Don’t Make These Marketing Mistakes — Kelford Labs Daily

Avoid these to keep moving forward.

Don’t Make These Marketing Mistakes — Kelford Labs Daily

Often, our job as marketers is less about cracking some big problem or having a brilliant insight—it’s simply about avoiding pitfalls and staying on the slow and steady path forward.

Over the years, I’ve identified a few core mistakes marketers often make.

Entrepreneurs of all types can benefit from knowing about these mistakes in advance and working to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Going Broad Instead of Focused

“When we try to capture an entire market, customer segment, or opportunity, we end up creating innumerable complexities and competitors.
When we choose to seize all of something, we typically end up with nothing at all.”
Kelford Labs Daily: Some of Everything or All of Nothing

Growth comes from focus—from being the obvious, credible best for a particular type of customer. We grow as our customers spread the word about us and keep coming back for more.

But when we go broad and try to capture an entire market, we end up confusing our customers about what we’re actually the best at, and for whom we’re ideal.

Mistake 2: Empty Brand Instead of Compelling Position

“You can always spot when a brand is trying to skip to the end of the product adoption curve. They want to get right to the place where they’re a household name and people buy them out of habit, so they pay a famous celebrity to appear in their early ads.
This is an attempt to splash some of the celebrity’s goodwill and fame onto the brand and create the perception that the brand is famous and important, just like the celebrity.”
Kelford Labs: Make Me Laugh

When we invest heavily in “empty” branding (removed from what makes our product or service the credible best) and focus on celebrity, fame, or pure awareness, we are sacrificing control over our future.

We’re relying on someone else’s ability to maintain their popularity for us to preserve our own.

Which means that every product with a celebrity spokesperson is one scandal, one gaffe, one mistake away from starting all over again. It’s diminishing returns, all the way down.

But credible demonstration of what makes our business ideal for a particular customer—that compounds over time, instead of diminishing.

Mistake 3: Assuming the Best

“Too many marketers pour all of their money and effort into a single, initial campaign. And then, when it lands like a brick, they have no resources left—including patience and enthusiasm—to keep going.
So they just stop.”
Kelford Labs: Your Marketing Won’t Work

There’s something I call “The Principle of Expected Failure.” Meaning, we should always plan our marketing efforts with the assumption they won’t pay off—at least not immediately.

That way, we ensure we have reserve resources for another iteration. And we won’t give up after one failed attempt or one earnest try.

Instead, we’ve got the resources—including enthusiasm—to keep working at it until it works.

If we can avoid these mistakes, we’re well on our way to achieving marketing success.

By staying focused, demonstrating our value, and sticking with it.

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