but still, not the most exciting products either!), their videos are fun, shareable, and drive great results for the brand!

If a company selling cheap razors can do it… Can’t you?

Or was this a fluke? Nobody else can make a boring product fun & get social attention, right?

Hmmmm how exciting are kitchen blenders, usually? Much viral potential? No? Well…

So how come Blendtec gained 800’000 YouTube subscribers for their spin-off fun channel? Check out their videos, and see. They didn’t just do a one-off, they do time-relevant ones too! Like their Mandalorian 2 video, below which, at the time of writing this gained over 25’000 views in just over a month!

Not bad for a blender company.  Do you make product videos or brand videos? If so, how many views do they get after 1 month? 25k+? No? If not, maybe re-visit your strategy & try to breathe some life (okay… fun!) into them.

Don’t make any more marketing mistakes!

So there you have it! Now, which of these mistakes has your eCom business been guilty of in the past? Has this helped you catch any that you were literally on the verge of making yourself?

If you can relate to any of the mistakes above, then you need to take a look at your marketing strategy and likely make some adjustments.

Need a hand with any of that? Tap below!