2015 must have been a pretty good year because you are still in business in 2016. That said, things could be better. You moved some product. You made a few new customers. Bottom line, you made a little more than you lost. And that’s always a good thing.
But that doesn’t mean your business isn’t stagnant. You didn’t start your own business to just barely get by year after year. To achieve more, you are going to have to make a few changes. And change is always a little scary. Chances are, you are making some of the most common marketing mistakes businesses make. You will improve significantly just by reducing the number of those, and adding a few new tricks. Here are a few of the marketing dos and don’ts you will want to implement this year.
Do Get Some Analytics
Before making any changes to your business, you need to get some analytics on what exactly is going on in your product-to-profit pipeline. It is foolish to make adjustments blindly. Even educated guesses aren’t good enough when trying to figure out what went wrong and where you can make improvements.
Companies like Primary Intelligence offer business analytics services that are designed to get at the heart of where the breakdown is in your process. Between sales win-loss analysis and customer experience analysis, you will get a clear picture of your marketing effectiveness, and where to go next.
Don’t Support Irresponsible Ad Networks
One of the big stories of 2015 was that Apple allowed ad blockers in iOS 9. The ad-supported content industry lost their collective minds. Now, the war is on. Recently, Forbes forced readers to turn off ad blockers and promptly served up malware.
The problem is that companies are not serving their own ads. They have handed over the responsibility to third-party ad servers, most of which are little more than adware and malware farms. By not taking a more active interest in your ad network of choice, you are destroying your reputation and future revenue stream. People are now paying attention. And you can’t get away with it anymore.
Do Make All of Your Web Property Mobile Responsive
Now that you have a website, you have finally caught up with 2007. But in June of that same year, the iPhone was released. And the mobile Web as we know it today took off. Today, there is no corner of the world where the mobile Web isn’t more important than the desktop Web.
Everything you do on the Web, every page, every ad needs to not only be mobile responsive, but mobile first. That means you have to let go of your dependency on platforms like Java and Flash. You should no longer be porting your site to mobile. You should be writing it for mobile in the first place.
Don’t Sell out Your Customers
One of the main reasons people developed the habit of using a secondary email address is to deal with spam. It took a while. But they finally realized that spam was coming from having been sold out by a service they trusted. Personal data is valuable. And companies would sell that information to the highest bidder. Soon, it became a necessary part of their revenue stream.
Once the consumer traces that spam to you, your relationship with that customer turns hostile. They will never trust you again. And they shouldn’t. First, never ask for personal information that is not absolutely necessary for delivering the product or service. Second, make sure that information is held securely so that you don’t become the latest in a long line of data breach stories. Finally, never use that information for any purpose other than what it was given for in the first place. Don’t sell out your customers.
Marketing is never easy, partly because like language and etiquette, the best practices are always changing. In 2016, be sure to collect analytics and go mobile. And under no circumstances should you support irresponsible ad networks or sell out your customers.