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7 marketing mistakes every small business owner should avoid

Posted by Neha De

November 23, 2021    |     3-minute read (537 words)

Sometimes small business owners believe that if they offer a superior product or service to their target market, they don’t have to invest any time or money in marketing and customers will be able to automatically find them. This assumption can lead to several problems, one of which is that customers are bombarded with options these days, and if you don’t tell them why they should choose your product over your competitors’, they will never know. And even if your product or service is one of the best in the market, no one will go for it if they don’t know about it or cannot remember it long enough to seek it out.

This is why marketing is extremely crucial to the success of any company. Here are seven mistakes small business owners commonly make (and should avoid): 

Mistake 1: Not having a solid marketing plan – Small businesses that don’t have a robust marketing plan are prone to failure. Research shows that businesses that have “a documented content marketing strategy get better results from their content marketing tactics, social media platforms, and paid methods of content distribution” compared to those who don’t have a documented strategy.

Mistake 2: Reduce the marketing spend when the going gets tough – The main purpose of marketing is to generate leads and convert them into paying customers. 

Small business owners often consider marketing as an expense, rather than an investment. The difference between the two is that an investment will start paying you back in the future, while the other is a drain on your resources. 

Mistake 3: Not being able to differentiate their product from others – In order to market their company effectively, business owners need to identify what sets them apart from their competition. Without proper marketing, they are unable to develop a unique selling proposition for their product or service.

Mistake 4: Not knowing their ideal customer – Entrepreneurs sometimes believe that by targeting everyone, they can increase their revenue. However, without knowing who the ideal customer is, all of their (generic) marketing efforts, no matter how good they may be, are a complete waste as they will not lead to conversions. 

Mistake 5: Not leveraging social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other such platforms can give businesses access to their target audience and drive actionable results when leveraged correctly. They can also offer valuable insights that can help them measure and track the success of their marketing efforts.

Mistake 6: Neglecting existing customers – While new customers are important for any small business, not paying attention to existing customers can be costly. It costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one.

Mistake 7: Not having a strong online presence – According to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, 45% of small business owners don’t have a business website. And only 36% use a business website to communicate news to customers and potential customers. Many believe that they can “just continue to call on customers and then finally retire” or are worried about the associated costs. However, in today’s digital world, “having a website and relying on word of mouth are not an either/or proposition.”

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