Five common marketing mistakes – and some ideas for avoiding them

By Jake Martin

2 min read

When time and money are tight, focused marketing is essential. Check that you’re not making any of these common oversights. We’d love to hear your examples and tips too.

Not having a plan

If you don’t have a solid plan in place, you won’t know where you’re trying to get to or whether you’re achieving your goals. Also, if you’re looking for funding, investors will want to know what the next steps for the business are.

Pippa Highfield of Brainwork Marketing says:

“If you have ever purchased advertising space just because the offer was too good to miss, or have set up a Facebook page because everyone else is doing it, you are not alone. With a baffling array of marketing options available it isn’t any wonder that many small business owners see marketing as a key challenge.”
Luckily she wrote this post for us about how to write a marketing plan that works.

Being inconsistent with social media

Are you guilty of neglecting your Facebook or Twitter page when things get busy? You’re unlikely to get the best returns from social media if your feed is blank for weeks on end and then you fire out tons of updates close together. It’s understandable, though, as it’s easy for social media to slip down the list of everyday things to do when running a business.

Again, a plan can really help. A simple spreadsheet or online calendar can help you align your blog posts and updates to your marketing plan, and this handy infographic provides a useful guide to planning your social media month-by-month throughout the year.

Not moving with the times

Things are changing fast these days and you have to keep up with the times and offer customers what they want. Recent research suggested that 60% of small businesses don’t yet have a website, whilst others still only accept cash, despite customers wanting more ways to pay.

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.

Not following up 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, and that this is a 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.

Neglecting your website

Once you’ve got your website up and running, don’t forget to get a system in place for checking back and updating it regularly so that details are correct and the content is fresh – as the internet is the first port of call for customers these days, your website should give the best impression.

And don’t forget to double-check that your contact details are prominent. 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 could make a big improvement to your marketing.

What common marketing mistakes do you see?

 

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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