If you haven’t heard it before, I am going to say it here.
Marketing is important for promoting and growing your business.
However, if you have ever found yourself asking questions like, “What am I doing wrong?” or “Why aren’t my sales increasing?” .Even after implementing various marketing tactics, it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board and take a look at what you could be doing to hinder your overall marketing strategy. Here are 4 common mistakes businesses are often found guilty of making when marketing their business that you can learn from.
Thinking of marketing as an expense and not an investment
Not goalsetting in a SMART way
Not making a plan
Using inexperienced talent
It’s Too Expensive!
“Marketing is an investment, not a cost.” -Martin Sorrell
If you are not willing to invest adequate resources into growing your own business, why would you expect your target audience to waste their own resources investing in you?
Too often businesses place marketing at the bottom of their priority list and allocate very little time and resources into it when they do address it. It is often treated as an expense, rather than as the investment it actually is and is usually the first thing businesses cut out of their budget when things get tight.
However, here is the golden truth — if you treat marketing as an expense, your focus will be on reducing it. However, if you treat marketing as an investment, your focus will be on exploiting it to deliver greater value to your customers and drive more sales.
Your customers are the core drivers of your business, and your profits. So why would you spare any efforts or resources in ensuring that they are given the best? Don’t get caught up in the belief that not spending money will help you save on profits. You will find that the opposite is true. In the wise words of the acclaimed author of Wealth for All, Idowu Koyenikan: “Money is always eager and ready to work for anyone who is ready to employ it”.
A Dream Without a Goal is Just a Wish
If you have ever built a 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle, you know the exhilarating feeling when you finally lock the last piece into place. What was once a colossal mess, has now become a beautiful masterpiece. However, to get to that level of completion, you most likely would have set little goals each step of the way as you started to build. For example, fixing all the end pieces together first before moving on to fix another area by colour or background texture. If you were to just grab pieces blindly at the onset, you probably would have given it up as a completely hopeless job.
Marketing your business should be thought of similarly, like building a puzzle. You may have all the pieces or tools you need to carry it out; but without a defined set of goals to lay out the path on what needs to be accomplished, you are likely to feel like you are running a race with no finish line in sight.
If you want to be successful in marketing, you need to set SMART goals. The desire to ‘increase your brand’s awareness’ for example, is not a goal, but a dream. The goal is the purposeful action taken to achieve that dream and turn it into a reality. Train your focus on creating small, specific goals that will take you, one step at a time, from point A to point B in a realistic and timely manner. Your marketing process will be made that much easier because of it.
What’s Your Game Plan?
While a goal enables you to clearly see the path ahead, a plan will show you exactly how you should navigate your way through that path, until you get to the end.
Using the previously mentioned example, imagine that towards your desire to increase brand awareness, one of your first major goals is to ‘create a weekly blog about how to use the different products your brand sells.’ This is a great goal - a SMART goal! But do you just sit down and start to write? Do you, as the business owner have the time to write weekly blogs? If not, who exactly should the task be assigned to? Ideally what products do you think will be the most beneficial to talk about? Where will you post the blog? Who will review the blog before it is posted? And who does the actual posting?
You may be surprised at the number of little things that need to be sorted out in the carrying out of what on the surface, would seem to be a simple action. Therefore, having a solid, step by step plan is crucial for achieving your set goals. You may find that there is a lot less running around and hair-pulling when everyone is crystal clear on what their part is, in achieving the goal.
We’re Hiring… Amateurs
Running a business is already an exhausting affair, what with managing and maintaining the quality and/or quantity of your product or service, managing and training your staff, handling the finances and so on. It’s no wonder that marketing is put at the bottom of many companies’ list of things to do. But who ever said that you had to do it all by yourself? In fact, why try to do it yourself at all; especially if your company has not invested in a marketing team? Chances are you will get it wrong a lot of times before you get it right. And by that time, you probably would have wasted a lot of time, energy and resources during your multiple trial runs.
The truth is, there is an easy solution to avoiding all this — and that is in hiring a professional. This is a worthy investment that will ultimately help you save a lot more than you would have been doing before, on your own. If your business is lacking experience in understanding how to market effectively, a professional will have the right knowledge and expertise to educate you on what your business has been doing right, what has been done wrong, what strategies you should keep, and what strategies should be completely thrown out because they just don’t work for your unique business. With a professional under your belt, rest assured that you can sleep a little easier at night knowing that your customers are in safe hands.
What's the bottom Line?
Being a successful business requires effective marketing. Without marketing goals or plans in place that direct and dictate, or a willingness to even invest the monetary or human resources necessary to develop your marketing strategy, you are not likely to get the results you desire. Avoid these mistakes and turn your business around , or become even more successful than you are already.
Did any of these points strike home with you?
Type "ahha" below if any of these mistakes resonate.