I admit I searched this title online to see what would come up, and didn’t find anyone who agreed with me on the first page. Does that mean my idea of the biggest marketing mistake is wrong? Not necessarily. Many of the ‘biggest marketing mistakes that show up on search could fit into this category because the biggest marketing mistake you can make is this:
Failure to provide what is promised.
What Happens When Reality Doesn’t Match The Message?
Most of us can remember being disappointed when a product that did not actually do what we thought it would do. Over the years marketers have learned to be very careful about truth in advertising, and rightly so. But internet marketing can venture really close to that false advertising line when your message doesn’t match what the visitor finds on your website. There are a few ways this can happen, and you will likely think of some more:
- The Secret Solution — that you only will see if you sign up for something and discover eventually that it isn’t a secret and it isn’t a solution.
- Customer Satisfaction Is Our Priority — until you contact our customer service department and talk to someone who can only provide what’s on the website and has to keep the call to three minutes or be reprimanded.
- We Provide Expert Advice — but you will have to pay to find out if it is helpful because there is no free information on our site.
- This Product Is Exactly What You Need — and you must trust us because there are no specifications in the product description. Also, the customer service people only can read what’s on the website.
The most effective marketing strategies we can come up with are going to be failures if the people who come to the business or the website run into a reality that does not match the message. Failure to provide what is promised could be a result of marketing that is out of sync with the rest of the company. It also could be the result of poor site design. Do you want to use your own website? If you don’t, why would they?
Think about the potential experience of those you want to reach from their perspective. If you don’t know your target audience well enough to know what they will think you are promising, you will probably be failing to deliver on that perceived promise. An excellent customer service department can fix this mistake, but unless you learn from your mistakes you will repeat them.