Small businesses usually don’t have marketing departments.
Or in most cases, even marketing people! But if you own a small business (or maybe just work for one), don’t fall into one of these common small business marketing traps.
It’s all too easy to do. Sales are down, a mini-recession’s hit, and you’ve got to find somewhere to cost save when it comes to your business. Marketing often seems like an extra expense that’s easy to cut…but don’t be hasty! A marketing action plan is actually an important step in the sales cycle and cutting it too much could leave your business struggling for new clients, new business, and new income.
2. Neglecting to create a plan.
“Marketing” isn’t just a verb. Never settle with throwing money at various efforts – newspaper ads, deals of the day, etc. – and hope it all turns into sales. Successful small businesses know that marketing means working up campaigns, monitoring their success, and learning from their failures. No marketing effort should ever stand alone.
3. Assuming marketing is immeasurable.
It’s simply not true! Particularly in today’s world of digital marketing, nearly every form of traditional advertising is measurable in some way. For example, did you know that statistics say every branded tote bag you give out is likely to make somewhere over 1,000 impressions in its lifetime? And for every influencer you spend $1 marketing to on Facebook, you get $6.50 worth of marketing capital back? There’s always a number to be found.
While digital marketing is an important tool in any small business’ arsenal, never forget the effectiveness of good old fashioned grass roots marketing. Local marketing, in particular, is a small business owner’s best bet for payoff. Handing out custom printed bags or sponsoring a local 5K – these are the kind of activities that are likely to make the most impact where your business is based.
5. Leaving it all to a “marketing company.”
No one knows your business like you do, not even a professional marketing firm. It’s tempting to outsource the tedium of marketing to professionals and while they’re likely to be a great help when it comes to executing, don’t ever stop thinking of ways to market internally. Only you know your strengths, your weaknesses, and how nimble your business needs to be and have the ability to make the kind of quick changes a marketing firm can’t.
What other small business marketing tips can you think of? Marketing hacks are a dime a dozen but a few tried-and-true rules to live by will serve every small business well.