For many people who have just set up their small business or home based enterprise, marketing has become a primary objective. Larger companies have the benefit of having the kind of funding and workforce that can engage in more visible and wider-ranged marketing efforts that have been proven effective in the past. Even though it is generally considered easier to reach a big market these days thanks to the Internet, there is no telling how successful certain campaigns are.
In fact, any marketing initiative can go wrong. It doesn’t matter if it had a small or substantial budget. But for small businesses, the stakes are higher because failure can mean the end of the company. Bigger and better-funded organizations have at least a chance to bounce back.
You need to know where small business marketing can go wrong, and avoid such pitfalls at all cost.
Not knowing how to use any strategy
Not knowing what you’re doing when you’re trying out marketing strategies is fine at the beginning. You can’t expect to know what’s going to work for your brand from the get-go. But that doesn’t give you license to move from one strategy to another without giving them a chance to work their magic.
This is even worse if most of the strategies you want to try out are hinged on channels and systems themselves, instead of the actual ways they can be used.
For example, you can have the best business phone for your company which is affordable and offers really cool features (RingCentral, for example, lets you control entire phone systems on your tablet). You can even have a Facebook or Twitter account (they’re free and easy to set up). But unless you take the time to understand and know exactly how they can help you make your business work better for both yourself and your customers, you’re in trouble. You need to be methodical with your quest for a great marketing strategy, and give the programs you initiated ample time and investment.
Obsessing too much on perfecting a strategy
On the other side of the spectrum is total obsession with making the “perfect” marketing strategy working out for your brand. While wanting to have a solid strategy is a good thing, this is can be bad if you put all your effort into ONE strategy or tool (like focusing on Facebook and ignoring Twitter), instead of trying a mix of different strategies.
Newer marketers, especially the ones who rely heavily on Internet marketing, tend to focus on just one marketing channel because they think they only have enough time and energy to perfect the strategy for just that one initiative. If you’re one of these people, you should know that this can cost you marketing opportunities in the future.
What causes these pitfalls
Not working on and obsessing over having just one strategy both stem from one fallacious idea: that there is a Holy Grail of marketing strategy. We all know, intellectually speaking, that there is no ONE strategy that will magically help us win buyers. But that doesn’t stop us from hoping that we’re the exceptions to the rule.
In order to avoid these pitfalls, we need to recognize that we unconsciously subscribe to ideas such as this.