Have you ever wondered what the most common marketing mistakes that small and medium businesses make are? There are 6 critical marketing mistakes that can set your business back and even hurt your profits. The issue with these mistakes is that many new business owners are unknowingly making them or about to make them because they’re unaware that they’re mistakes.
Let’s take an in-depth look at each one.
Mistake #1 – Following Your Competitors (and information guru’s) without Putting Thought into Your Own Business
The most transparent thing for businesses is to look at what their competitors are doing if they need ideas on how to market themselves, create a brand, or build a business model. It’s so easy to fall into this trap because you’ll hear about how a competing business is doing well and want to get the same kind of results.
It’s not wrong to learn from your competitors but it can hurt you if you’re trying to do exactly the same thing they’re doing. The first thing you need to understand is that you’ll never have the internal numbers of the competing business. You won’t know how their pay-per-click campaigns are doing even if they have a strong presence in PPC. For all you know, they can be losing money on PPC while making money from other marketing strategies.
It’s also important that you focus on standing out rather than blending in with what your competitors are doing. You want prospects and customers to identify you through your unique marketing rather than another run off the mill business ( ie template style websites – why I hate SIMS) in the marketplace. So focus on learning from other business but identify your own strengths and develop your own identity.
Mistake #2: Having an Unorganized Business Structure
Management is always a big issue especially if you’re a business that offers various services. You want to make sure that systems are set in place so that everything flows smoothly. This can be anything from your marketing, your sales and acquisition team, customer service department, to your closing process.
Not everything will be perfect so you will have to constantly identify clogs in your business system and fix it so that there are no bumps on the road. By making sure that everything is systemized and different parts of your business are coordinated with each other, you will have an easier time growing your business.
Mistake #3: Focusing on Only Outbound Marketing Strategies
Strategies such as newspaper advertising, cold calling, telemarketing, and direct marketing can work. However, it’s important that you also use inbound marketing strategies if you want long term success. Inbound marketing is when you focus on attracting people to your business.
An example of this is setting up a hub site where you post valuable content relevant to your industry. By building a following, establishing yourself as an authority, and getting your business out there, it will be easier to make more sales because people are already familiar with you and your credibility.
Mistake #4: Too Much Focus on Branding
A common mistake that small businesses commonly make is trying to buy advertising or create a marketing campaign designed to create awareness. Some marketers will even spend a huge amount of their money on branding campaigns thinking that it will gain them a long term benefit. You have to remember that awareness isn’t going to convince somebody to do business with you.
Mistake #5: Hiring Specialists before You’re Prepared
There’s nothing wrong with getting outside help to grow your search engine rankings. But do you really need a specialist? And if so, is your business prepared to make the most of hiring the specialist? Think if you can actually work on the specific aspect of your business and if you can do fine by outsourcing parts of it.
Also make sure that you have everything set up in place to help you make profits if you do go ahead and hire the specialist. Making sure that your site is optimized to convert visitors into customers, making sure your customer support is ready, and having your tech team prepared is vital if you want to get the most out of your investment.
Mistake #6: Having Tunnel Vision About a Strategy or Tactic
Have you had some great results using a specific strategy or tactic? If you’re in need of deals (hungry buyers or motivated sellers), the most logical solution might be to rely on this strategy but you may need to take a closer look at why your closed deals are lacking rather than trying to go for an instant fix. Identify the problem rather than looking for a band aid to patch up the lack of sales.