Are You Making These Common Marketing Mistakes?

Are You Making These Common Marketing Mistakes?

In this industry, there is pervasive confusion about roles. A “Marketing Director” in a community is most often a salesperson. When salespeople are handling marketing they tend to purchase advertising based on opinions, and can be vulnerable to media salespeople. They also can create messaging and advertising that doesn’t resonate with the market. The same goes for a “web professional” – they’re not a marketing director either, although they understand one of the tools a marketing director might use.

A true marketing professional understands the entire landscape of communications options and also understands how to build holistic and well performing branding and marketing strategies.

As a full-service firm, we’ve seen a pervasive misunderstanding of roles in the senior living field, and how potentially costly these mistakes can be for an organization.

Since 3rdThird is here to help you succeed – even if you’re not working with us – here are the mistakes we’ve seen from least to most severe.

1. Analytics is Not the Only Way to Measure: 

Across our clients, we see that most often only 25% to 30% of lead traffic is via web. If you are relying solely on web analytics to understand campaign effectiveness, you’re missing the other 75% of your traffic.

Lesson Here: Display advertising and direct mail should be tracked with phone number reporting, and direct mail should include a business reply card (yes, they work!).

2. Marketing Consultants Don’t Do the Work: 

A marketing consultant takes your orders and uses a team to develop the work. When you work with an advertising agency or marketing firm, the marketing consultant is your account executive and has a team behind her giving you a cohesive product. You should expect excellent creative, marketing strategies, media buying, placement, program execution and, at the end, measurement. If you’re using a consultant who is simply hiring designers to do the work, you’re not getting the whole product.

Lesson Here: Understand who and what you’re hiring. A marketing consultant should have an agency behind her.

3. Designers are Not Creative Directors: 

A designer has the ability to take words and graphics and make them look good on paper. What they do not have the ability to do:  Develop a cohesive concept that includes a “hook” in copy headlines. They also do not write copy. The result companies get when relying solely on designers for marketing materials is non-strategic communications.

The Lesson Here: Designers should be directed by art directors or creative directors.

4. Public Relations is Not Marketing:

When your lead generating is humming along and you have some extra budget, public relations is a great thing. However, it is not marketing. Public relations is not a lead generating tactic although the line between PR and marketing is blurred. Marketing tactics include placing articles and social posts that are strategically designed to generate leads.

The Lesson Here: Dispel the myth that public relations is a cheap way to get bodies in the door.

5. Web Companies are Tacticians, Not Branding Professionals:

The most recent example of this we’ve seen is a lifestyle brand hired a big box web firm to recreate their site. The result? A site that has great programming, but now attracts customers far outside of the company’s target.

The Lesson Here: Use web firms to program your site, not to develop the messaging and creative.