5 Marketing Mistakes Every Small Business Should Avoid

Common marketing mistakes small businesses make illustration

Easily avoidable marketing mistakes are the most common problem that small businesses encounter when marketing their products and services. This is usually due to the absence of time or knowledge. It’s also not easy to find the right target audience for your business, but it is important to do the appropriate research before you start in order to find the best way to market your product or service.

It’s hard being a small business owner! Not only are you likely running almost all areas of your business on your own, but you also need to quickly learn and adapt to surviving in today’s competitive climate. Marketing really is the make or break of your business. There is no point in having an amazing product or service if no one knows about that product or service.

To be successful, it’s important for business owners to make sure that they are reaching their target audience and that they’re marketing the right product to that specific audience.

Marketing Mistake #1: You don’t know your ideal customer

This marketing mistake is often made when companies first start out. Companies think they have an idea of who their ideal customer is, but then find out that the target audience has changed drastically because of an event, trend, or marketing campaign.

Your audience matters more than your product. If you’re unsure of who your ideal customer is, it’s time to do some market research. Consider first asking friends and family for their opinions on what your product could be. Another wise starter move is also to do some research on the competition and find out who they are targeting. 

Tip: Create personas for each of your ideal customer segments. Focus on what that customer segment might want, need, problems they face, demographic factors and any information that you think will be useful! This comes in handy down the track if you ever want to do targeted advertising.

Marketing Mistake #2: You ignore your competitors

You should always keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, as well as their successes and failures. This way you can better understand the marketplace and figure out how to best position your business.

You don’t have to stop what you’re doing with your product or service, but when you focus on the competition and understand how they operate, it’s a huge benefit to improving how you operate. This will help you adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and make it more difficult for competitors to take away from your business.

Tip: Carve out 30 minutes every week to check in on your competitors’ socials and websites. By being across what they do you can also identify pain points for the audiences that you share. 

Marketing Mistake #3: You focus too little on brand awareness

A key aspect of marketing is branding and in the world of small business, it’s even more important because you probably don’t have a big marketing team. In fact, it might just be you battling it out in the marketing department, whilst wearing 7 other business hats!

Brand awareness is quite simply the process of making a person aware of your brand. Brand awareness can be achieved through advertising, marketing, and promotion in order to make people know who you are, what you are, and what you offer. Once people are aware of your business, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.

The more people that know about your business, the easier it will be to find new customers and have a successful company. You can’t just market to one group of people, you need to market to everyone in your ideal audience.

Tip: When thinking about how to improve your brand awareness, think about where your customers ‘live’ online. Are they chatting on forums? Are they scrolling through Instagram? Are they creating boards on Pinterest?

Marketing Mistake #4: You are not focused on retaining customers

A common misconception with small businesses is that they don’t have the resources to focus on customer retention, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it actually costs less to retain a customer for life than it does to acquire one through marketing campaigns and other tactics.

It costs six times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. It seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re not focused on customer retention, then your business will eventually die out.

Tip: As a small business you have a huge advantage of being able to form close connections with your customers. A personalised note, email or shout-out goes a long way in the world of small business with a customer who will appreciate your effort. 

Marketing Mistake #5: You don’t have a plan

If you have a marketing plan in place, it will be easier for your business to grow. Having a well-thought out plan is the key to making sure that all of your marketing efforts are actually going where they need to go. You don’t want to be wasting precious time investing in unsustainable marketing. 

By sitting down and actually formulating a marketing plan, you can make informed decisions on where to focus your efforts next. Focus on the basics first and build up, it doesn’t have to be a complicated plan. Start with your goals as a business for at least the upcoming 12 months and then jump into understanding where your audience is. This is a great foundation to start with. 

Tip: If you really don’t know where to start, get in touch with a small business focused marketing company like EmpowerUp Marketing to be guided successfully in the right direction for your business. 

Where to start with marketing as a small business

There are thousands of online courses, influencers who sell their branding strategies (usually a whitepaper version of their own so not considering your unique business attributes) and also agencies who have huge cost margins to cover with expensive services. As a small business, it can be really overwhelming knowing where to start. 

EmpowerUp Marketing was created with small businesses in mind, to give you easy-to-understand and actionable outcomes in the areas that matter most to you. Most of all, we pride ourselves on being flexible to your needs so if you have a different idea of how we can help you, we are all ears. Get in touch with us today to determine how we can empower your business, and power up your marketing!

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