For small or medium-sized business owners, marketing can be a challenge. They often find themselves competing with larger companies while working with only a fraction of their resources in terms of staff and marketing. For smaller businesses, even the simplest mistakes can be costly. That’s why your marketing solutions have to offer even more bang for your buck.
Here are five common marketing mistakes that can keep you from succeeding – and the ways to avoid them.
1. Lackluster Branding
Branding is your public identity, and should represent everything you bring to your industry. Your brand should be unique enough to engage customers, but also relevant enough to your product or service so people will know what you’re offering. Too often, smaller businesses don’t pay enough attention to branding and design. Instead, they think their product will speak for itself–but it can’t speak unless you give it a platform. And your brand is your platform.
A brand can be a combination of many things, including a company’s image, reputation, product or service, mission statement and recognizable imagery. All of these components make up your brand, which is then encapsulated, for the sake of marketing, into your company logos, mission and design.
2. Ineffective Design
When it comes to marketing priorities, graphic design is often mistakenly put on the back burner; but your designs are a reflection of your company Your logo, website, print pieces and graphic imagery are a visual representation of your brand and company culture, and should be immediately recognizable, engaging, and focused on marketing objectives.
Your designs, both digital and print, need to appeal to your target audience. In addition, they need to stand out from the crowd, so that they’re instantly recognizable and engaging. That’s why it’s essential to get the help of a qualified consultant who can help you create memorable print collateral pieces, digital and print advertisements, and websites that are consistent and will represent you and your brand.
3. Online and Digital Marketing Missteps
Small and mid-size businesses can enjoy an average ROI of 246 percent on email marketing – but only if they do it right. There’s no quicker way to get on customers’ “unsubscribe” lists than to deluge them with poorly designed, untargeted, or “spammy” emails. Spreading your message online – whether it’s through your social media or email campaigns – needs to be done in a way that will engage clients, not overwhelm them. Many small and mid-size businesses don’t have the time or in-house expertise to create effective, cutting-edge digital marketing strategies, so it’s a good idea to get professional help from online marketing specialists.
4. Ignoring Mobile Marketing
Consumers spend 60 percent of their digital media time on mobile devices. If you’re not prioritizing your mobile marketing strategies but are focusing instead exclusively on desktop marketing, you could be missing a large percentage of prospective customers.
5. Non-Existent Strategy
A marketing strategy, it’s the elephant in the room. Too many small and mid-sized businesses take the “Field of Dreams” (if you build it they will come) or the “Shoot First Aim Later” approach to their marketing. Unfortunately, those approaches only lead to frustration and a misunderstanding of how effective marketing can be. Regardless of how great of a product you offer or how superior your services are, if you’re not actively and strategically marketing your business then you’re leaving money on the table.
The best way to get the most bang for your marketing buck is to approach your marketing with a clear strategy in mind. Your marketing strategy should combine a cohesive brand message with effective design and deliver it through the proper channels to reach and engage your target audience. The bottom line is, your potential customers should be engaging with your brand’s voice and when they do it should be clear that you have a focused, well executed and consistent message regardless of which platform – print or online – they are interacting with.
In today’s competitive arena, with game changers like mobile and digital marketing, it’s essential to be on top of the newest strategies to reach your target customers. That’s why, in the end, your most valuable marketing tool can be a good consultancy team that not only specializes in these cutting-edge marketing strategies, but the tried and true traditional marketing techniques that have worked for hundreds of years.