Unless you make a commitment early on, you might find that you’re in business for years before you develop a comprehensive, repeatable, and effective marketing strategy. Small business owners often bring a lot of enthusiasm and expertise to their work, but learn about marketing as they go along – which can leave major gaps in your knowledge and execution.
Whether your business is in the planning phases, just opened, or is celebrating years of success, there’s always plenty of potential to improve your marketing impact. Even small businesses that have excellent processes in some areas may be missing out in others.
Be on guard for these common small business marketing mistakes:
Not Planning Ahead
When you fail to plan ahead, you find yourself in defense mode – reacting to the circumstances around rather than laying the foundation for the future you want. It’s important to start thinking about where you plan to be in a week, a month, a quarter, and a year from now. When you have a clear vision, you can anticipate the product launches or other major events that your marketing strategy can take advantage of in the future … and ensure you’re properly prepared in time.
Not Tracking Results
What’s working and what’s not in your current marketing mix? This knowledge is the key to saving money and increasing ROI on your efforts. If you’re not quite sure of the answer, don’t worry – with scientific marketing methods on your side, you can capture actionable data on how your marketing influences your customers. Ensuring quality analytics tools are in place on all your Web properties takes some initial setup, but the insights you get are well worth it.
Not Understanding Your Customers
Who’s your ideal customer? In the first year of business, it could be difficult to pin this down. Still, it’s a good idea to start with some strong assumptions and update them as you go. What industries are you targeting? What pain points do your prospects have? What interests might they have outside of work? Do they share any demographic traits? Not knowing this information is one of the most common marketing mistakes. Always be looking for ways to gather this kind of data: Target both your online prospects and your satisfied customers after the sale.
Not Monitoring Your Competitors
No matter how comprehensive your marketing efforts are, there’s always a chance rivals will beat you to the punch on a product, service, or opportunity. To protect your interests, always be monitoring what competitors are up to: Their online posts, new offerings, and major campaigns. In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, even the top market leaders will publicize all the information you need to inform your own marketing strategy. That can help you level the playing field.
Many marketing mistakes can be easy to make, but they are also easy to fix! Get started on improving your marketing plan today.