If you don’t want to waste your small business marketing resources, avoid three major causes of such waste and improve your odds of business success. The three major causes are:
1. Not utilizing small business marketing research.
2. Not identifying the people most inclined to buy your products or services.
3. Failing to create a small business marketing plan to guide your business.
Small Business Marketing Mistake 1: Not Utilizing Small Business Marketing Research.
Some small business owners think they can’t afford to research their target market, competition and product development. But if you desire to be successful, you can’t afford not to.
If you don’t have insights from research, you are more likely to build your business and marketing on bad information that decreases your chance of marketing effectively.
If you fail to do this research, your marketing plan will lack focus because you won’t have a clear marketing goal, won’t know how to select the best marketing objectives to reach that goal, and won’t know the best appeals for your target market.
Every penny that you spend on good research is money well spent. This is particularly true for research to determine your best potential customers, and the best way to market to them. Failing to acquire this information is the second major way that you, as a small business owner, may be wasting marketing resources.
Small Business Marketing Mistake 2: Failing To Target Your Best Potential Customers.
If you don’t want to waste your marketing resources, you need to pick a target market and direct all your marketing to them. Otherwise, you market to everybody and don’t sell much to anybody.
Many small business owners believe that everybody will want to buy what they sell, but that is seldom the case. This mistake wastes resources marketing to people who will never buy. Not only that, but failing to target the people most likely to buy, may actually alienate those who would otherwise become loyal customers.
Thus, your investment in target market research will return you much more in sales, and save you from wasting your marketing money on tactics that don’t work well.
Plus, target market research helps small business owners to:
identify your target market,
discover the best appeals for this target market, and
assure that your marketing plan includes at least seven tactics to reach your target market annually.
Target market research will help you to better understand:
those who are your best potential customers,
the media to use to distribute your marketing messages,
the best emotional and rational appeals to include in your marketing messages.
how much money they spend and how to price your product.
Including this information in a small business marketing plan, will greatly improve return on marketing investments.
Small Business Marketing Mistake 3: Failing To Create And Follow A Small Business Marketing Plan.
This third mistake results from the first two. Without the proper research, you can’t have a good marketing plan. And without a good marketing plan, you will more easily fall for sales pitches.
If you think the only value of a marketing and business plan is to complement a business loan application, you’re wrong. Both guide your decisions and actions to keep you on target and focused.
If you don’t predetermine your marketing strategies and tactics, you may be tempted to buy into every marketing and advertising sales pitch. You, not external sales people, must be in charge of your small business marketing plan.
You need to have your marketing goals in place and make every marketing decision based on your goals. Otherwise you may fall victim to sales people who are more concerned with their sales goals than your marketing goals.
Don’t waste your small business marketing resources just because a sales person has a “great” promotion on media advertisements. If the advertisements don’t reach your target market, the promotion is not great for your business.
Other sales people often convince small business owners to spend on various marketing products and services that scatter marketing resources to the point that the marketing wouldn’t be effective even if it was targeted to the best potential customers, which usually they’re not.