We can all think of a bad habit or two (or three) we picked up during quarantine. Luckily, bad habits can be replaced with good habits when we put in the effort to commit to healthier practices.
If you’ve been guilty of picking up lousy marketing habits, don’t worry; we can help you turn those habits around. I asked the CQ team some bad habits they see in marketing and their recommendations on how to turn them into better habits.
Account & Business Development Director
Bad habit: Quality sacrificed for speed.
A common theme right now with prospective and current clients is the need for leads, right now!
After auditing several new clients’ tech stacks and content libraries we’ve found their email list quality is poor, marketing automation systems are not properly set up, and content is mediocre. Good enough doesn’t cut it.
Good habit: Patience.
The payoff for clients who are willing to exhibit short-term patience to get their lead gen engine properly set up pays off in dividends in a mere few months.
Senior Director of Creative Services
Bad habit: Low-quality, cheesy photos.
No matter how great your content is or how amazing your brand messaging reads, a bad stock photo will negate all of it in about one second.
We all know how busy people are; they don’t really read — they skim. Well, they also look at the photos you use and people can sniff out bad stock photography more quickly than ever. Stay away from those all-too-familiar handshaking, arms-crossing business people – who apparently are part-time models as well. It’s time to stop playing it safe and start picking better images.
Good habit: High-quality, well-placed photos.
- Skip the first few pages of your stock search results and dig deeper. This will help you get more unique image choices.
- Use other stock repositories like Unsplash or Pexels.
- Don’t be literal – look for conceptual images that help illustrate your point.
- Customize your stock photo with color overlays or combine it with other graphical elements (or text) that are true to your brand.
- Hire a skilled graphic designer to create custom visuals.
Since starting Clarity Quest 20 years ago, Chris definitely had a few bad habits to share.
Bad habit 1: Not creating an annual marketing plan and updating it every year.
Good habit 1: Make time to create a plan with your team, and set a reminder to refresh it every year. It should be a living document. Here is why you should embrace strategic planning.
Bad habit 2: Overlooking the marketing departments during M&A.
Good habit 2: Make a plan way ahead of this transition.
Check out our advice on what to do with web assets and your SEO strategy when you merge companies, and how you can be prepared for marketing day 1 and beyond during M&A.
Bad habit 3: Buying tech tools and software, such as marketing automation and social sharing systems, before there’s a plan or resources to effectively use them.
Good habit 3: Take the time to incorporate tools and software into your marketing plans and outline the resources (people and time) you have available prior to purchasing them.
Senior Director of Marketing Systems
Bad habit: Gauging a prospect’s interest simply based on their lack of engagement to a sales follow-up email.
Good habit: Align your sales team with a multi-channel follow-up process that includes several touches. For example, reach out to prospects on LinkedIn by submitting a connection request or an InMail, develop a 3-5 email sequence nurture campaign, and try to reach them via phone.
Executive Vice President of Client Operations
Bad habit: Not communicating with the sales department regularly to share ideas and insights.
Good habit: Communicate regularly with your sales department! After all, they know your products and services best. Check out the benefits of a strategic marketing and sales alignment.
Account Director & Content Lead
Bad habit 1: Failing to A/B test email subject lines and content.
Good habit 1: There’s really no excuse not to A/B test as marketing automation systems make it easy to A/B test and gauge what messages resonate with your audience. This one is easy to turn into a good habit and bonus, you’re likely to see an uptick in your open rates.
Bad habit 2: Getting stuck in the weeds.
Health tech marketers love to talk about the nuts and bolts of how their technology works, which can be great for people who are ready to buy.
Good habit 2: For potential clients you need to sell to, explaining the business challenges your product helps solve and your company why is a much better approach.
Bad habit 3: Your only marketing goal is generating leads.
Good habit 3: While it’s critical to generate leads to fill your pipeline in the short term, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you’re not simultaneously building and shoring up your marketing foundation. You’ll generate more, higher-quality leads in the long term with strong brand positioning and an SEO-optimized website.
Bad habit 4: Putting marketing on the back-burner when times are good.
Good habit 4: Don’t lay off your marketing when business is hopping and the leads are flowing. Instead, invest in thought leadership, public relations, and your brand story. You’ll be happy you did when times get tough.