Based on VBC’s team experience in marketing for technology SMBs, here are some mistakes that we keep seeing:

Mistake #4 – Falling victim to dirty SEO

Have you ever hired an SEO consultant who guaranteed your site would achieve a top ranking on Google within a week or within a month? They were either lying outright, included paid search in their results, or only guaranteed results on long and obscure keyword phrases (on which you would have ranked high even without their help). Yet another example of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

Perhaps you weren’t dealing with an external consultant, but a well-intentioned but misinformed ex-employee who engaged in “black hat” techniques without knowing the damage their actions could cause.

What’s the net result? Any tactics you or your employees, or the SEO company that you hired in the past engaged in to manipulate your search results will put your site at risk of getting blacklisted by Google.

Hiring professionals like us to undo SEO damage done to your site and to your reputation is a process that takes time and money. So was that temporary boost in ranking worth it?

The reality is that good SEO goes hand in hand with good digital marketing strategies that are well-rounded and user-centered. Instead of focusing purely on rankings, consider changing your focus to ways of making your site “stickier”, increasing average time spent on your site and offering valuable and engaging content that make your visitors want to come back. In other words, do your fundamentals, make sure your site is following the Google guidelines of course, and the rankings will follow.


Mistake #3 – Not aligning Marketing and Sales funnels

Marketing and Sales are a team when it comes to lead generation and nurturing – right? Unfortunately this is not always this case. Sometimes it’s as simple as not using the same language or sharing the same lead definitions/views on the different stages that exist on the company’s one common funnel. This is known as a lack of funnel alignment.

In most companies, when talking about “the funnel”, Sales and Marketing often use two sets of terminologies for the same funnel which pushes data into the CRM used for key stakeholders’ monthly result reports to the C-Suite.

What’s the net result? Miscommunication and mistrust between sales and marketing and even worse, finger pointing during monthly rhythm of the business (ROB) meetings when results are on the table! There is unproductive collaboration between marketing and sales when it comes to passing off and nurturing leads.

IDC reports that a B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year.


Mistake #2 – Not having a written strategy

Believe it or not, many small to medium companies actually justify not having a written strategy by saying that it prevents them from being nimble and easily adaptable to a fast-changing market. Not true: a strategy neither has to be volumes long, nor can’t it evolve over time.

But what a written strategy does provide is focus and accountability both on an individual and a team level.

What’s the net result? According to the research, it’s definitely worth it to write things down. 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of content marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who (just) have a verbal strategy.


Mistake #1 – Jumping into social media blindly

Even in 2017, companies are still jumping into random social media tactics without a content plan, without a communications strategy and having totally neglected SMART goal-setting.

Believing “more is better”, we see them engaging in every single social media platform out there, not understanding that every platform has a different type of audience and purpose and how much work is realistically needed in content upkeep alone.

In a recent survey of 275 (primarily B2B) marketing professionals, SOCIAL MEDIA was identified by 50% as the most difficult digital marketing tactics to execute!

What’s the net result? Chances are their junior-level marketing resource is spreading themselves too thin and is unable over time to sustain the production of valuable and relevant content necessary for community engagement. Not only will the SMB fail to capture any ROI (not to mention wasted time and resources), their social platforms will end up gathering dust. “Executing social media is more than just setting up a platform.”

Let us know if you can identify with these mistakes.

Published On: March 28th, 2017 / Categories: Marketing Planning /

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