This article is designed to help small to medium business to be aware of the common marketing mistakes to avoid, that waste time and money when marketing their business.
You know the story. You’ve invested a lot of time and money in building a website, establishing a social media presence and building an email database. After all that, the only result you can see is a number in your expenses. Little website traffic, little or no leads, and no clear new business result. You may have even bought some Adwords and found the leads you attract are not right for the business. Well, guess what? You’re with the majority of small and medium businesses.
So, there’s two options. You can just give up and just rely on your referrals and outbound sales, or better, build a connected marketing program that turns your website into a lead generation machine.
The problem with the picture painted above is common. You’ve now found out that a ‘build it and they will come’ approach simply doesn’t work. What’s missing could be any of these:
- Marketing goals or marketing objectives are not clear
- The activity may not have a cohesive strategic focus or target customer
- There is no customer focused journey that links your website, social media marketing and email marketing
- Potential customers aren’t looking for your business, they’re looking to solve a particular problem – they need a solution
- Your website, social media and email probably lacks a call to action that motivates customers to subscribe or contact you based on a reasonable value exchange of information or direct benefit
Every business challenge and every customer segment requires a specific approach. Here's a set of foundation steps that you need to take to create marketing for business growth.
- Set clear goals for marketing – who are you trying to attract, how many sales leads do you need and how many can you expect to convert into sales
- Develop a clear understanding of the financial value of new leads and customers. For example, if the average customer lifetime value in your business is $1,000 and you convert 25% of all the leads you capture, the value of a lead is $250. That allows you to set up your marketing investment in a way that creates measurable return on investment.
- Develop a clear understanding of customer desires and what drives them to buy
- Create a clear strategy that defines the customer journey from attraction, to lead capture to sales conversion.
- Realise that customers today are highly empowered to research their perfect solution and that they can take time to make a decision. There’s no such thing as a ‘tyre kicker’, some people are just not ready to buy yet.
- Focus on helping the customer make a good decision. You’ll be rewarded for that
- Make sure that you can measure everything simply so you know what is and what’s not working
- If you don’t have the skills or resources to do it yourself, look for a marketing specialist who can help you
So if you’ve hung in this far, you now have a good understanding of what to avoid and the headline steps you need to take to create marketing that works. And have no doubt, marketing done well is effective, managable and measurable.
Stuart Poignand is the founder and director of Poignand Consulting, a strategically focussed marketing agency that helps business to unlock value from its brands, products, services and customer experiences.