Welcome to 2015! It’s a new year full of promise. A clean slate. A new beginning.
I find this time of year very exciting and scary at the same time. Having just finished 2014 better than projected, I’m jazzed by this achievement and challenged to exceed it by the end of December 2015. A full 12 months to make it all happen. With a crafted plan, determination and a dash of creative optimism, it’s time to get this year started!
Marketing is a critical factor to your success – doing any of these 5 things listed below are epic ways to mess it all up. And waste a lot of time and money. And no business owner wants that.
1. Making it about you.
This is the biggest mistake I see small businesses make. While you own the company, your marketing should not focus on you (your company) but rather what problems you solve for your clients.
2. You market to yourself.
If you make assumptions about your customers based on your own (or your friends’) preferences and behaviours, you may be out of touch with your intended audience’s needs and wants.
For example, a small family owned retailer has been in business for over 40 years. The current owners have not yet built a presence on-line (web or social media). This business is missing the potential of a younger media-savvy client base who regularly look on-online for new products and information. Because the owners don’t use the internet for anything other than email with suppliers, they haven’t embraced the internet to market their retail store.
3. Not knowing your audience.
Expanding on #2 above, if you don’t know who your ideal customer is, their buying habits, needs, wants, pain points and media habits, it’s very hard to reach and engage them.
Invest in finding out not just who they are, but how they behave. How do they live and work? What makes them tick? Where are they doing research on purchases they will be making? Who influences their buying behaviours – peers, reviews, social?
4. Marketing by committee.
This goes back to #1. Everyone has an opinion – which is great. Otherwise, the world would be a very boring place. But when everyone has an idea or suggestion, it’s very easy to lose focus on the end goal – connecting with and getting a sale from a customer.
When you know your customer, you can speak to them in a planned and focused way rather than trying to incorporate everyone’s idea in a “Frankensteined” way.
5. You’re silent.
Social media is not going away any time soon. If you’re building a social presence, be present. When a customer posts or engages, be there to respond. Customers expect real time or near real time replies to their inquiries, comments or problems. When you show that you are there to respond, you build a favourable connection to the potential client and are on the way to converting them to a sale and/or repeat business.
What is your marketing struggle? Drop me a line below!