12 pitfalls to avoid for a successful marketing strategy


We have thought of you and identified 12 pitfalls to avoid in order to succeed in your marketing strategy.

Have a short-term vision

Dealing with day-to-day tasks, tactical actions that “bring in the numbers” isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. Although essential, these operational tasks monopolize you. However, you have to know how to get your head off the handlebars and try to project yourself. Where will your company be in 2, 3, or even 5 years if you continue at this rate?

A short-term view will allow you to end the quarter, but in no case to counter your competitor at the surprise exit of his “operation of the year”; react in the event of the departure of several employees …

Take the time to write down a long-term development plan, think about your business vision, its mission, and your values. This will allow you not only to set objectives over time (certainly more attainable) but also to be able to anticipate certain unforeseen events and adapt to changes in your market.

Deploy actions without identified objectives

In addition to the short-term vision, deploying actions without identified objectives because your company or your main competitor has been doing so for years, leads you to face major setbacks. The market has become very demanding in recent years and setting up actions without any purpose, without any desire for ROI will not get you very far.

Where do you want to go? What results do you hope for this year and the following ones? Be ambitious, absolutely, but be concrete: define steps, clear objectives. For example, you can use the method: S.M.A.R.T explained in this article.

Otherwise, a little reminder:

  • S: specific
  • M: for measurable
  • A: achievable
  • R: realistic
  • T: temporally defined

Do not include sales management in the definition of marketing objectives

For decades, and still, in a good number of Reunion Island companies (and in metropolitan France for that matter), the Marketing Department set the objectives of its teams, the Sales Department it’s own… and “the right one”.

The problem is that we are seeing, in general, a beautiful game of ping-pong totally disorderly in which the leaders are witnesses of all kinds of pretexts:

you will have on the left: “We are not reaching our sales targets because the marketing scribblers don’t really know the customers, you understand, they don’t rub shoulders with them”,

and on the right:

“impossible to justify our actions and our R.O.I because salespeople do not sell enough”.

Exhausting isn’t it? Several solutions exist, one of which is quite simple: alignment of objectives.

When defining the objectives (prospects, sales), gather around the same table your sales manager and your marketing manager, define coordinated objectives.

If, in addition, they use the same CRM tool, they will be able to follow the entire life cycle of the customer in the conversion funnel, from the first visit to your site, through the interactions with the various marketing operations. and appointments fixed by the sales representatives until the holy grail: the passage to the act of purchase.

Launch yourself in a market without prior analyzes

You have been practicing for a few months, or even several generations, and wish to enter a new market. It may seem obvious, but it is strongly recommended not to start without doing market research. For example, you can start by doing:

A SWOT matrix will allow you to locate your company in the market and determine the possible strategic options.

A PESTEL analysis will allow you to identify all the macro-environmental data that could impact your market and your business

A BCG (I promise, I’ll stop with the acronyms) will allow you to allocate resources to the different activities of your business.

To deepen your business plan, you can also obtain more specific studies from:

the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (and yes, I had promised to stop acronyms)

Forget that the 4Ps are still relevant

No, traditional marketing is not dead! At least its precepts remain. Although established in 1964, the concept of Marketing Mix still applies today.

No matter what business you have established yourself in, these 4P’s become 7P’s will allow you to understand all the ins and outs of your activity to define superb S.M.A.R.T objectives!

  • Product policy
  • The price policy
  • The distribution policy (“Place” in English)
  • Communication policy (“Promotion” in English)
  • The quality of the procedures
  • The HR (“People” in English)
  • The physical environment
  • One more point to make your offer essential, right?
  • Target everyone

Advertising to reach 1 million Reunionese costs a lot more than targeting 5,000, but let’s face it: do you need to target 1 million Reunionese? Does your offer apply to them all?

“By targeting everyone, we don’t touch anyone”

Your products (or services) certainly concern part of the population, so it will be wiser to focus on specific profiles: your targets.

Try to gather as much information as possible on your targets (profession, age, purchasing power, socio-professional category …) but above all take the time to define your typical client, or your typical clients (you certainly have several offers, several ranges).

This ideal customer, called a “persona” in Inbound methodology, is defined by several criteria.

what are its issues at each stage of the purchasing cycle: what questions do they arise? What advice is he looking for (and therefore what query will he make on google)

what are its challenges in relation to my offer?

what are their purchasing habits?

who influences his decision?

Building several personas will allow you to address the right prospects, with the offer that concerns them, whether they are in the process of thinking, considering the options available to them or making a purchase decision!

Google’s and Facebook’s advertising platforms allow you to refine your targeting criteria. Enjoy it! We’ve put together all of the different types of online advertising that could benefit your marketing strategy.

Do not collect behavioral data

Do you have a website? It’s good. Are you on social media? Even better… but do you collect data on your prospects? Do you enrich your customer files with their latest interactions with your digital content? Have you set up a Google Analytics type solution to analyze the behavior of your prospects and customers on your website or blog?


The use of forms on your landing pages, and contests on social networks, allow you to collect quality “declarative” data to enrich your marketing database, or better, your CRM.

Behavioral data will allow you to place your prospects and customers in the sales cycle: are they only looking for information? do they have an active approach? are they ready to buy?

Focus on traditional advertising

Let’s be honest, posting your latest creation on well-placed 4 by 3s, broadcasting your latest spot on Antenne Réunion or Radio Freedom * are still good ways to gain excellent exposure to Reunion Islanders.

But can you tell how many leads (prospects, business opportunities) these campaigns generated or how many new customers you gained?

Better still: how much did the Radio campaign generate compared to the TV campaign? The three-letter answer: No. At best, you will be able to cross the number of total sales between March and September of all your points of sale with the total media budget spent.

If your budget allows it, you can of course succumb to the temptation, but operating on a more R.O.I-site strategy (based on return on investment) is also a good way to spend your marketing budget.


Not only will you be able to justify your investments to your management but above all relate your communication expenses to acquired customers and compare your CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) channel by channel.

* Famous television and radio channel on Reunion Island.

Not including enough digital in your marketing strategy

One of the fundamentals of marketing is to target your target where they are. However, the latter is turning away from traditional media in favor of the Internet (1st leisure activity for the French since 2014). More and more connected and better and better informed, and spends more and more time on his smartphone or tablet.

In France, out of 100 mobile telephone subscribers, the smartphone represented 52.5% of sales in 2014. It represented 72.7% in 2017 and will exceed 80% in 2020 (source).

In Reunion, and according to the latest official statistics, we can count almost 600,000 Internet users, including 500,000 addicted to Facebook, 140,000 on Instagram, and 80,000 on Linkedin.

We are not advising you to go digital for digital marketing, or because it is the hot topic, but because you have to do marketing for today’s digital customers.


Refusing to see that the consumer has changed and isolating yourself from digital is quite simply

  • to give an aging image of your business
  • to deprive you of several opportunities
  • to abandon your customers and prospects because you are no longer listening to their expectations.
  • Use unsuitable tools and methods
  • Using tool-less methods: limited success
  • Using tools without methods: sure failure
  • Sounds logical, doesn’t it? And yet we still see many (too) companies with outdated methods and/or unsuitable tools.

However, having the best tools is not necessarily a guarantee of success and several criteria must be taken into account.

You must communicate your methods upstream, support your employees

These new tools must be accepted by your various departments: if one link in the chain is broken or fragile, your company’s entire strategy suffers (Cf. Value chain, Mickael Porter)

In addition, by aligning your teams on the same objectives, they will be more inclined to use the same tools because they will have understood the purpose.

Some tools to focus on:

Analysis software to measure your actions on the web (like Google Analytics which is free or more advanced tools like HubSpot that we use)

CRM software (customer relationship management): to better sell and retain your customers

A marketing automation tool: to maintain the customer relationship at each stage of the sales cycle and “deliver” the right message to the right customer or prospect at the right time

A powerful CMS: a tool where you can produce your content (blog, white papers, infographics) optimized for natural referencing (SEO) which will allow you to generate leads (prospects) for your sales team.

Don’t bet on content

Your prospects, who are more and more digital, consume content daily: articles on Linkedin, videos on Youtube, superb images on Facebook and Instagram.

Some statistics to please the eyes (but which can still be scary):

In 2020 and of these 4 hours, 1h20 was spent on social networks, 1h was spent on Youtube, and the remaining 2h30 is therefore on websites, blogs, emails …

So it would be a shame to miss out on this exposure opportunity, not to talk about yourself, but to provide useful marketing content to your personas.

Do not define an annual budget based on the objectives to be achieved

You have set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and well spread over-the-year goals. This is certainly a good basis, but you have to add the corresponding budget.

We must give ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions! There is very little chance of winning the Champions League by buying National 3 players two weeks before the first meeting.

In marketing, it’s the same thing: if your customer acquisition cost is € 250, and you are targeting 500 new customers in 2021, you will need to invest at least € 125,000.


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