What is the biggest mistake a marketer can make?

Not engaging on social media? Maybe. A mistake on some levels but not a big one. 

Not having an app? Not a mistake if you know what you're doing. 

The biggest mistake is actually less of a mistake and more of a misguided assumption. What is it?

Assuming people care about your product.

This false assumption impacts everything you do as a marketer. It can negatively affect your content strategy. It'll affect your ad campaigns. It'll affect how you present yourself and ultimately could affect how people perceive you.

However, it's an easy assumption to make. Why?

As marketers, when we are working day in and day out on a brand, it's hard not to care about it. We're spending time and effort making it. Regardless if you actually like the work, you'll ultimately care about it.

Whether we realize it or not, we may unconsciously assume that everyone else in the world will care too. Truth is, they won't. It may sound harsh but it's true. 

Consumers are inundated with thousands upon thousands of messages every day. We're in a constant battle for attention. We aren't just competing with other marketers or brands. We're competing with media companies. With other online bloggers, podcasters and other influencers. With games. 

We're competing for the same level of attention as this guy whose dog can skateboard. 

And that's just competing on a content level. We're also competing with real life. Stuff like mortgages, home repairs, holiday travel, bills, etc. 

That's all to say that everyone has enough stuff to keep them busy, so they're not going to be inherently concerned with your latest blog post, white paper or promoted tweet. 

How do we get around this?

Give them a reason to care. 

Make your product about them. Make your content about the person you're targeting - make them the hero of your brand's story.

It's easier to grab someone's attention when the topic of discussion is themselves. 

It's lazy to put out a piece of content, whatever medium that it lives on, and assume people will care. 

Who has done it well?

Amex has done a great job at this with their Open Forum. Instead of exclusively talking about the benefits of their own products, they've created a space for small business owners to talk about their needs. They've made their small business owner target market the hero of the story. 

Like him or not, Dave Ramsey is brilliant at this. He's created a talk show and a series of books and products that center on his customer as the hero of the story, not his team or himself. He even makes that statement at the start of every one of his shows "...this is your show America, where we talk about you and you're stories." If he spent the show talking about all the new features of his new class, he probably wouldn't be as successful as he is. 

So before pushing out that tweet or forcing that pop-up ad in front of someone, ask yourself "why should someone care about this?" If you don't have an answer, it may be a good opportunity to re-shape your content. 

It's a hard question but one that needs to be asked.