Top Ten Biggest Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make will help you avoid wasting money and time.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #1- Marketing your product’s features. You know what those are. That’s what your product does. This is the functional stuff. You sell t-shirts. You offer lawn care. You cut hair. You’re a photographer.
That’s looking at the world from YOUR viewpoint. That’s what you do. It’s not what the customer is buying. The customer buys BENEFITS. That’s what your service or product DELIVERS.
You don’t sell t-shirts, you sell cool fashion.
You don’t offer lawn care. You provide a gorgeous backyard for homeowners to enjoy with their families and friends.
You don’t cut hair. You offer chic looks for the fashion forward.
You don’t take photographs. You capture memories that never fade.
As Rob Levin of the NY Enterprise Report says “customers are interested in things that help save them time, money and headaches” to name a few.
They also like to look beautiful, feel brilliant and to be entertained. All of these are benefits. That’s what they’re buying.
Got it? Now it’s your turn.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #2- Too much copy. Gone are the day of fancy brochures and endless magazine ads. No one has the time. No has the patience. Everyone skims. Make it easy for them to “get it” fast. This is really true online.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #3- Expecting Networking Alone to Fill Your Sales Pipeline. Referrals are always a great source of business. They are credible and low cost of acquisition. If you rely only on networking for sales, if you decide to sell your business, the new owner will have no sales pipeline. You n3ed to provide some confidence that new business will come even if you’re not there.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #4- Rushing marketing. Marketing takes time. Fist you need a plan. Then the creativity needs to be tested.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #5-Using a mass approach when focusing is critical. When you cast a net, you want to catch certain kinds of fish. Don’t pay for big campaigns that don’t deliver a very targeted customer. They’re more likely to buy from you. You’ll also get a better ROI. If you can’t target customers, don’t spend your money on ads.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #6- Not differentiating your product or service. Don’t say it’s your customer service that makes all the difference. Unpack that. What service? Prove it with testimonials. It’s one thing for you to say it, it’s quite another for your customers to brag about you.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #7- Lowering price to sell more. This is a quick road to bankruptcy. You want to thank your customers? Send them a handwritten thank you note. I’m not kidding. It’ll mean more to them and cost you less. Never compete on price. Compete on value. Deliver end benefits better than your competition. You’ll be unstoppable.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #8- Offering multiple marketing messages. The “Let’s Make A Deal” brand of marketing confuses the reader. Make it easy. Keep it simple. One clear message. You may offer a whole lot more, but invite people in with the most compelling and important message first. Then after they get to know and trust you, you can reveal all the other wonderful stuff you do.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #9-Marketing by shooting from the hip. Marketing is a discipline. What’s your value proposition? Who are you targeting? Where do they live on line? Off line? How will you reach them? How do you compare to the competition?
Do you even know who your competition is? What’s your capacity to serve customers? Don’t become EToys.Answer these questions. Write the plan. Have a road map, even if it evolves over time.
Small Business Marketing Mistake #10- Shooting the wad on one ad campaign. That’s how the dotcoms went bust. Smaller, consistent, targeted ads and effort will get you further faster. Patience, testing, refining. That’s the Demming cycle developed by Ed Demming. Plan, Do, Check, Act.
You’ll get there. Stuck? Hit the Panic Button. No nonsense. No kidding.