[Article originally published in Business News]
The key to success is planning and consistency, so reassess your marketing strategy today to avoid these five common marketing mistakes that can stand in your way of success.
In general, business owners know they need to do marketing but it’s often coupled with urgency and no plan. In most cases, many marketing activities have been attempted but not on a consistent basis and results have not been tracked.
Enthusiasm without a plan will put any business at risk and result in thousands of dollars spent on marketing that doesn’t deliver results.
NOT KNOWING YOUR POSITION
Knowledge really is power because you can’t improve what you haven’t measured.
Not taking stock of what you’ve done or knowing what results you got means you’re throwing darts in the dark. Start by knowing your position.
WHAT TO DO NEXT:
- Make a list of all the marketing activities you’ve done in the past 6 months.
- Decide what worked well and why it worked well.
- Do the same for all the activities that didn’t work well.
- Use your current results as a benchmark to judge future marketing performance against
- Set realistic goals for the next quarter for each marketing activity.
With the right knowledge, smart decisions can be made and you won’t be caught off guard by the latest trends or bright shiny objects.
NOT HAVING A MARKETING BUDGET
Most business owners believe that creating a marketing budget is “too hard to do” and that it will limit you, so they don’t have one. The reality is that a budget will empower you and help you make smarter decisions.
If you’re clear on which marketing activities performed best and what needs to improve over the next 90 days, you can budget for the training and implementation needed to improve your results.
Allocate a percentage of the budget to activities according to its performance.
You’ll also be less prone to bright shiny object syndrome when you know what delivers results and you’ll know how much is available to spend in the next quarter.
Having a budget will give you peace of mind, lower your stress levels and keep the business on track to reach its goals.
NOT KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET
If you’re not super clear on who your target market is, what their biggest pain points are and where to find them, how will you be able to target them effectively with your marketing?
Get clear on the media your target market uses, both online and offline, and gain an understanding of when and how they search for businesses like yours.
A good way to get this information is by phoning existing clients and asking them a few questions or creating an online survey with SurveyMonkey* and posting it in Facebook Groups or directly to your email list. (*It’s a free online survey tool where you can create and publish surveys in minutes and view results graphically and in real time.)
By knowing your target market and where to find them, you can fine-tune your marketing message in a way that will really speak to your ideal customers and compel them to interact with your brand, products and services.
NOT REVIEWING YOUR MARKETING PLAN
A 90-day marketing plan encourages you to sit down and review your business and marketing numbers in a formal manner at least once a quarter.
This simple habit will put you streets ahead of the competition and anyone else who only think about doing marketing when the business dries up.
Reviewing the marketing plan with your team or an outside consultant will help you:
- be more effective in your business
- focus your efforts to achieve specific goals
- be more diligent about how you spend your marketing dollars
- track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and
- create a road map of where to tweak and improve for the next quarter.
NOT BEING CONSISTENT
Every marketing strategy has several key components that need to be executed successfully to ensure overall marketing success and reaching your sales goals.
Although this is a simple and logical concept, it seems to be human nature to get side tracked by everyday life in the execution of our strategies.
We tend to start with enthusiasm, a great idea and a plan but then before we know it, we find ourselves working on something else. We forget our aim and we lose our direction.
Stay consistent and on track this year by writing down your plan and using it as a blueprint for all your marketing activities.
Schedule time on a weekly basis to work ON your marketing, and use outside support and accountability like this business community to stay on track and combat procrastination.
Small steps every day win the game, and marketing success is simply a collection of small steps.
It’s never too late. Make a decision today to start spending time every day on marketing and other income-producing activities and you’ll achieve all the goals you set for yourself each quarter. It can be done.
Which one of these marketing mistakes are tripping you up most often? Leave your comment below.
Author: ALICIA MENKVELD Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.