Sunday, 12 May 2013

Common Mistakes in Small Business Marketing

Running in a small business in today's competitive marketplace is challenging, and marketing is a particularly big priority if you want to stay visible to potential customers.But it's not always easy and if done badly can sometimes actually have a negative effect, as this list below of common small business marketing mistakes shows.

Advertising and marketing are key to growing your business, particularly if you are a small or start-up enterprise. But small business marketing is not always straightforward: With the right advert or marketing campaign you can attract many new clients and increase your profits hugely, but if you employ the wrong strategy it can have disastrous effects.

If you want to use your marketing budget to the best effect, here are some of the most common marketing mistakes to avoid:

Confusing advertising:
So many businesses spend a lot on advertising but don't take the time to make sure they have the wording correct. How many adverts have you listened to or seen and then away none the wiser about what the company actually does? If you are a small business then you probably won't have a huge budget for this anyway, so you have to make it count. Make sure that your spoken or written advertisement begins with a short, pithy message (no more than 10 words) describing exactly what you do and for which target market.

Lack of frequency:
Not every potential customer will buy from you the first time they see your advert or read a promotional email. Building up a customer base takes time, so make sure your marketing efforts are regular and frequent (although don't constantly bombard people with emails, as this can put them off).

No motivation to buy:
Some companies are successful at directing traffic to their websites, but their website itself is not set out so as to encourage sales. Your site needs to be clear and easy to use, and the organisation - links, structure etc - needs to move visitors towards the action you want them to take, which is to buy your products. For example, your web page navigation bars should include a second link to your product catalogue so there is plenty of opportunity for sales.

Failure to track:
Many companies forget the all-important task of tracking their ad campaigns to find out which of their marketing techniques contributed most to sales. Omitting this is a major small business marketing mistake: if you have a small advertising budget then you need to be certain that your money is being spent effectively. Tracking, by finding out where customers heard of you or by analysing the sales of each campaign, will help you work out where to make outlays in the future.

No feedback:
Lastly, it's vital that you listen to feedback from your customers. If you don't, you will lose touch with their priorities and then it's a slippery slope to losing your client base altogether. Carrying out market research and inviting comments via your website are two of the most effective ways of avoiding this pitfall.

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