Marketing is a strange art, and it takes a decent amount of learning and tweaking throughout the process in order to effectively reach your targeted demographics. This makes it near impossible for a marketing plan to be flawless on the first shot. However, no matter how different every company’s marketing plan may look, there are common and avoidable mistakes that every business owner should look out for when designing his own strategies.
Starting Too Big
Why spend your entire ten thousand dollar budget on the cover page of one magazine when you can use it to advertise on a less significant page of ten magazines. Or maybe paper isn’t even your best platform, but you’ll never know because you spent all of the money you had on it, and now you can’t afford to explore more avenues. This happens to way too many new businesses. Many people choose to place all of their eggs in one basket, and then they find themselves at a dead end whenever the basket does not deliver the expected results.
How to avoid this: Sample multiple different marketing strategies, and measure the results of all of them. Only after you begin see a clear line between what is working and what is not should you invest more money into specific forms of marketing.
Offering No Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
It’s not uncommon to see competitors mimicking each other’s marketing techniques. Wherever you see a Walgreens you may also see a CVS Pharmacy. When McDonald’s offers a new sandwich, Burger King will probably offer some variation of it in time. It’s a common trend in business, one business does the research and another company piggy-back’s off of it. However, no matter the shared ideas and research, each successful business will likely put their own unique twist on the delivery and marketing. A USP is an essential part in any business because it establishes what makes your company better than all the others like it.
How to avoid this: In order to convince consumers that your business is the best choice in the field, you must establish the USP for yourself. Ask yourself, “what makes my business different from the competition?” Once you have your answer, roll with it. Make that point your USP, and use it to sell your product.
Neglecting Repeat Customers
Sometimes when a business starts to grow the growth becomes addicting, and the marketing continues to aim at new customers. What many businesses don’t acknowledge is: repeat customers typically make up 80% of the business, so no matter how much you gain from new customers, if you stop catering toward your repeat customers you could lose five times the amount you make. Therefore, it is important to balance your marketing budget so that you are still maintaining your current customers while also expanding to advertise to new customers.
How to avoid this: Create a type of loyalty program to ensure that your promotions are not all directed to attract new customers. Consider the Starbucks stars system. Try to think of a way to create your own rewards that best fit your unique business.
As mentioned before, marketing is rarely flawless but is actually typically a hit or miss ordeal. You are bound to make mistakes in the process, but you will also learn from the mistakes and be able to redirect efforts in order to create the best results.
Mars Hill Marketing is here for you every step of the way to help you avoid these mistakes. Contact Us today, and let us help you get your small business off of the ground.