Marketing Pitfall #1: Talking to Yourself

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The most common marketing pitfall that brand keepers make that I have come across is “talking to themselves”. I am not eluding that I have never fallen into that marketing pitfall myself. However, I believe after years of training against “talking to myself”, the lesson has finally kicked in!

It goes without saying that most of us marketers pride ourselves on the the fact that we know our brand. Not only do we know it, we live it, breath it and love it. In order to excel at our profession, we need to understand and know our product, our market, its various segments, the competition and of course our target markets.

It’s so easy to fall into the marketing pitfall of “talking to yourself”.  After all, aren’t your views, your expertise and experience what the brand needs? Isn’t that why you’re at the “marketing table” so to speak? The short answer is yes and no. How do you determine if you are succeeding to make important decisions about your brand not basing them on your own point of view?

As professional marketers, it can be easy for us to believe that we see the world the same way that consumers see it. Simply put, that’s not accurate.

That’s really the most common marketing pitfall. Think of it this way: There’s a reason why market research surveys eliminate those of us who say we are in marketing. We just don’t view the world the same way.

The truth is, to be a good marketing professional, you need to immerse yourself in your brand and then you need to step away from it. You need to ask the key questions, listen to the responses and most importantly, be prepared to make the necessary changes.

As marketers we need to understand that consumers don’t think of our brand for a fraction of the time that we do. Hopefully, your brand is in the subconscious minds of your consumers, although they just don’t think of it in the same way that you do. But, your brand will become top of mind for those consumers who are in need of the ‘product’, from cars, tablets, detergent to salt. Of course, that’s if you’ve done your job properly.

So when you’re designing your next brand campaign or building a better website, don’t assume. Research, develop questionnaires that are designed to flesh out the real story of your brand to determine what it means to consumers and how they perceive it. To avoid this marketing pitfall of “talking to yourself” you need wear your consumer’s shoes. That way, you’ll talk the way they do.

Photo Credit: Marketing Risks/shutterstock

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