Focused marketing is key to the success of your business, especially when time and money are in short supply. To help you keep on course, here’s a rundown of common oversights, and ways to avoid them.
1. No marketing plan
It’s all about strategic thinking, long-term. If you don’t have a solid plan in place, you won’t know whether you’re achieving your goals, or even where you’re trying to get to. Your vision will quickly fade to nothing without formalizing your ideas and developing concrete timescales. Also, if you’re looking for funding, investors won’t take the plunge without knowing what the next steps for the business are. Steve Olenski says on Forbes.com that “with an effective marketing plan in place, you’ll be able to flesh out such things as potential new growth opportunities, who your actual customers are versus who you thought they were, how to acquire more customers, and where best to spend future marketing dollars. Companies that fail to create a marketing strategy are destined to either fail or struggle indefinitely.”
2. Being inconsistent with social media
Are you guilty of neglecting your Facebook or Twitter page? When things get busy, it’s more than likely that updating social media feeds drops to the bottom of your to-do list. But you won’t get the best returns from social media this way. Again it’s all about consistent, long-term strategy, reinforcing your message to your customers. How best to do this? An editorial calendar is the most effective tool, helping you stay in control of what you’re posting. This way you can plan your social media month-by-month throughout the year, aligning your blog posts and updates to create a coherent and consistent message.
3. Not moving with the times
Nothing stands still for long, especially with the constant stream of developments in technology today. However, adapting to change is one of the biggest stumbling blocks out there. Businesses who don’t embrace innovation will soon see the results in their balance sheets. Failure to adapt to consumer demands can cause unnecessary inconvenience for customers and make your business appear less successful and modern than its tech-savvy counterparts – even when that isn’t necessarily true. Managing change successfully means looking ahead and preparing for change - keeping an eagle eye on what your customers really want, and answering their needs.
It’s a sobering thought that there are plenty of companies who didn’t see change coming, and failed as a result.
4. Neglecting leads
Once you’ve invested time and money in marketing and getting out there networking, do you always follow up the leads in a timely manner? Research published in the Harvard Business Review found that many companies don’t follow up leads fast enough. This is a real problem because the longer the lead is left, the more likely it is to go cold, especially when it comes to online leads.
Each time you get a sales lead, make sure you record it, along with any notes and action points. Using a tool such as QuickBooks 2013 Lead Centre is a quick and easy way to track all your sales leads.
5. Neglecting your website
Your website is the window into your business. It’s the first port of call for customers, so it’s absolutely vital that it gives the best impression. Do you check your website regularly and update details that have gone out of date? It’s best to get a system in place for checking back and updating regularly so that everything is correct and the content is fresh. And don’t forget to make your contact details really stand out. A surprising study from the US suggested that as many as 60% of small business websites don’t list a phone number on the homepage and 75% don’t have an email link.
Making just a few small tweaks can make a big improvement to your marketing.
We hope we’ve helped you understand more about the most common marketing mistakes. Did you know the QuickBooks Blog covers many more topics as well, which are designed to help you grow and develop your business?Discover the QuickBooks Blog