Do you feel like your small business marketing isn’t really working as well as it could? If the answer is yes, you’re in good company. It’s an issue many small businesses have. Some small business marketing problems are surprisingly common.
Are These Marketing Problems Affecting Your Business?
- Tough competition – Trying to get your small business to stand out in a crowded marketplace is tough. Surprisingly, the answer to this problem doesn’t start with expensive advertising and more exposure. You first need to discover what makes your business different and more appealing than your competition. Developing your competitive edge needs to become a priority. Without it you are likely to be drowning in a sea of copycat small businesses and competing on price far too often.A common mistake is believing that your business can’t really be any different. Every small business can be different and even unique. A great starting point is to ask your customers what they like about your business and why they choose to do business with you.
- Poor results from advertising – Have you ever created promotional material that you thought was great, but the results were poor? One likely reason for this is that you created something that appeals to you, rather than your target market. This is a very common marketing problem.The truth is, there can be a vast difference between what you like and what your customers find appealing. Effective advertising and promotion starts with an understanding of your target market. Who are they? What problems do they have? What is their motivation for wanting what you have?
- Don’t know where to start – no marketing plan – For most small businesses, the best place to start is with a simple marketing plan. Even a one page marketing plan will help you clarify who your target market is and how you will reach them. It will also make it easier for you to be consistent. One of the most common reasons not to create a marketing plan is also one of the best reasons to do it: “I just don’t have time.”The time you spend planning your marketing will reduce the time you waste doing tasks which are not helping you achieve your marketing goals.
- Expecting immediate results from long term marketing tactics – Some marketing tactics take far longer than others to bring in results. Small businesses frequently use long term tactics without being aware they’re long term. They don’t see much in the way of early results and abandon their efforts.If you pull the pin too early it’s expensive, time consuming and frustrating; three things you want to avoid.A good current example is social media; many small businesses get a presence on Facebook, don’t do much with it and they give up. The same thing happens with many small business blogs. The truth is it takes time to build an audience and to build trust. They are great tools to establish your credibility and increase awareness, but it won’t happen overnight.
- Not generating enough referrals and word of mouth – Word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways to get new business. Other people are doing your marketing for you. The problem many small businesses have is simply hoping for word of mouth rather than having a plan to generate buzz.If you want people to talk about your small business you have to give them reasons to do it. The most effective way to do this is to surprise them by exceeding their expectations. e.g. Let them know what you will be delivering and when, but deliver a little more and do it faster. Remember, telling your customers what to expect is a lot more effective than guessing what they expect.So what can you do to avoid these marketing problems? Rather than just jumping in, take a more considered approach to your marketing. Let Hawov help you !