A good marketing strategy can make or break a business. There have been startups that have succeeded simply because of their brilliant marketing ideas, and established brands that have failed due to marketing mistakes. Most small business owners don’t have the budget to hire marketing consultants that can advise them on the best way to their spend funds, which is why so many are making mistakes that are hurting their profits. Are you making any of these marketing mistakes?
Not Having a Website
Did you know that 97% of individuals search online before making a purchase? Before you give the excuse that you run a local business, consider that half of those online searches are for local businesses. Whether you have an e-commerce or a brick and mortar company, you must create a website! Not doing so is a huge marketing mistake because if your company is not featured in local listings and on local review websites and doesn’t have an online presence, it is as if it doesn’t exist in the real world!
While it can be beneficial to have an elaborate website with many pages and features, it can also help your marketing efforts to just start with a basic website. Online tools such as Wix and WordPress can guide you in creating a free or low-cost site in no time. You can always customize it later to achieve better marketing results.
Not Targeting Your Audience
Every business has a specific customer base that makes up the majority of their shoppers – for Toys “R” Us it’s parents, for Staples it’s working professionals. Marketing without first establishing your target audience is akin to fishing without having a map of local bodies of water that contain fish. Does it matter if you land in a lake or in a shopping mall? It does, and it matters just as much when it comes to marketing.
Without an established customer base, you are simply wasting your efforts and funds on those that don’t need or aren’t interested in your offerings. Analyze your existing customers to get a good understanding of their age, gender, location, ethnicity and shopping patterns in order to fine tune your marketing efforts to communicate with them more effectively.
Not Tracking Results
If you feel that you have wasted thousands of dollars on marketing and not seen results, you may be correct! However, your feeling on this matter is not enough because you need to have concrete facts at your disposal!
You need to have tracking set up for every single marketing tool you invest in. If you pay for a home mailer, include a special code that customers can use to receive a discount or promotion. For example, if a client uses the code “SAVE10” to save 10% on their purchase, you can track how many times that code was used to see how much revenue that mailer brought in.
If you invest in a social media campaign, you can use online tracking tools to monitor how many people had access to see it, how many viewed your content, how many interacted with it and how much money you made from that campaign.
You must carefully track each individual marketing effort to figure out which ones are effective and which ones are not. Only then will you create a successful strategy to build your brand and increase sales!
For help in marketing your small business, turn to IOU Financial. Whether you want to invest in a full functioning website or in marketing software, we can offer business loans up to $150,000 in 24-48 hours.