From the point of company formation, every business owner’s main objective is generating incremental income. Marketing is vital to the success of every business. It enables you to communicate your message to existing customers and also appeal to new ones. Many small businesses ask the question ‘how do you assess the success of a marketing campaign?’ and our answer is simple; does it produce business? If the answer is yes, then it is working. If the answer is no, then there is still some work to be done. In today’s post we look at the three most common marketing mistakes many small businesses make.
1. Unproductive Advertising
Many entrepreneurs define marketing as advertising and vice versa. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two disciplines and knowing could help to progress your company to profitable growth. First of all, advertising can be defined as a paid piece of promotion or communication, while marketing is the strategic planning and implementation of a range of promotional activity.
When planned and executed well, advertising can be an effective way of expanding your existing customer base. However, for many small businesses advertising is not informed by marketing insight and therefore ineffective. Once you define the difference, it is easy to see how the two disciplines are mutually dependent and why executing advertising campaigns without any marketing insight is fundamentally flawed.
2. Not understanding branding
For most customers if they want to listen to music on the move, they will buy an iPod. But what are they actually purchasing? Is it the actual hardware or is it a brand experience and positive perception having that product will reflect on you?
Failing to understand the importance of branding is one of the fundamental marketing mistakes many small businesses make. Taking the time to define your brand value, personality and identity will revolutionise your existing marketing strategy as it will ensure you approach it in a different and more strategic way.
3. Failing to use the platforms available to you
Many entrepreneurs still have not embraced the power of online as an effective marketing tool. Not only do they prefer to concentrate their advertising around traditional – though declining – medias such as print and radio, they also fail to effectively use one of the most powerful tools at their disposal – email marketing.
When used in a targeted and strategic way, email marketing can be one of the most important forms of marketing communication for your business. From market research to increasing customer loyalty, email marketing, can be used as part of your entire mix and add real value to your customer’s experience of your brand.
These are the top three mistakes a lot of small businesses make which prevents them from realising their potential and growth. While they are relatively simple, stopping doing them and concentrating on your marketing in a more strategic way will help you gain competitive advantage and sustainable growth.