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10 misconceptions of marketing

Natalie Sharp of Sharp Thinking recently highlighted 10 misconceptions about marketing:

1. We’re too small to have a marketing plan. Planning is key for all businesses regardless of size to provide focus, aid resourcing and budget planning

2. Your brand isn’t your logo. It's a set of associations that a person makes with your business. It takes time to build and is formed by things you can’t necessarily see or touch. It’s the value people give a company by way of how it makes them feel and perceive. Whilst it’s represented by a visual brand identity it's as much about the messaging and language used as well as the visual style

3. I don’t need a blog. Blogs are great for SEO and showcase your expertise to drive traffic to your website. They provide content for social media and newsletters and help keep your website up to date and will convert to leads

4. I only need to market to new customers. Acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than retaining an existing one and the probability of selling to them is 60 – 70% compared to a new prospect of 5-20%. Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more. Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profit by 25% to 95%

5. The data won’t tell you anything. Data is king and is the foundation of marketing planning, particularly customer insights. Vital metrics include conversion rates, revenue per customer, cost of acquisition and lifetime value?

6. Marketing is about lead generation. Brand awareness comes before lead generation. The marketing funnel assumes that buyers go through four key stages – awareness, interest, desire, and action and this has evolved to add two more stages – loyalty and advocacy. Serve prospects with content across different stages of the funnel because an average of 3-5 pieces of content are viewed before dialogue begins

7. Social media is only for young people. 39% of 65-74 year olds in the UK use social media and the influx of recent baby boomers on Facebook highlights why it’s such a prime place to run ads

8. The larger the market you more you’ll sell. But a bigger market is harder to target, more competitive and harder to gain market share. So niche down and be as specific as possible

9. We know everything about our customers. To quote Mark Ritson “unless you’re doing regular research, it is impossible to know everything about your customers’ and his advice is that 5% of your marketing budget should go into research to ensure the other 95% of your budget is well spent

10. Marketing is tactics. Without a strategy, your tactics may not target your customers accurately. Marketing should be a strategic business function because it’s how you get people interested in your business. Your strategy helps develop services with the best profit and defines what sets you apart from your competition

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