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Not every marketing dollar is created equal.

Spending on non-productive strategies, cutting too many corners, or wasting time and energy on processes that could be easily improved ultimately costs your company in lower sales, wasted budget, and higher costs per conversion.

It’s time to take a look at your marketing strategy.

Are you making any of these 5 common, but costly mistakes?

5 Expensive Marketing Mistakes

1: Neglecting Tracking and Data

Effective tracking is absolutely necessary for your company to reach its potential.

By gathering data and monitoring trends, you should easily be able to determine vital statistics like:

  • Which marketing sources produce the most leads
  • How much marketing money you’re spending to get 1 sale for each lead source (cost per conversion)
  • Which of your employees are the most and least productive
  • What percentage of leads eventually make a purchase (conversion rate)
  • How variables like time of day, marketing message, and number of touches affect conversion rates

Without solid tracking and a commitment to stay accountable to your metrics, your business is basically blindfolded.

Even if you’re seeing sales, it might actually cost you more to make that sale than the profits is produces.

Every other mistake in this list can be easily avoided or solved with a smart, well organized tracking policy and a willingness to examine those numbers and be honest about what they mean.

2: Buying Bad Traffic

Getting traffic to your website or your store is wonderful, but if it’s only traffic and none of those people convert into customers, it’s a waste of resources and capital.

Here’s a real life example of how this happens:

A company in the business development niche hired an online marketer to help them make more money on their website.

When that marketer looked at the company’s ad budget, he found that they were purchasing lots of traffic through a certain Google ad.

The company was receiving thousands of visitors each month from these searches, but only a very tiny percentage of those visitors made any kind of purchase at all.

Most didn’t even stay on the webpage for more than a few seconds.

That traffic was generating less than $500 per month in total revenue, and their ad spend to show up in the search results was well over $10,000 monthly.

It was a big loss, and still the marketer had to work hard to convince management to stop spending that $10,000.

The managers were too focused on the traffic numbers. They were reluctant to look at the actual results.

This is a common problem in businesses of all sizes.

Focus on the bigger picture, and understand that traffic is just one of many factors to consider when evaluating your marketing plan.

3: Poor Follow Through

As more advertising reaches your prospects, they pay less attention to marketing as a whole.

Because of that, it takes more touches to make a sale.

Good marketers know that most sales are made after at least 6 contacts, or touches, have been made.

At the same time, most salespeople and businesses handling their own marketing quit after a couple of contacts, or lack the tools and skills to remarket to the same people.

Your company has already spent money, time, energy, and resources to develop a lead and get someone’s contact information. That money is utterly wasted if you quit too soon.

4: Over-Marketing Where There Should Be Relationships

On the other side of the equation, there are times when your company should back off and invite prospects to come to you.

Social media profiles, blogs, and forums are not places where readers gather to hear about what makes you so great.

These are places where communities form, and by providing value for free and marketing only occasionally in these safe havens, you can build relationships with your prospects that turn them into lifelong clients.

A good relationship strategy through blogging and social media will rocket your business ahead of your competition.

A bad strategy, though, makes you look like a spammer, and it ultimately hurts your profits.

Which brings us to our final marketing mistake:

5: Dismissing Social Media

Social media marketing is different than the traditional advertising you’re accustomed to.

Many businesses start a social media page, use it ineffectively, and then dismiss social media as useless.

Don’t do that!

85% of all large US businesses (with 100+ employees) have a Facebook page, and there’s a reason for that.

Every single day, Facebook users share more than 4.75 billion pieces of content like blog posts, videos, and pictures, and much of that comes from your competitors.

The marketing potential of social media grows every day, and if your company isn’t already building a good social media strategy, you’re out of date.

Social media marketing won’t go away because a few stubborn business owners refuse to participate. While they’re complaining about the challenges of building a following, their competitors are thriving as customers voluntarily spread their marketing message to friends and family.

How Much Are You Losing?

Without tracking in place, it’s hard to tell exactly how much money you’re throwing away – which is why some businesses are so afraid to implement good tracking software.

Even small businesses have addressed these common mistakes and seen their annual profits leap by many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How much more money could you make in the next year if you addressed these 5 issues?

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