I’ve been doing marketing long enough to see common marketing mistakes and their patterns. Or, the common steps businesses make or don’t make which gets them into marketing and sales quick sand. Marketing needs consistent attention to function well. Like a well-oiled machine or a honed athlete, to be at your strongest level you need practice and consistency. Marketing, like a muscle, need exercise to function at optimum levels.
Below are the most common marketing mistakes businesses make. These represent common patterns I’ve seen over the years:
Marketing Mistakes Number One: Little or No Marketing Budget
This is a big one. You’d be surprised how many small, medium, and large businesses act like marketing grows on trees. You see, marketing doesn’t just happen. It needs fuel and that fuel comes in the form of money and time and bandwidth. Either you have to take the time to post, run ads, write content, and the like, or you need to pay someone to do it for you.
The problem is that if you choose to “do it” yourselves, that bleeds time away from what you do best: Running Your Business. Trying to wear all the hats often leaves you with no hat. In addition, chances are most business owners are not marketing experts, thus the time they do spend on the cheap to save money can actually become counter productive. Often no marketing is better than bad marketing. Customers are smart these days. They can small and see bad marketing immediately and often turn to another business that does have good marketing–professional marketing that’s bought and paid for.
Someone once said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait till you hire an amateur”. So true. I see it all the time with what I call “damage control marketing”. It’s marketing that was done done poorly to begin with so I come in and have to rebuild the house. To be honest, I don’t mind because it means more business for my agency, however it could have been avoided and hurts the business.
Bottom line: commit to a marketing budget and stick to it. Think of your marketing budget as a cost of doing business, which it is. Focused marketing spend over time pays for itself over time. It’s an investment in your business. It’s a plan and not a panic rush to create sales.
Marketing Mistakes Number Two: Inconsistent Advertising
This mistake spills over from mistake number one regarding budgets. Because advertising costs money it’s often not cheap. Many businesses wait until sales drop to advertise. It becomes a panic rather than a planned reaction. Sales drop or a new competitor hits your radar and you immediately throw money at advertising to make up for lost ground.
Advertise all the time. Never stop. Use digital advertising in most cases simply because you can measure results. Seek a positive ROI over time by being patient. Test, test, and test. Also make sure any ad agency you use provides quality monthly reports.
Marketing Mistakes Number Three: Neglecting Regular Content
Weekly content is king, queen, and master. Write at least two to four blog posts per month. If you don’t have the time pay someone to write for you. Make sure the content is specific and relevant to what your business does best. Think FAQs, major customer services issues, what makes your product or service different. Be fun, engaging, and write to provide value and help your potential and existing customers. Don’t promote. They will quickly understand when what you write is what they need. By providing quality content in your website blog, you automatically promote your business in a indirect way.
Plus, Google will feel and love and come back more often to crawl your website. Good content draws both Google and customers so write, then write some more. I know how hard it is to be consistent with content generation, but commit to a daily or weekly post to keep it fresh and relevant.
As business owners, we all make marketing mistakes. Just try not to repeat them. Learn, adjust, plan, remember, and move forward. We’re human but we also learn quickly.
By Stuart Atkins