The 7 Deadly Marketing Mistakes

The 7 Deadly Marketing Mistakes written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

John Jantsch, host of the Duct Tape Marketing podcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I’m doing a solo show, and I’m gonna talk about 7 martketing mistakes that business owner usually make and I give you some tips on how to avoid them.

Key Takeaway:

Businesses often make seven deadly marketing mistakes: lacking a clear vision, trying to please everyone, being just like their competition, wasting marketing resources, competing solely on price, succumbing to the idea of the week, and lacking measurable success criteria. Overcoming these mistakes requires a focused marketing strategy aligned with business objectives for creating a roadmap for growth.

Topics I Cover:

  • [01:25] Introduction to the 7 deadly marketing mistakes.
  • [02:32] Number 1: No vision of where your business is headed.
  • [03:47] Number 2: Trying to be all things to all people.
  • [05:54] Number 3: Being just like the competition.
  • [08:49] Number 4: Wasting precious marketing resources.
  • [09:37] Number 5: Competing on price.
  • [11:11] Number 6: Getting overwhelmed with the idea of the week.
  • [13:16] Number 7: Having no way to measure your success.

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by HubSpot. Look, AI is literally eating the web ChatGPT is more searched than I don’t know, Taylor Swift. Check out HubSpot’s AI powered tools, content assistant and chat spott. They both run on open AI’s GPT model, and both are designed to help you get more done and to grow your business faster. HubSpot’s AI powered content assistant helps you brainstorm, create, and share content in a flash, and it’s all inside a super easy to use CRM now. Chat Spott automates all the manual tasks inside HubSpot to help you arrange more customers close more deals and scale your business faster. Find out more about how to use AI to grow your business at That’s

(01:14): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and I’m gonna do a solo show. Seems like it’s been a little while. I think it’s time. I wanna talk about the seven deadly marketing mistakes, uh, that every business makes, and it’s the ultimate benefit of having a marketing strategy and plan. You know, marketing can seem really overwhelming. There’s more to do every day than you can possibly do. There’s a new thing that comes along every day. Getting it all done just seems impossible. So when I talk about these mistakes, I mean, I, I, again, I think these are pitfalls that people can naturally fall into. And so I wanna talk about the things that you should avoid, things that you need to focus on, because by doing so, maybe I’ll also give you some thoughts about what you should stop doing or not need to do.

(02:08): Like, jump on every new trend and new shiny object that comes along, for example. All right, so I’m gonna go into, uh, these seven things that I see, and I call ’em mistakes because that’s a, you know, that everybody’s scared to make mistakes, right? But they’re really just common business, uh, practices that, uh, I want to help you avoid. And by virtue of doing that, help you focus on the right things. Okay? So here they come. Number one, I see so many businesses that have really no vision of where they’re headed. I started my own business without any vision where I was headed. And, you know, you quickly find that you get whipped around by kind of every breeze that that blows. So, you know, not having a roadmap or at least a thought about what success looks like for you. Now, it’s pretty common for people to advise, like, what’s the three year plan?

(02:56): And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, except who knows , what the three year plan is. But having some idea, not just of what the numbers are going to be, but what impact you want to have. But I will say when I set goals with numbers, somehow we kind of get there. So there is some real value in just projecting guessing as some numbers, but I think the bigger thing is what kind of impact? What kind of business do you want to have? Who do you want to associate with your brand? I mean, what place in the market do you wanna own? I mean, those are some things that you can make as statements early on, and I think that they can be very invigorating for your team members. They can certainly be attractive to customers as well. So having it holding and at least an outline of vision is so crucial.

(03:44): So that’s mistake number one that I see. No vision.

(03:47): Number two, trying to be all things to all people. Now, I don’t think people necessarily set out and say, I’m going to be all things to all people. But what happens is there, there is a natural inclination if somebody comes along and says, oh, you do marketing, or, oh, you do accounting, I need that. Then line up like, here it is, you know, buy from me. And I think what happens is, and you’ve probably experienced this if you’ve been around for any amount of time at all, is that you end up watering down any kind of messaging or any kind of brand. In fact, you typically have no brand and you will inevitably attract the wrong clients. And in fact, you’ll confuse the right clients, uh, by saying, look, here’s everything we could do. Uh, does anybody need that?

(04:31): As opposed to, here’s the thing that we do that nobody else can do for you. Like we can do having the top 20%. In fact, I always tell people, take a look at the top 20% of your clientele today, your ideal clients, they’re probably in your top 20% because they’re profitable. They probably have a good experience because they had the right challenge and they had the right behaviors on how to solve that. They probably don’t beat you up over price. Maybe they even refer you because they have such a great experience. I mean, those are the folks that you should build your entire business around. It doesn’t mean you won’t sell to other people, but your messaging needs to be lined up to attract more of that top 20%. And then really from a business model standpoint, you wanna make sure that you’re actually not just keeping those folks happy, but continue to explore what else could you do with those folks?

(05:22): Because you’ve already sold them, they already love you. Um, do 10 times more business with, uh, the top 20% of your client. You’ll double your business rather than than going out there and, and trying to convince new people, uh, to buy from you. It helps you solidify your offers, helps you solidify your customer journey. It certainly, you know, you can build momentum with repeat business. Um, this is a group that’s gonna refer you. We all know how great referrals are. So focus on that top 20%. Stop trying to be all things to all people.

(05:54): Number three, being just like the competition. And again, I don’t think anybody sets out to say, I’m gonna be just like every other business in my industry. But we have a tendency to look around and, and maybe we worked for a company like that. We start our own company. We have a tendency to look around and and find that we are, um, saying the same things. We’re offering the same things, we’re acting the same way. There’s really no way to build trust in that type of environment. And unfortunately, what happens is if you look just like the competition, well guess what? Somebody calls three people in your industry and all they can compare is price. And so you’re constantly competing on price because there is no, there’s no differentiating factor that people value. So you can’t attract the right fit. You can’t really make, or the the promise you can’t attract talent. You know, staff gets really excited about knowing, Hey, we’re, we have this compelling message, we have this compelling difference. Here’s the problem that we solve for folks. You know, this is one that, that I’ve got it right here in the middle of these seven.

(06:55): But this is one that, that leeches out into so many other things. You know, you’re gonna waste marketing resources, you’re gonna compete on price, you know, by doing this. And so finding, and guess what? Here’s a clue. Your customers know how you’re different. And so finding and discovering in their words what that difference is, the problem you actually solve is such a huge component that you can build into the overarching strategy. Not just marketing messaging, but the overarching strategy of your business. Your starts with a core message that you then build into everything you do.

(07:29): And now let’s hear from a sponsor. This episode is brought to you by Business Made Simple, hosted by Donald Miller, and brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals hosted by Donald Miller. Business Made Simple Takes the Mystery out of Growing Your business. In a recent episode, they talked with my old pal, Seth Godin, where he explained the virtues and values in his book called The Song of Significance, A new manifesto for teams. Listen to Business Made Simple. Wherever you get your podcasts

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(08:49): Mistake number four is wasting precious marketing resources. Man, there are so many channels, so little time . They, they’re coming fast and furious every day. And I think there, there is a real inclination to say, oh, I have to be everywhere. I have to do everything. I have to be in this channel. And what happens is, maybe it’s even an effective channel for you to be in, but we’re spread so thin that we can’t make any impact anywhere. I’d rather see you master one channel, one place where you can actually make money consistently and predictably, whatever it is, Facebook content, using seo, running Google ads, it doesn’t really matter. Master one and then move on to the next. You can’t build any momentum by building, by spreading yourself too thin.

(09:36): All right, number five, and again, this is another one of those that runs through a lot of challenges, but competing on price. Unless you’re Walmart, you know, uh, competing on price, being the low cost leader is not such a great place because you can’t pull it off . And so again, going back to like being just like the competition, trying to be all things to all people. A couple of the other mistakes I mentioned, that’s what really leads to this competing on price, because you have no option. It’s like the only way we’re gonna get the deal is to be cheaper. Well, the problem with that, of course, is then you have no profits to invest. You’re gonna track the wrong clients. You ever notice how the client that wants the deal is going to be the most demanding client that you sign up? I mean, you can’t innovate. You’re, because you’re serving people that came to you based on price. Guess where they’re gonna go the next time they can get a cheaper deal from somebody else? So you can’t hire, right? You can’t outsource, right? You can’t innovate. You’re gonna attract the wrong clients. And here’s the thing that’s really sad, is that, you know, if you focused on that top 20% that already loves you, that’s already willing to pay a premium, the opportunity for you to grow profitably resides there.

(10:49): And not in all the lost opportunity of chasing those folks that just come to you on price. Now, you can’t just, well, you can just raise your prices, but you better have a compelling message. You better have a compelling package. You better promise to solve a compelling, uh, problem for a specific person in a specific way. That’s how you get out of competing on price.

(11:10): Number six, overwhelmed with the idea of the week. Anybody feel that? I mean, business is overwhelming, period, , but the pace of change, the new things that come along, the new person that assures you that AI is now like the secret weapon that you can get rich. It, it, you know, chasing these things, and I’m not saying there aren’t times when you wanna look at opportunities, but what happens is when you’re flailing around chasing the idea of the week, you can’t build any momentum. You’re going to waste countless hours. Who knows how much resources you’re gonna confuse your customers. Having a consistent point of view about here’s what we do, here’s how we do it, here’s how we do it, here’s why we do it. Here’s how we do it better than anyone dreamed of doing. Sticking with that long enough for people to actually hear that message and start telling their friends, neighbors and colleagues is how you can get by or get through the overwhelm, you know, with this idea of the week. Now, what this also means is you have to have some data to make decisions. If you don’t know what’s working today, you’re more likely to try something new. Let’s throw some more stuff out there, right? The old spaghetti on the wall, see what sticks. But if you have good data, and this doesn’t mean that you have to be a data nerd and like have all kinds of dashboards and dials of everything that’s going on.

(12:35): If you have the six or seven or eight meaningful things, or at least what you believe will be meaningful things to measure in your business, and you put them on a spreadsheet and you look at them every week or maybe every day and you update them and you talk about them in your team meetings, you know, that’s how you’re going to say, Hey, this is working. Let’s stick with this. Let’s double down on this and let’s forget about the idea of the week. Doesn’t mean you won’t experiment, but you won’t be tempted to just run all over without any, any real idea of what’s working and what’s not working. Look, there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. So let’s stay focused on a handful of things.

(13:16): Number seven, no way to measure success. So every quarter, uh, actually every month to some extent, but every quarter we get together with the leadership, uh, team, we talk about what are two or three objectives, never any more than three primary objectives for the business. And certainly we boil that down to then what are the objectives for marketing? And those objectives for marketing are going to lead up to, are they going to help serve our business objectives by having those and then filter using that as a filter. You know, every time we get a great new idea, to say, wait a minute, where does that fit into this quarter’s plan? Does it support one of those objectives or not? If it does, great, let’s figure out how to get it done. If it doesn’t, let’s put it in the parking lot. You know, let’s wait on it. And I think having the discipline to follow a quarterly plan is absolutely how we get things done. I mean, you look up at the end of 90 days sometimes and you think, God, I feel like I’m exactly where I was 90 days ago.

(14:18): But working with two or three objectives, when we achieve those, we big things, uh, can happen to your business. You can actually accomplish a pretty significant goal in a quarter’s time. And that’s going to serve you in many cases for years to come. Whereas just kind of doing a little here, a little dabble there, a little dabble there, you know, isn’t going to allow you to make any kind of consistent growth. So all of this, uh, all of these seven, uh, deadly marketing mistakes that I’ve talked about are really solved or cured, uh, by developing a marketing strategy. We have a process we call strategy First. I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about it. It is a, a process that we’ve now between myself and my team and, uh, the, the hundreds of agencies that we’ve licensed, we’ve actually run thousands of businesses through this process. And it just flat works. It helps you stay focused on the things that I’ve talked about, uh, today. And it really allows you to see not just growth, but a roadmap of what growth looks like of where you’re going.

(15:25): So I, if any of this touch to Nerve, I’m sorry, first off, but I also invite you to reach out. Uh, you can just send me an email, and say, I wanna talk about strategy. I wanna talk about strategy first. Um, we’d love to set a meeting with you and talk about how we could maybe bring, we, we could solve these mistakes if you’re experiencing any of them. Uh, but bring you a solid roadmap that is going to serve you really from a marketing standpoint and a business standpoint for, uh, perhaps years to come. So that’s it. Thanks again for listening and let me know if you like these solo shows.

(16:01): I’ll try to remember to do more of them in the future. All right. Hopefully we’ll see you one of these days out there on the road.

(16:07): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It’s called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it,, dot co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That’s just marketing as I’d love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This Duct Tape Marketing Podcast episode is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

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