If you talk to a genuine perfectionist and ask him what he hates the most in this world, he’ll tell you shoddy work. However, if that perfectionist was an experienced individual who’s gained some wisdom over the years, his answer will be different. He will tell you that he hates nothing more than pure talent being wasted because of lack of application. A business’s marketing efforts are similar in many ways to this idea. The marketing outlay of a business is the talent, customer acquisition and retention is perfection, and marketing mistakes are waste of the resources.
It is a fact that marketing campaigns conducted by most small to medium scale businesses come to naught. The same cannot be said for larger companies. While the size of the marketing budget plays a role in whether a marketing campaign is successful or not, it isn’t the only reason why marketing campaigns of small to medium scale companies fail.
Why Do Marketing Mistakes Plague Small To Medium Scale Businesses
The primary reason why marketing mistakes are so common amidst small to medium scale businesses is application or lack of it thereof. There are two things that small to medium scale businesses lack. The first is obviously the funding but the other is experience or expertise. Whichever way you want to look at it, experience and expertise both boil down to the same thing.
Moreover, funding is connected to expertise in the way that a business can use money to get expertise. So, from one perspective, you can say that small to medium scale businesses have it difficult from both angles. This makes application even more important for such businesses.
In other words, marketing mistakes can turn out to be critical to the overall growth and sustainability of a small to medium scale business. Consider this.
First, they don’t have enough funding, which means that they often get only one chance at making their marketing efforts work. Second, many of them don’t have significant cash reserves to fall back on. Third, they rely on the success of their marketing efforts to take off because most of them are start-ups. And fourth, because they’re start-ups, they don’t even have enough time to make their marketing efforts pay dividends.
Resultantly, when small to medium scale businesses make marketing mistakes and don’t realise it, those mistakes turn out to be fatal for them. Consequently, realising that your business is making one or more marketing mistakes could prove to be the difference between you ending up as a successful entrepreneur or working for a successful entrepreneur.
This is why, for your benefit, we’ve collated these 6 most common marketing mistakes. You can go through these, mark the typical signs, and figure out whether your business is making these marketing mistakes or not.
Marketing Mistakes #1: Relying On “Following” To Make Sales
Social media has changed the dynamics of how business is done these days. However, while it has opened up new avenues to businesses and simplified many marketing tasks, it has also given rise to misconceptions and confusion in many ways.
Consider the new “hep” small to medium scale start-ups. Many of these businesses think that they can direct most of their meagre marketing budget towards building a social media “following”. The thinking is that if they get enough people to Like, Share, Retweet, Mark Favourite, or do any other social media thing for their content, then their businesses would flourish automatically.
In their rush to adopt new technologies, trends, and ideas, these businesses forget conventional marketing wisdom. According to this wisdom, getting a following, whether on social media or otherwise, is only half the battle of the marketing war. The reason for this is that becoming visible to the prospect means nothing because the prospect still needs to be converted.
Therefore, one of the biggest marketing mistakes businesses make these days is that they use most of their marketing budgets on building a “following” to the detriment of their conversion strategies.
Marketing Mistakes #2: Failing To Define or Understand Target Audience
Believe it or not, there are actually businesses out there that don’t define a target audience before launching off their marketing efforts.
Not defining your target audience is like not knowing who you’re going to sell your products or services to.
If you don’t know this simple fact, then how can you expect to manufacture the right product, tailor the right service, offer the correct feature, create the right pitch, or conduct any task in your business?
Another connected mistake here is failing to understand the target audience. Many of the businesses that do identify their target audiences fail to use that information in the right way in their marketing campaigns.
This, naturally, affects their conversion rates which in turn affects their profit margins. Finally, this has an impact on how long they survive.
Marketing Mistakes #3: Expecting Unrealistic Results Unrealistically Soon
Earlier, we mentioned how start-ups don’t have enough time to make their marketing efforts work because of insufficient funding. Since time and money are short, most businesses have these unrealistic expectations from their marketing campaigns.
This, in fact, is one of the most common mistakes that businesses make when it comes to their marketing efforts. The best marketing campaigns, unless boosted by inordinate amounts of money, are like trees. They grow slowly but yield results for an extended period of time provided they were nurtured through their periods of growth.
Keeping your expectations realistic in terms of conversion as well as time is an important part of making not only the marketing campaign but your business work. Therefore, it is advisable to have a logical and rational view of ratio between cost and return and not expect water to be turned into wine.
Marketing Mistakes #4: Depending On Insufficient Tracking System
Not ensuring the right tracking system for monitoring the marketing campaign is easily one of the worst marketing mistakes any business can make. Typically, marketing campaigns are basic and nascent at the time they are launched.
They need to be monitored constantly in early stages because multiple tweaks and modifications need to be made for achieving the targeted objectives. In fact, there are no generic marketing campaigns out there; at least there are no generic but successful marketing campaigns out there.
Many of them may start generic but they become tailored to the business using them as they progress. All this tailoring, however, isn’t possible without a good tracking system.
Every business needs to consistently track the results being generated by their marketing campaign so as to be able to correct the direction it is taking. Not doing so can easily turn into one of those critical marketing mistakes that everyone laughs about.
Marketing Mistakes #5: Forgetting To Tweak and Modify Marketing Campaign Regularly Enough
Trees need to be pruned regularly to keep them growing in the right direction and at the right speed. Marketing campaigns, again, are no different. They need to be tweaked and modified to suit the need of the time as well.
If you have a good tracking system set up, then this should not pose to be a problem for you. Your tracking system will tell you where the performance of your marketing campaign is lagging and where it is satisfactory.
Therefore, making tweaks and modifications shouldn’t be all that difficult. Besides, since this will lead to better results, the cost to return metric will also be high.
Marketing Mistakes #6: Not Assessing Acquisition Channel of Mega Customers
Every business has them. Those few clients or customers who make the business tick either through high volume orders or through high value orders. These customers or clients usually verify the 80 – 20 rule.
The 80 – 20 rule states that 80 percent of every business’s revenue comes from 20 percent of its customer base.
Since these customers are the lifeblood of any business, it is important for every business to figure out how they came to be their customers.
For instance, getting one more customer of this type would be equivalent of getting five or even 10 basic customers.
Therefore, when it comes to marketing campaigns, not assessing the channel through which these mega customers were acquired can be included in any list of severe marketing mistakes made by businesses.