When it comes to running a small or medium business (SMB), marketing can be a make or break factor that sets the most successful companies apart from the rest. However, good marketing is easier said than done. Many SMBs can find themselves falling into the trap of some common mistakes that can prevent them from achieving the maximum payback for their investments.
Marketing has become more critical to reach customers in today’s digital world, inundated with information about what products and services customers need to buy. By optimizing their marketing outreach across several digital channels, SMBs can make sure they’re standing out from the rest of the pack.
Here are some common mistakes SMBs should avoid as they look to optimize their marketing investments and strategy:
Not getting digital — Customers today often make their decisions online, even before contacting a business. In fact, 74 percent of customers say they rely on social media to make their purchasing decisions, and 60 percent begin their product search through Google or another search engine. With that in mind, SMBs need to make sure they have a solid digital presence across the web and social media; otherwise, they may be missing reaching critical potential or current customers.
Investing in digital can have immense payoffs beyond just making sure customers know the products and services an SMB offers. It has been shown that customers that engage with a business on social media typically spend 40 percent more than they would otherwise — a statistic that could drive significant business over the long term.
Not tracking progress — While making investments in marketing is key, it’s equally important to track the progress and effectiveness of those projects to make sure they are optimized for success. An SMB should make sure they have insights into how their different marketing campaigns are performing across all formats and then use those insights to tweak their efforts — either by investing more in a remarkably successful format or campaign or ending a project that isn’t working correctly or tweaking the messaging to be more effective — to maximize return on investment (ROI).
Putting all your eggs in one basket — While it can be tempting to put all your marketing budget into one particular category if it is successful, in reality, an SMB needs to make sure they have a diversified marketing strategy across several channels. This not only helps ensure that you are reaching all potential and current customers – no matter where they are — but also helps future-proof your marketing strategy against any changes in the market or customer preferences.
Keeping it all in-house — It can be tempting for SMBs to conduct all their marketing efforts in-house, but business owners should also consider what tasks they may want or need to outsource. Third-party firms can provide guidance and expertise on the latest trends and tactics and offload work from teams in a more affordable way than hiring a new employee.
Many factors go into making sure an SMB’s marketing efforts are successful, from the strategy to the messaging, to the team running the efforts. However, by avoiding some common mistakes, an SMB can help ensure that their essential products and services are reaching the customers that need them and set their business up for success over the long term.