Do You Make These Top 5 Marketing Mistakes?

Posted: Updated:

Picture this: You’re the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. In just a few short years, you have led your firm in quickly become a rising star within your industry. Now, you’re ready to make your entrance into the big leagues known at this year’s premier tradeshow. The only problem is that your rapid growth has outpaced your "DIY" marketing. And to be taken seriously at the next level, your company needs a strong marketing message that clearly conveys your commitment to innovation and customer service.

Better Marketing Means More Sales

This is exactly the position that a recent client of mine was in. Everything from their business cards and website to display banners and company brochures, desperately needed an upgrade. So how can business leaders create marketing messages that connect with their prospects and influence them to buy their products or services? Well, for starters, you can review your marketing and sales materials to make sure that you’re avoiding these “Top 5 Marketing Mistakes”.

Every day I work with companies, of all sizes, helping them to engage their ideal customers, position themselves in the marketplace, and generate new leads and increase sales through better marketing.

And whether you are writing a sales letter or scripting a keynote presentation, avoiding these Top 5 Marketing Mistakes will help you better engage your audience and inspire them to take action.

Top 5 Marketing Mistakes

Talking more about your company instead of your customer.

It may sound harsh, but people generally do not care about your business. They only care about how what you have will make their lives better. So instead of waning on about your company history, just explain the benefits you provide to your prospect, in an emotionally compelling way. Then, present them with a straightforward and irresistible offer to buy your solution.

Using insider terms or technical jargon instead of common language.

The axiom is true: if you confuse prospects, you will lose prospects. Be discerning in how many details you share in your marketing collateral. Keep your message simple and stay out of the weeds whenever possible.

Talking about features instead of benefits.

This is basic sales training 101. Still yet, I run into business making this marketing mistake all the time. The difference between features and benefits is like night and day. For example, the amount of megapixels in your phone’s camera is a feature. But how those megapixels make the pictures you take look better, is a benefit. Remember: “features tell, benefits sell”.

Using a passive voice instead of an active voice.

Instead of saying “The best widgets are built by XYZ Company” – passive voice, say, “You can rest assured, knowing that your widgets are built safe, strong, and provide a 100% warranty with XYZ Company” – active.

Leaving your reader wondering what to do next instead of giving them a clear call to action.

There are unknown amounts of dollars left on the table because too few businesses ask for the order. Give your prospects a reason to reply to your ad, take the next step, or respond for more information.

Activate Your Advertising

Don’t let these marketing mistakes hold you back from increasing your company’s revenue.

As Peter Drucker said, “The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.”

Make your brand messaging as clear and compelling as possible, and then you can have a consistent pipeline of new, qualified prospects, eagerly waiting to buy from you.

Joshua Lee Henry is founder and chief executive officer of Activate Advertising.

  • Perspectives

    • Why Blogging Without Rules Produces the Best Content

      I spend a lot of time talking with people about what makes writing good. Depending on who you ask, good writing might be exciting and illustrative. It might be simple and efficient. If you ask someone who works in marketing, good writing translates to whatever helps a marketing strategy generate more leads, or more sales, or more of whatever a business is looking to gain. Though I fully respect and agree with this results-oriented perspective on content, in practice it can be...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Mansion May Fall to Wrecking Ball

      A one-time mansion that once hosted dignitaries and politicians while they visited Valparaiso appears to be facing demolition, following years of decline and disrepair.  The stately mansion, known locally as the Brown home, maybe knocked down and replaced with condominiums, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • Photo courtesy of Purdue University

      Purdue Offers 'Stranger Things' Replica Tee

      Purdue University has partnered with trademark licensing agent CLC to produce a special-edition replica Purdue shirt that appeared on an episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3.”  The university also teamed up with Venley to accurately replicate the shirt, which will be available at retailers on the West Lafayette campus and online later this month.

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • Alexa Deaton and Colby Shank

      Higher Ed Commission Promotes Two

      The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has promoted Alexa Deaton to associate commissioner and Chief Financial Officer. She previously served as director of accounting. Also, Colby Shank has been promoted to associate commissioner for student financial aid, a new position for the organization. He most recently served as assistant commissioner for financial and student support services.
    • (Reid Health Photo)

      Reid Health to Move, Expand Radiology in Connersville

      Richmond-based Reid Health will next month begin moving the majority of its radiology services in Connersville. The health system says the move will allow it to expand the amount of offerings it provides to patients.