Small businesses can succeed in the world of marketing as easily as the big guys. The problem is, small business owners and small business marketers are more prone to making these 10 small business marketing mistakes because they assume the odds are against them. I’m here to tell you they aren’t. Avoid the 10 marketing mistakes and you’ll be in the same ball park as anyone marketing in your industry.
Approaching Marketing as a cost, instead of an investment
Marketing is an investment people. Thinking of it as a cost will put you behind the eight ball out of the gate.
To be successful in marketing an investment is required to build momentum and develop the sales you need to pay for your marketing.
The other side of thinking of marketing as a cost, is the mental game you’re playing with yourself. Invest in your marketing, give it a chance and work hard at it just like you do your business. The results will speak for themselves. So long as you avoid the other 9 small business marketing mistakes.
Marketing without a simple marketing strategy
Marking, as with life, requires that you plan to succeed in order to succeed. Developing a simple, yet solid, marketing strategy will provide you with a road map to marketing success.
If you’ve ever performed some marketing without a strategy you have likely felt like you were putting effort into something that you felt “just didn’t work out”. The reason for that is there was no road map or success measurement tool. That’s your strategy.
A good marketing strategy will also address the following small business marketing mistakes, which demonstrates its importance.
Related: Do I need a marketing strategy?
Marketing without Goals and Objectives
In order to achieve success in marketing, you need to establish goals and objectives. I’m referring to goals that will move your business forward in terms of revenue, brand awareness, customer base, potential marketing streams, and so on.
Once you’ve developed your goals, developing objectives that achieve those goals is critical. The objective you create will be your checklist of things to accomplish with your marketing. This checklist, along with some of the other elements within your strategy, will serve as your success measurement for your marketing efforts.
Therefore, creating good goals and objectives is crucial in measuring your level of success from your marketing.
Related: How to develop marketing goals
Marketing to the wrong people – know your target audiences
Unless you know your target audiences inside and out, your virtually assured of wasting time and money at some stage in your marketing.
Take the time to develop solid audience profiles for your marketing. You should end up with several target audiences. Make sure you know them better than you know yourself. Doing this will help you marketing directly to them in the way they want to be marketed to. This alone will make your marketing more effective and save you time and money.
Not identifying your marketing strengths and opportunities
Part of a good marketing strategy is performing a marketing audit of previous marketing efforts. In that audit you will identify your businesses, and your own, marketing strengths. You will also identify opportunities for your marketing efforts.
Combining your marketing strengths with opportunities will maximize your chance of success in each of the tactics you employ.
Failing to avoid marketing threats and your own weaknesses
On the flip side of strengths and opportunities, is your businesses, or your, marketing weaknesses and threats.
Understanding whether or not to improve or avoid your weaknesses is important to know before you get started with your tactical execution. In addition, knowing any marketing threats will allow you to avoid marketing towards your weaknesses which will likely result in wasted time and money, if not public backlash. So make sure to identify your marketing weaknesses and threats.
Not establishing a Unique Selling Proposition
Small business more than any other scale of business needs to establish a Unique Selling Proposition. As a small business owner you compete with many other small businesses so you need to set yourself apart from the competition.
There’s more to establishing your USP than creating a slogan. So make sure to put some time and effort into developing a solid USP.
You may require multiple USP’s as well, depending on your product/service offering and target audiences.
Creating your marketing mix as you go
Most small business owners fall into this trap. Marketing tactically without a set of tactics to execute against their strategy.
This is referred to as “marketing trial and error”. Why waste time and money guessing when you can plan ahead.
Do not get sucked into the path of least resistance, develop a marketing mix before you start your next year of marketing.
Not planning out ongoing tactics
You’re likely to include an ongoing tactic in your marketing mix. Something like a year long Facebook community development initiative. Failing to develop the strategy, or plan, for this initiative will result in the effectiveness of the campaign dying off over the year because you’ll lack the road map and accountability that a strategy provides.
For example, if you’re going to be active in social media as a marketing tactic, plan out the years social strategy. Include things like an editorial calendar for the year with themes for your content. Establish a certain volume of posting and a level of interaction with your community. Performing social media on an adhoc basis is a sure fire recipe for disaster, or at beast lack of traction and progress.
Establishing your marketing budget the wrong way
The last of the small business marketing mistakes to avoid, is developing a marketing budget from the wrong point of view. This mistake is closely related to thinking of marketing as a cost vs an investment, but more specifically its developing your marketing strategy and marketing mix from the mindset that you have X dollars to spend on marketing.
If you develop a solid marketing strategy and avoid the previous small business marketing mistakes, your marketing should pay for itself.
The correct way to establish a marketing budget is to develop your strategy and marketing mix, then scale the tactical execution it to fit your current cash flow and desired level of investment.
If you develop a solid marketing strategy, your marketing will pay for itself time and time again. That’s the idea of marketing!
Some help to avoid these small business marketing mistakes
Avoiding these mistakes along with helping small business owners be more strategic towards their marketing is the sole focus of A Marketing podcast.
Check out the podcast and download the marketing strategy template (below) to instantly avoid 90% of these marketing mistakes. As for the cost vs investment mistake, I hope by now you have enough understanding of how developing and executing a strategy will result in marketing success, allowing you to invest in your marketing!
FREE 12 Page Marketing Strategy Template
Enter your name and email to get instant access to the Small Business Marketing Strategy Template. Perfect for developing your next marketing strategy.