Marketing mistakes can cost your business not just money, but also valuable time.
Small businesses work really, really hard. We know, we started out as one too! It can be difficult to know where to put your resources when you already feel as if they’re limited. With the need to get as much as possible from every resource, you don’t want to make mistakes to hinder your efforts.
The top 5 marketing mistakes we commonly see are:
You don’t do any marketing
The days where customers just ‘find’ your product or service because it’s amazing are pretty much over. You might get lucky every now and again, but this isn’t a reliable long-term strategy. Even the best businesses in the world that you don’t think ‘do marketing’, do. They just do it so subtly that you don’t even realise!
It’s important to remember that marketing doesn’t have to be over-complicated or cost a lot of money. At a base level, marketing includes everything you do to get your product or service in front of a potential customer. It includes:
- Market research and learning about your audience
- Your choice and style of communication with your customers
- The business brand and what your customers think of it
- Your logo and the general design choices from packaging to website
- How you let your customers know about promotions or sales
- In what way you choose to measure the impact of all the things mentioned above
So, while it can seem intimidating to suddenly start marketing if you haven’t done it before, you probably have! If you have a Facebook page – that’s marketing. If you have your name on a business card somewhere – that’s marketing too! It doesn’t have to be intimidating or costly. Start small and grow your efforts in line with your business. You can check out our beginners guide to digital marketing here which is a great place to start.
Not tracking results
It’s easy for small businesses to fall into this trap. Especially so if you’re spending relatively small amounts of money on marketing, or none. Even if you aren’t parting with huge amounts of cash, it’s imperative to track all your marketing activities! Simply put – if you’re not tracking then you don’t know what works.
Tracking can provide you with amazing insight to your audiences. For example, what works on social media could also open doors elsewhere. You may define a brand-new target audience that you hadn’t considered would be interested in your business. One of the most useful tracking tools to use is Google Analytics which allows you to keep track of website visitors and what actions they’re taking (purchasing, viewing certain pages, etc.,).
Furthermore, tracking enables you to change your strategy based on results. Worth noting, you can’t learn from your marketing mistakes if you don’t know you’re making them!
You aren’t keeping an eye on your competitors
This is a huge missed opportunity to find out what works and what doesn’t, without having to test it yourself. A lot of small business don’t do this, as they maybe think they’re too small for it to matter. Quite the opposite is true! Seeing what works for your competitors in similar businesses can help you decide where is most valuable to place your limited resources.
This approach couldn’t be easier to implement either. Find a few other businesses that are like yours and are doing well. Study their marketing approach and see what works for them. Take what you can do and use it for your business in your own way.
You don’t have a website
According to a study by SCORE, 51% of small businesses don’t have a website. Without a valuable online presence, potential customers may well conclude that you’re not a company to trust or take seriously and go to a competitor instead.
If someone wants to know more about you, the first thing they do is Google you. It’s up to you to ensure they like what they find! Finding nothing isn’t promising…
Almost 4.57 billion people in the world were active internet users in July 2020 and approximately 2 billion people are actively using social media. Whatever kind of company you’re running, the statistics tell you clearly: your customers are online.
Targeting everyone… and no one
Who is your target audience? Everyone with a computer? Every person who walks down the street that your business is on? Unfortunately, these tactics often leads to not targeting anyone properly.
Defining a target audience is best business practice because it allows you to advertise more effectively. While reaching as many people as possible is important, you need to make sure these people are relevant to your business. Using a target audience helps you to reach your potential customers directly.
When you’re know who your potential customers, you can focus your efforts and finances on them!