Marketing is a critical part of every successful business. It’s crucial to take a strategic approach to your marketing efforts to optimize success and maximize your investment. Here are ten knucklehead mistakes that often hinder marketing success for small business owners, solopreneurs and freelancers.
1. Believing “If you sell it, they will buy”
If you want your business to succeed, it is essential that you conduct marketing. Many small businesses and solopreneurs view marketing as an expense rather than as a mission-critical investment. Marketing is a necessary strategic investment, designed to generate leads for your business.
2. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Being strategic in your marketing efforts will yield better results. Specifically, segmenting your ideal customers into small groups and creating audience-specific marketing is imperative. This approach will optimize your marketing for maximum appeal as it will target the unique requirements of your targeted customer group and will save you money as well.
3. Omitting Research from Your Strategy
Research sets the foundation for every successful marketing campaign. It allows you to understand the needs and desires of your customers, make informed decisions on your marketing efforts and uncover vital insights to achieve your marketing objectives.
4. Confusing the Marketing and Sales Functions
While marketing and sales are often used interchangeably, it’s important to remember that these are very separate but connected functions. While the marketing function produces and nurtures your leads for your products and services, sales transitions your leads into actual customers and creates revenue. Successful marketing strategies focus on creating and cultivating customer leads.
5. Underestimating the Power of Integrated Marketing Campaigns
Integrated marketing, also known as marketing communications, uses multiple marketing tools, mediums and channels—such as earned media, paid media, digital and traditional marketing and social media—to convey, amplify and reinforce your message.
6. Focusing Your Efforts in the Wrong Places
A narrow focus is a big problem when it comes to marketing. Oftentimes, marketing efforts are focused on large marquee target customers or the wrong market altogether. The most successful marketing efforts should focus on target markets and customers that are within your reach to build your customer base and experience to compete for marquee customers.
7. Going All in on Digital and Social Media Marketing
Digital and social media marketing is powerful and should be in your marketing strategy. However, it’s definitely not where you should invest your entire marketing budget and resources. Using traditional marketing and earned media will amplify your digital and social media efforts. Digital and social marketing typically require higher financial investments and more time to achieve results, so incorporate traditional and earned media to have greater success.
8. Avoiding Social Media
While it’s important not to spend your entire budget on social media, its marketing power shouldn’t be discounted or ignored. Finding a balance between social, digital and traditional marketing strategies will maximize your opportunity for success.
9. Mirroring Other Marketing Campaigns
Your marketing campaigns should be unique to your company, products and services. Mirroring your competitors or peers marketing campaigns isn’t likely to help you in the long run. Even, when marketing to the same or similar target customers, what works for one company might not work for yours. Displaying and uniquely differentiating your products, services and brand are vital to achieving marketing success.
10. Undervaluing Metrics and Evaluation
Setting attainable goals for your campaigns is a crucial part of strategic marketing campaigns to optimize success. Use metrics to monitor your marketing efforts and make adjustments to your campaigns wherever necessary to achieve your goals.
Avoiding these common marketing mistakes will exponentially increase your opportunity for success. Remember, marketing is a mission-critical investment. So, make sure you understand these common mistakes, and familiarize yourself with other growth strategies before you market your small business.
It is said that the power of social media can make or break your business. And we could not agree more. After all, there are now over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide! One thing that has changed over time when it comes to building business credibility, boosting sales and earning customers' trust is the way prospects use the internet and social media.
Whether you are operating a small business with a few employees or you're a freelancer or solopreneur, the ability to effectively market your products and services to your target customer is vital. Before developing your marketing campaigns, it's important to develop a well-thought-out strategy that conveys the right messages and achieves your marketing goals.
Whether you're operating a small business with a few employees or you're a freelancer or solopreneur to effectively market your products and services, first get back to basics and align your marketing goals with your business strategy.