Marketing a business is (hopefully) one of the most important things to you as a business owner or CEO. Its purpose is to enhance brand recognition, promote your business, and bridging the gap between your business and customers. But not all marketing is good marketing. Poor marketing can cost a business effort, time, and money. It can also be a turnoff to prospective customers. In my five years of experience working with business owners, these are the top marketing mistakes business owners make:
Basing decisions on assumptions rather than hard data
From research, about 31% of marketers complain about facing challenges of “too much data for analysis” when looking for ways to optimize their ad performance. I’ll admit that it’s not easy but you’re better off going the long way and getting your facts right than working from assumptions and wasting time, energy, and money by being way off target.
Doing research and creating customer personas is the best way to go. You’ll know exactly how to create your message to attract your dream customer. The biggest challenge is not assuming that you know what the customer wants. Take the example of the clothing company Gap. They wanted to reach out to new customers and decided to modify their logo and branding with the assumption that existing customers will be okay. What followed was the worst reaction and massive backlash from customers.
The new logo not only disappeared after two days but also worsened the company’s image. So next time before putting something out there, take a look at the hard data that you already have and work from that.
Not defining the target audience or ideal customer and believing EVERYONE is the target audience
Another big marketing mistake is looking at everyone as a potential customer. Okay, yes, you might be selling a product that appeals to a larger audience, but when it comes to marketing, you have to narrow down the target.
The challenge of our age is to learn who our customers are, but it doesn’t stop there. Dive deeper and learn their language. We’re living in the information age and you can choose for it to benefit you by providing you insights on your dream customer OR let it destroy you. Our customers are swamped by so many products and promises which makes their online (and overall buying) experience filled with confusion, fatigue, or indecision. So many different apps and sponsored posts are fighting for attention. Learn their language and speak it so well that your company’s voice can be heard above all else.
Having too little ad spend and expecting a huge return
If you’re working with a smaller ad spend (under $1.5k monthly), it means gathering data and the learning phase takes much longer to complete. The whole point of the learning phase is for the platform to optimize your ads and to be able to deliver them to people who are most likely to be interested.
You always get what you put in. If you are willing to invest a small amount, your results will reflect that. One important thing to note is that on average, companies spend roughly 20% of their revenue on marketing.
Thinking social media and other forms of organic marketing will lead to overnight success
Marketing as a whole is a long-term investment. It’s a sacrifice that needs patience, effort, and consideration. We always ask for about three months for my clients to see significant improvements and results because marketing doesn’t work overnight. And if someone is promising you insane organic marketing results sooner than that, I would be very wary. Lots of people in the marketing world use black or grey hat methods. Let’s talk about fake followers, for example, we could buy you 10,000 followers and have them on your account by tomorrow. But you won’t be happy when this messes with your account’s reach and ultimately, doesn’t result in any leads.
Consider search engine optimization and paid ads. While both will give you traffic, the timing and results are different. A paid ad will start showing results shortly after you pay money, but results from marketing with SEO will take time. However, the main disadvantage with the paid ads is that immediately you stop paying, you will most likely stop making money if that’s the only form of marketing you’re doing. SEO, on the other hand, will take time to be on the front page, and hopefully, after some time, less will be spent in keeping you there.
It might take even six months for your marketing results to be seen—it really depends on your industry and how competitive it is. Taking advantage of SEO marketing not only puts you closer to the top, but it also can result in gaining high-quality leads. In this case, you will be getting more active leads. As a business owner, it is best to have a vision and look at things in the long run. Social media is just one small part of an overall marketing strategy.
Organic marketing takes much more time and effort but can have long-lasting effects like establishing you as a thought leader and evergreen that people still refer to a year from now. Weigh your options and upon doing the cost-benefit analysis of the different marketing categories, you can select one that best fits your business and budget.