What You Don’t Know About Marketing Could Hurt Your Business!
SME business owners are a diverse breed, but the one thing that most of them have in common is a burning desire to see their company succeed. As industry specialists, you will have put your sweat, time, and money into your business and developed a vast amount of practical experience and technical knowledge along the way. However, when it comes to marketing and sales, many business owners are less knowledgeable, and this lack of know-how can often severely impact their business’s ability to grow and make sales online.
When it comes to marketing, it’s not just what you know that counts. Lack of understanding in critical areas can result in misdirected marketing campaigns, misallocation of your marketing budget, and your efforts going largely unnoticed by your target audience. In this article, we’ll look at the most common mistakes that business owners make with marketing knowledge that could ultimately hurt their business.
Mistake one: ‘we-ing’ all over your customers
Pick a business website at random, and we can almost guarantee the words that will come up most frequently in the core pages: ‘we’, ‘I’, ‘us’, and so on. This is because of the natural inclination of business owners and their teams to be company-focused. Because they are imbued in the culture and nuts and bolts of their business day in day out, this perspective seeps into the company’s marketing and advertising content. The result is marketing material that talks a lot about the business, its history, personnel, achievements, and qualifications, without ever really touching on the value of the business’s products and services to the customer.
This content can be extremely tiresome to read for anyone outside of the business, and, at best, focuses on the features the business offers, rather than how these benefit the customer. This is a big mistake, because customers don’t buy features; they buy solutions to problems. Your marketing content should focus on the benefits of your products and services in relation to specific pain points, so that your customers can immediately see how you can help them.
Mistake two: assuming that everyone is a potential customer
Another classic mistake that many businesses make is to act as if everyone is a potential customer for their products or services. In reality, not everyone needs or can afford your product or service, as much as you’d like this to be true. Okay, the majority of business owners know this on paper. They instinctively know the type of customer who is most likely to buy, and what messages are going to get prospects leaning forwards to find out more, but despite this a lot of SME marketing content only promotes their products and services in a very general and vague way. The content talks to a general audience and not a specific reader – which actually reduces the pool of people that your content is likely to resonate with. A more cost-effective approach is to identify a small group of ideal customers and to tailor your marketing efforts towards them. This involves thorough market research to understand their pain points, their values, purchase motivations, and buying habits. By targeting a specific niche audience in this way, you can increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns while reducing costs.
Mistake three: failing to measure your success
Marketing without carefully quantifying your success is like shooting in the dark and hoping for the best. Without careful attention to marketing data, you simply won’t know which campaigns and content strategies are working and which ones are falling flat. This can result in wasted resources and missed opportunities. Fortunately, modern inbound marketing platforms, such as HubSpot, and free to use analytics tools like Google Analytics, make it fast and straightforward to measure a variety of metrics related to success or failure, including engagement, conversion rate, bounce rate, social shares etc. Understanding this data helps you make better informed decisions and also gives you more accurate insight into the customer journey, allowing you to optimise your marketing efforts at each stage for better results.
The hidden cost of these mistakes
The cost of not being aware of these common marketing errors goes beyond missed opportunities and a disappointing ROI. Marketing faux pas can also hurt your brand reputation, dilute your core messages, and even lose you customers. A hit and miss approach to marketing can also incur unnecessary expenses, such as investing in content that doesn’t resonate with your audience, wasting time on social media campaigns that don’t work, spending more than you have to on PPC, and missing out on potential customers who simply don’t know about your business.
The value of working with a specialist agency
So now for the million-dollar question. What’s the best way for business owners to dodge these errors and obtain the results they need from marketing? Realistically, most business owners don’t have the time, resources, or inclination to acquire the specialist knowledge and training necessary to deliver an effective and profitable marketing strategy, keep up with changing trends and technologies, and invest in the required in-house resources to implement the strategy. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day, and life is short. A more cost-effective solution is to work with a specialist agency partner, such as JDR.
Partnering with an agency gives you access to the knowledge, resources, and technologies you need to maximise the value of your marketing budget, right out of the box, and also the insight to avoid potentially expensive and embarrassing oversights that could be draining you money.
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