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Whether you own a business or work in a sales or marketing role, you’re probably reading this blog because you’re responsible for bringing new customers through the door. And if you’ve been on Facebook lately (or anywhere else with space for adverts) I bet you’ve been bombarded by a deluge of experts telling you all the things you should be doing to grow your business. Today I thought I’d try a different approach. You see, each year I work with approximately 130 business owners to help them grow their businesses through marketing.

When I begin work with a new client, I often spend more time telling them what to STOP doing before getting into what they should START doing.   Today, I’d like to share with you the 5 major marketing crimes businesses are committing that they need to stop now—mistakes that are costing them time, resources and stacks of cash.  

1. STOP focusing on the tasks.

It’s less important how many campaigns you ran, how many Facebook comments you garnered, or how many Twitter followers you gained last year. Instead, 2015 is the year to focus on results. Too often, businesses launch headfirst into marketing campaigns without clarity on an absolute objective attached to dollars. Results speak for themselves: It’s time to buckle down and get clear on what you want in terms of results.

2. STOP trying to automate everything.

Automation is a valuable marketing tool, but don’t make the mistake of overusing it: your email marketing, website and promotional materials need to be personal. Contrary to popular belief, more is not more. Focus on building a tribe of raving fans—not just a database of numbers.

3. STOP putting yourself at the centre of things.

So much of the work I do with businesses is about getting them to shift the spotlight from themselves to the customer. It’s time to drop the ego. Customers want to buy from an authentic and relevant business—not a big, chest-beating gorilla.

4. STOP thinking so much.

Instead of spending your days behind a desk and in front of a computer, or in back-to-back strategy meetings,  get in front of your customers. If you can’t do that, pick up the phone and speak with them. It never fails to surprise me how many marketers are putting together campaigns for customers they wouldn’t recognise if they walked directly into them on the street. Go beyond creating a customer avatar—get out there and actually get to know them.

5. STOP making it all so complicated.

Take a deep breath, cut your meetings in half, and get back to basics. Testing is your best friend: nothing beats a good old test-and-measure. So stop trying to overcomplicate your campaign. Keep it simple, test it, and ask yourself if it gets you the results you’re looking for. If it does, scale it. If not, try something else.

There you have it: 5 things to STOP doing now that will help you increase your revenue in 2015. And you know what? I daresay they might also give you some time during the week to actually enjoy yourself.

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