Small businesses are owned and operated by entrepreneurs. The average entrepreneur spends more time working on keeping the doors open than trying to develop an effective marketing plan. As a result, many small business owners end up wasting money on marketing programs that don’t work or plans they don’t fully understand.
Here are a few ways small business owners end up wasting marketing money:
1 – The Big Sale
This is a tough one! Small businesses have generally only a small budget to work with. The fastest and easiest way to spend most of it is on a major one-time campaign. It may sound like a brilliant tactic and on paper, it probably does look good. But, it's like putting all the eggs in one basket so to speak. The problem is that if the marketing promotion is poorly executed, it can fail miserably... Sure, there are times when a giant single promotion works, but small businesses with limited resources cannot afford to take this kind of risk.
2 – Pens, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts
Sure, it may look cool to have a lot of your customers/clients wearing your brand in and around their environments, but those are people already generating revenue for you. There are times when giveaways do bring in new customers, but they have to be the right kind of promotional items. If you don’t choose the most effective one for your business demographic, all you end up with is an expensive gimmick!
3 – Flashy Print Material
One great way to blow a large chunk of your marketing budget is on high quality - expensive - brochures. Sure, they do give your company a professional look, but think about what you are doing... The money spent on pages of good paper to describe your company would have been better spent on a website with pages online describing your company profile. Plus, your potential reach with printed material is limited to the number of copies produced, where a website’s reach is far, far greater!
4 – The Broad Brush
It is tempting to try to reach every single person in your community with your message... It’s a good idea for some products, but ultimately if your customer base falls into the age group of 25 to 55, will you be spending money advertising in high schools and at senior’s homes? If these demographics are outside of your target market, stop trying to reach them. The best marketing strategy includes tapping into the age category that is attracted to your products as that will produce the greatest conversion rate.
5 – One-Man Show
This is a habit that affects the majority of small business owners – trying to do everything themselves. Unless you are an expert in everything related to the operation and marketing of your business, something is going to fall short. Using an advertising budget by rationing it out when you catch up to that part of your business operation is only going to become inconsistent and not be very effective in the long run.
6 – The Dinosaur
What may have worked the week you opened your business is not necessarily going to work this week. Marketing strategies are always evolving, changing with the times, as newer and more immediate forms of engagement keep entering the arena. This is why you need to have experts in digital media marketing involved as part of your business team! They are tuned in and connected to what trends are hip and happenin’ so you can just concentrate on what you're good at ... running your business.
Besides, with the right digital marketing in place, you’ll be too busy servicing new customers to have time to try to figure out what works and what doesn’t. The most effective way for potential customers to learn about your business is through digital marketing. It’s the way it is done in today’s world and it is the most cost effective investment you will make for your business.
Now you know what not to do. Join us at the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference to learn how to build a successful digital marketing strategy for your business. With RTOWN, you can save up to $500 off your ticket. Get your ticket, now!