As we enter a new year, one thing remains the same and this involves business owners repeating the mistakes they made in the previous year. I am not talking about struggling first time entrepreneurs here either, as many of the culprits are considered to be experienced and successful owners of SMEs.
Most small business owners struggle to create an advertising and marketing strategy that delivers for them on multiple fronts. Here, I would like to give a rundown of some of the most common marketing mistakes observed, which is preventing many entreprenuers from maximising the potential of their marketing strategies.
Unable to Convey Value
People will reciprocate to your offer if they feel that there is value in it for them. It does not matter what value you bring to the table, what is more important is the perception of that value for your customers. Perception is a key component of any marketing strategy. That’s why a local McDonalds joint will always outsell the most popular independent burger establishment in your town. Businessowners in particular are used to meeting people who profess the great value of the products they are offerring. The problem for them is to showcase this value to their customers and convince them to buy.
Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Many small business owners spend a fortune on marketing and advertising campaigns that are not really addressed to anyone, which therefore provides them with mixed results. Certainly the results in such situations are not proportionate to amount being invested in the overall marketing efforts.
The main problem faced by these businessowners lies in identifying their ideal customer. If you don’t know what your ideal customer profile is, how will you incentivise anyone to buy from you. The end result is a generic marketing message that appeals to no one in particular.
Today’s marketing strategies are more targetted. Online marketing makes this whole process of finding the right customer segment and tracking the results easier. In the process you also end up not wasting all the capital you generated on a faulty strategy.
It does not matter how you secured the finance to fund for your marketing endeavours. You could have funneled your business’s profits towards more marketing or you could taken out a loan from a bank or an alternative finance provider.
The bottom-line is you need to make sure that your capital is being used to create specific messages that target customers belonging to the right profile. It might sound like a lot of work, but it is pretty straightforward in terms of execution because of the presence of advertising platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.
Not Having a Marketing Funnel
Honestly most entreprenuers don’t know what an online marketing funnel is much less have one implemented for their business. This is also an important reason why many marketing strategies falter. An important part of their strategy is predicated on luck. They just hope that a prospective customer finds their contact page and get in touch with them for no particular reason. You need to have answers for the following to create a marketing funnel for your business:
- Where will your users go, once they click on your ad?
- What message do you want them to see when they land on your website?
- What will you do with the vast majority of users who land on your website but never fill out a contact form?
- How will you follow up and nurture leads that are not ready to convert yet?
An online conversion process involves many steps and it is your responsibilty to understand the conversion path and guide your customers in a way that would lead to most of them eventually converting into paying customers. A marketing funnel will help you achieve this
No Tracking and Improvement
The best way to fine tune your marketing efforts is by tracking and measuring what you are doing currently. It’s amazing how many entreprenurs still rely on gut feeling to evaluate the success of a marketing strategy. From a statistical standpoint, I can confidently say that your ‘gut’ is wrong almost 90% of the time.
Google analytics and the analytics metrics provided by almost every advertising platform available online makes it inexcusable that entrepreneurs are still not tracking the results of their marketing efforts. If you don’t like wasting money, it would be advisable to implement a tracking system that will help you figure out how your marketing pounds is performing.
Living In A Bubble
Most businessowners adhere to the best practices within their industry, which is great. But, you should also look outside accepted industry practices and seek inspiration from other fields for your marketing strategy, which will help you get ahead of your competition.
If you continue to live in a bubble, you will be continuing with your current strategies that will deliver the same results every time leading to stagnation and disappointment at the end of the year, just like it has previously.