Are You Making This BIG Mistake With Your Small Business Marketing?

small business marketing big mistake

It goes without saying that clients are the lifeblood of your business.

After all, in the absence of a steady flow of fresh enquiries, failure will soon come knocking at your door.

On the other hand you feel restrained by your marketing budget. And whilst you do have some time to work on your strategy, you’ve also got to nail the day-to-day stuff.

But perhaps the biggest challenge is you’re just not sure where to focus your marketing efforts to ensure great results without breaking the bank.

I’m with you. It’s stressful right?

This isn't a surprise to me, especially when you take a look at this typical scenario…

Many micro business owners start their marketing efforts by choosing the media.

They’ll decide how their customer is going to hear about their business and consider opportunities such as leaflet drops, a Facebook page, local newspaper advertising etc. What’s more, this decision will often be influenced by what everyone else seems to be doing, or cost.

Then once the media is chosen they’ll think about the message they need to communicate and then hope their customer (market) hears it and responds.

And here lies the BIG mistake!

You see this approach is all upside down.

And whilst your Facebook status updates, well positioned press ads and beautifully designed leaflets may get the word out there, you’re simply leaving far too much to chance.

That’s because before you do any advertising you need to know specifically who your market is.

And I don’t mean a vague “working mums” or “male sports enthusiasts” type definition. This is far too woolly and will leave you at risk of talking to everybody and appealing to nobody.

Instead start with your market…

Your marketing will become more efficient when you create a customer avatar.

To do this you need to move beyond the obvious characteristics like age, gender and lifestyle, and get clear on specifics such as:

  • What makes your customers tick?
  • What keeps them awake at night?
  • What are their dreams and desires?
  • What cars do they drive?
  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • What do they read outside of work?

Give your avatar a photograph of a real person and give them a name. Do this and suddenly you’ll find your marketing becomes a lot more straightforward. That’s because if you intimately know who you want to attract, you’ll have a much clearer idea of the message needed to get their attention. Then, as a result, the media you need to use will become a lot more obvious.

To summarise remember this winning sequence – Market – Message – Media.

Then test and measure…

But that’s not the end of the story.

You see the other big mistake small businesses make is failing to get clear on what’s working – and what isn’t. And this can result in a lot of wasted money and effort.

The good news is there are things you can do to increase your marketing efficiency and then get a close grip on the performance of your marketing.

  • Try different Tracking Numbers on each marketing effort to identify where leads originate.
  • Split test different headlines to a small section of your list before sending to everyone.
  • Use Google Ads to get quick feedback on a concept before launching a full marketing strategy.
  • Test ideas and ask for feedback from your best customers.
  • Build a swipe file of effective advertising you’ve seen and adapt it to suit your own business.
  • Measure everything..

Then closely analyse your results to figure out the ROI of any marketing. And if you discover something that rocks – use it again.

How do you find customers?

How do you avoid making those BIG marketing mistakes? What strategies or tools do you have in place to ensure you pin down what ideas work and which ones don’t? Please let me know in the comments below

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