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Top 10 Marketing Planning Mistakes



Organizations have more marketing choices than ever before, making it easier to maximize your marketing budget. However, even the most seasoned professionals sometimes fall prey to mistakes that are easily avoidable. The list below details 10 common pitfalls to avoid when planning your marketing initiatives for the year ahead.

1. Failing to continually monitor your marketing programs. The phrase “you can only manage what you measure” is true. Online marketing offers you the ability to measure your marketing programs. This allows you to know what components of your marketing program are working, and what you should consider refining.

2. Staying on the same path. Sometimes the only constant is change. Objectives shift to align with business goals, new marketing channels enter the mix, and prospects begin using different resources to obtain relevant business information. Therefore, unless you’ve proven your current program is optimized for today’s marketing environment, your plan needs to evolve accordingly.

3. Forgetting to “fish where the fish are.” Virtually all professionals now use the Internet throughout their work processes. Are you reaching this target audience where they can be found looking for products and services like yours?

4. Ignoring frequency. “Fishing where the fish are” is only one component of a successful marketing campaign. Equally as important is how often you are reaching your target audience. Are you pushing your message out to the market on a regular basis, or are your efforts sporadic at best? Are you attracting professionals while they are looking and where they are looking for the products and services you have to offer?

5. Working “in a bubble.” Are the results you are seeing from your marketing campaign in line with what your sales team is looking for? It’s vital for marketing and sales to work together to ensure that your campaigns are delivering measurable results.

6. Focusing on quantity versus quality. Leads that provide intelligence to begin a relationship and gain a customer are more valuable than piles of nameless, faceless clicks. Be sure to capture relevant information.

7. Neglecting to maximize your media partner relationships. While accountability is a necessary component of any marketing program, you shouldn’t be expected to shoulder the burden on your own. Look to your advertising media channels for detailed reports delivered in a timely manner.

8. Overlooking timing. Are your marketing initiatives in sync with company-wide events such as product or service launches or trade show appearances? Neglecting to keep timing in mind can result in missed opportunities.

9. Abandoning branding and exposure. An increased emphasis on leads has resulted in some businesses shifting their focus away from branding and exposure. However, continuous exposure to your target audience will ultimately result in qualified sales and marketing opportunities. Are your media channels keeping you in front of your desired audience?

10. Moving into the year ahead without a plan. Still haven’t developed a road map for the future? It’s a good idea to set aside time to brainstorm your goals and objectives, and plan your tactics for the year ahead, including marketing channels that align with your plans.


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Happy Holidays from Epic Marketing


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Are you sizing up business prospects or building relationships?

What’s the best way to follow up with prospects without overwhelming them with email?

Read the full article at:

Out of the 13 ways to follow up with business prospects listed in the above article, several of them employ nudging tactics. They encourage you, to nudge … and potentially become a nudge yourself.

Nudge: To push (someone) gently with your elbow in order to get that person’s attention. To prod lightly: urge into action

How often do you like to be overtly nudged, when someone’s main goal is trying to sell you something?

People not quite ready yet to see things your way quite may not be very receptive to nudging. You risk alienation. When you nudge someone, you want them to be receptive and their response to be positive.

One of the ways to increase receptiveness to your nudges is to nudge far less often and reframe your business prospects altogether. Think of them as people and interact and engage with them in a way that builds relationships.

For example: Grabbing a coffee and drink is a good tactic to build relationships, but don’t blow it by never switching out of selling mode.

Open the conversation with a question such as, “So, are you working on any exciting projects right now?” or “How are you making out on your end?”

By inviting the person to talk about themselves, you’re likely to earn trust, convey that you’re a good listener and lay the foundation for building a long-term relationship.

After all, that person may change jobs several times in the next few years. Wouldn’t it be great to follow them along as they progress through that career?

Perhaps the most generous effort you can make is to be selfless. Don’t make it all about you. (HINT: It’s not all about you.) Ask the person if there’s anything you can do to support their efforts.

Even if it’s just a vote of confidence or moral support, you’re reinforcing a relationship that can and will last a lot longer than a business prospect that you immediately dump once you’ve determine they’re not ready to buy right now.

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Making the case for social media and mobile marketing

In 2015, it’s hard to believe there are objections or those in the workplace that would question the need for social media and mobile marketing.

But we know this about humans: They don’t like change very much.

And in organizations, group think, personal resistance and lack of support from upper management are just a few of the many obstacles that need to be overcome to win support for a social/mobile marketing strategy.

One of the most compelling and succinct ways we’ve found to make the case for social media and mobile marketing is focus less on the nitty gritty.

If you’re trying to explain how Instagram works or explain just exactly why people use Twitter, you’re likely to fail or invite criticism. Quickly.

Focusing on the big picture is a much better strategy. The opportunities waiting for businesses who have yet to truly invest in social, mobile and digital marketing are enormous.

Try framing your next meeting about social media and mobile marketing with senior leadership by showing them this video by Erik Qualman.

You’re almost certain to get their attention and lay the groundwork on the importance of investing time and resources in these ever-evolving mediums.

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Open your next conversation with a compliment

For success, and especially to obtain employment, one’s knowledge and skills are less useful and less important than one’s network of personal contacts. – Wiktionary

In other words, It’s not what you know, but who you know.

Because we know this proverb to be true, you should always be building and maintaining relationships. Of all types. Whether it’s for work, a side project or just going about your personal life.

One of the best ways to ease into a conversation is to open with a compliment. Or a question. Or both.

You: “What have you been working on lately?”

[Person replies.]

You: “Well, I have to say, it sounds like you did a great job on that.”

You’ve just set the right tone for a pleasant conversation.

Often times people can have their guard up or are naturally apprehensive, especially if they don’t know you that well.

Help put them at ease by paying a compliment. It’s probably one of the nicest things someone will do for them all day.

Don’t you want to be that person who makes someone’s day?

When you pay someone a compliment, it can often lead to reciprocal feedback. While that always feels good, that shouldn’t be your primary purpose in paying a compliment.

Compliments should come from the heart and be genuine. More often than not, it will lead to a fruitful conversation that both parties will remember.

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Henry Rollins on Coming from a Creative Place of YES

Henry Rollins Creative Quote

Henry Rollins, creative genius…

is a writer, performer, TV host, storyteller and radio DJ. He is also a source of inspiration for creative people all over the world.

Henry Rollins’ success is a reminder that most opportunities are self-created. He’ll be the first to tell you that.

Henry Rollins comes from a place of yes. So does Epic Marketing. Will you do the same?



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Disruptive technologies: A business threat or opportunity?

Time Magazine cover with Shawn Fanning of Napster“April 13th, 2000. The day the music industry and the internet became best frenemies forever.

That’s the day Metallica v. Napster, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California — a case that would come to national prominence, pave the way for Steve Jobs and Apple to create the iTunes and iPod juggernaut, and ultimately lock the tech and media industries in a battle that rages on to this day.”


The music business is just one of the many industries who have seen their whole model threatened and upended by Internet and digital.

The cause? Disruptive technology. Specifically The Internet and digital media.

There are three ways for businesses to respond to disruptive technologies such as the web and social web.

The first is to embrace and lead with them.

Let’s build something really cool with this. Let’s radically change the way we build and deliver things to customers. The old way of doing things isn’t going to be here forever.

The second is to ignore and see what happens.

Let’s keep doing things the way we’re doing them. If wait this out, maybe it will pass. What me, worry?

The third is to reject.

This isn’t an opportunity, this is a threat. The threat must be contained. Let’s continue to self-validate our existence.

The ideal place to be is leading and leveraging disruptive technology to create new solutions and efficiencies.

When your head is in the sand, you can’t see what’s happening around you or how your competitor is planning to outpace you.

Rejecting disruptive technologies outright is tantamount to denying reality. Things can and will change whether you like it or not.

Don’t create margins or opportunities for the competition to surpass you because you’re ignoring or rejecting disruptive technologies. Embrace them.

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5 hacks to write the headlines your readers want

Great headlines grab attention, and clicks. This 5-step process can give you the text you need to get the readers you want.

One of our favorite strategies to create headlines that resonate is this:

Cut to the chase and accurately and succinctly describe what your content is about.

Misleading your readers with deceptive headlines or a promise that you can’t deliver on only creates frustration and potential mistrust.

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Top 4 marketing lessons from Dover Police “Shake It Off” viral video

Chances are, you’ve seen the video the Dover Police Department of Delaware released in early 2015 featuring Master Corporal Jeff Davis singing and dancing along to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”

The video has more than 30 million views on YouTube and the Dover Police Department received a considerable amount of positive media attention, while helping police around the world better engage with their communities.

We had a chance to speak with Master Corporal Jeff Davis, Corporal Mark Hoffman, and Lieutenant Jason Pires of the Dover Police Department about their department’s experiences with social media.

Before the video was released, the Dover Police Department considered their social media efforts a success in several areas, from the easily measurable (more arrests, reduction in crime, etc.) to the less measurable, but just as important (improved community relations, easier communication with the public, etc.).

The insights shared by the Dover Police can easily be applied not only to other police departments, but to other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses.

1. Tell your own story

Corporal Hoffman said before using social media, the department really had to rely on others to tell their story, which normally means the drug bust makes headlines while officers mentoring students didn’t.

With social media, the Dover Police Department is able to share about both their successes in making arrests and their work in helping the community.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Whether you’re looking for a suspect or trying to get the word out about dangerous road conditions, it’s ok to ask your social media friends to help.

3. Transparency is a good thing

Don’t be afraid to let the public see you and your organization as you are.

4. Experiment

Look beyond your own industry and organization for inspiration, try new and different things, you never know what’s going to connect with the public.

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Five ways to sharpen your networking skills

The thought of going into a room cold, with just a name tag and a stack of business cards can be intimidating, anxiety inducing and downright painful. Networking doesn’t have to be that way.

With the advent of social media and the ability to stay connected online as an extension of the real world, networking can be done in ways that reduce exposure to sterile networking events, minimize stress and produce similar, if not better results as traditional networking.

Here are five ways that you can improve your networking skills without making it a painful experience.

5. Ask

Instead of leading off a conversation with what your needs/wants are, ask the other party what projects they’re working on. Eventually the conversation will turn to you and you’ll have an opportunity to talk about you and your needs.

4. Listen

Be a genuine listener when networking. People who listen are often thought of as great conversationalists. That’s because other people love to talk about themselves. Give them the space to do that.

3. Reach Out 

Don’t wait until you have a critical need (e.g., must make a sale, desperately need a new job). Check in periodically with former colleagues, friends and acquaintances and find out how they’re doing. The next time an opportunity or lead presents itself, they’ll be a lot more likely to think about you.

2. Offer to help

If there’s a way you can proactively help a fellow networking contact, do it. It can be something such as introducing a contact, suggesting strategy or sharing your experience. Don’t over commit, but make a gesture that shows you’re paying attention and that you care.

1. Don’t be so selfish

For many people, networking is driven by selfish needs. “I need something and I need it now,” is a total turn off and perpetuates the (accurate) impression that you only reach out when you’re in need. And while people may respond, it’s going about networking the wrong way.


Networking should be an exchange between people or people and their networks.

It shouldn’t be self-serving, because all you’re doing is potentially hurting yourself (and your future networking opportunities) while trying to help yourself today.

Get out there and try some of these strategies today.

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