Monday, July 9, 2007

10 Biggest Mistakes Marketers Make

Does Marketing lack influence and stature in your organization? Do your clients not understand why they need to make a certain monetary level of investment in their brand? Do members of your company's executive team- along with your peers throughout the organization- fail to see the direct connection between marketing and the cash flowing into your firm's coffers?

Bottom line... you and your skills aren't viewed as a true strategic partner. Result? You are underutilized which prevents Marketing from delivering maximum value for the company. Stop whining. Turn the situation around by correting misperceptions of Marketing's role in generating cash. How? Avoid the 10 biggest mistakes marketers make:

10. Handing off leads to sales... and then forgetting about them. Hot prospects aren't cold cash.
9. Failing to speak the language of business. Yeah, strengthened brand awareness is great, but it's got to be tied to a positive financial line item.
8. Using metrics that don't matter to top management. Again, show me the money.
7. Living in the Marketing silo. Lack of communication internally means frustrated customers externally.
6. Using ad-hoc Marketing processes. To be viewed as reliable and professional, you must use a consistent and transparent approach for each process and communicate that process throughout the company. No "winging it" lest you want to be labeled a "creative."
5. Letting R&D shoulder all the risk. Boost your business's chances of launching money-making hits by targeting the most promising markets, knowing target customer desired benefits, and identifying the themes of products that offer unique value, thus reducing the R&D risk.
4. Ignoring your company's business model. Is it velocity? Then, to achieve a rapid turnover of inventory, your Marketing strategies will include low pricing and aggressive promotions.
3. Swallowing fads without gauging their cash-flow potential. Innovative technologies, vendor services, and other companies' corporate best practices may look enticing, but each opportunity must be evaluated through a cash-flow lens.
2. Failing to market Marketing inside your own organization. Utilizing the same persuasive communication and smart decision-making you use to cultivate your company's brand to customers, don't forget to spread the word inside the firm as well.
1. Failing to be a cash-flow leader. Do more than just enhance the money streaming into your company. Help others throughout the organization see the direct connection between Marketing and money by influencing everyone to think in terms of generating dollars to achieve the company's financial mission, to see not only revenue goals but cost targets, and to get the big picture in which the company operates.

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