Five mistakes marketers make when trying to sell online 

by | Jun 15, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

Online sales are booming. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. shoppers now buy products online, many regularly1. And one-third of consumers buy monthly via their smartphones. But that doesn’t mean snagging sales for a new product is as easy as building an online store. The marketplace is dominated by big names and even bigger budgets.

To increase the likeliness of success, marketers need to build their visibility, boost their trustworthiness and know when to partner with the big boys. They also need to avoid these common mistakes:

Mistake #1: Investing in promotional channels that don’t earn awareness

Consumers can’t buy a product that they don’t know exists. “To create demand for a brand, you’ve first got to teach people about its merits so that they understand why they need it,” explains Lonny Kocina, Media Relations Agency CEO. He suggests reaching out to consumers where they are most willing to listen to your story.

TV, print, radio and digital media coverage are the modern-day window shopping. Unlike ads, news stories are often perceived as trusted recommendations from a friend, and can drive traffic to your online properties. Plus, news stories can be repurposed for other channels, including newsletters, websites and social media.

Mistake #2: Starting too late

If you’re looking to boost fourth-quarter sales, Media Relations COO Heather Champine suggests testing marketing tactics in the spring. “You can’t snooze through spring, even if you earn most of your sales during the holidays. You really need a year-long strategy,” she explains. “You need time to test campaigns, so you can scale the most successful ones in time for the lucrative holiday season.”

Mistake #3: Ignoring the selling power of Amazon

According to one study, 45 percent of U.S. shoppers start their product search on Amazon. Marketers should consider Amazon as important—or even more important—than their own online store. Those who know how to leverage its power may reap big rewards.

There are more than 80 million Amazon Prime members. These members spend on average $1,300 per year. An Amazon presence offers convenience to buyers ordering a variety of products in one transaction. The massive marketplace also feels safer for the legion of buyers concerned about credit card fraud. In 2018, an Amazon presence is vital.

Mistake #4: Not following a process

Implementing a process guards against costly errors and oversights. “A process is even more valuable to a start-up than it is to an established organization,” explains Kocina. “That’s because established organizations have enough resources that they can make a few mistakes. Mistakes in small businesses can spell disaster.” Kocina’s latest book, “The CEO’s Guide to Marketing,” outlines the process used at his successful agency.

Mistake #5: Neglecting the importance of mobile

Mobile is booming. It accounts for more than two thirds of all digital media time. A mobile ad campaign, especially one focused on social networks, can deliver your message right into the hands of your prospect. According to one study, social networks provide the main inspiration for product purchases for 39 percent of global shoppers2.

The marketing landscape is constantly changing. Marketing teams need to stay nimble, avoid costly mistakes and regularly adjust tactics to earn sales. Kocina adds, “There is both a science and an art to marketing. The science is breaking down marketing into understandable elements such as the product lifecycle, the markets and submarkets, and the channels. The art is pulling these elements together in a way that influences the consumer’s desire to purchase.”

Lonny Kocina
Lonny Kocina is Chief Executive Officer at Media Relations Agency, a nationally trademarked Pay Per Interview Publicity business model, which enables clients to purchase publicity by the story.