Avoid These 5 Common Business Marketing Mistakes
July 10, 2018 by Susan Brooks
Running a business of any kind is difficult but people often make simple mistakes that make success more of an uphill climb. Day-to-day operations or expansion can take up most of your time distracting you from realising how your marketing might be holding you back. Don’t assume your only options are sticking with your current strategies or hiring an expensive marketing consulting firm for reports and meetings but too few results. Here are marketing mistakes that you can correct right now and put your business in a better position to grow and thrive.
1. Staying Hidden
The common wisdom was that if you built a better mousetrap, the world would beat a path to your door. The reality is much different. You can create the most fabulous product or service but that does not guarantee success. Many companies have made the mistake of sitting back and expecting customers to flow in the door. This unrealistic expectation has been reinforced by stories of the new companies that seem to have found a magic formula and managed to be in the right place at the right time. This has made other business owners think it will happen for them, too. The reality is the odds of sudden success are about the same as buying a winning lottery ticket. Tomorrow a top celebrity might publicly decide your product is great and suddenly the world is beating down your door. Keep in mind that there is very little chance of that happening. You need to prepare for reality.
Your potential customers need to be able to find you. For a storefront business, that means you need to have a great location and a local outreach so that people know you’re there and what you offer. For online businesses, you need to be visible when people search. That could mean partnering with a larger online retailer where shoppers already visit. Creating a strong website with frequent blog posts and a strong social media presence can improve your search engine rankings so people can find you.
2. Missed Opportunities
You usually have only one chance to gain a specific customer but many chances to lose him or her. If you are out of stock one day or fail to make a delivery on time, you’ll probably never have a chance to get that customer back. Arrange delivery services so you know you’ll have the materials you need when you need them and your customers will receive your products on time, every time.
If customers stop by your business and you’re closed, they’ll probably go elsewhere and never return. Make sure you have generous business hours and that you stick with them. Online sites work the same way. If your website is not working or is too slow, your site visitors will look somewhere else.
3. Not Looking Like a Winner
Looks matter. Don’t become so focused on how great your product or service is that you fail to see things from the customer’s perspective. A shabby storefront, dusty racks of goods, or a poorly designed website will turn people away. People will think if you don’t care about how your business looks, you won’t care about customers, either.
4. Confused Messaging
What does your business do? You might know but will potential customers? Make sure you make it clear what you are offering. Many businesses try to do too many things leaving visitors confused. Don’t make customers search through your website or store to figure out what you are trying to sell.
5. Bad Reviews
Online reviews have become vital to success. Whether you’re selling online or have a brick and mortar location, people will often check online reviews for information before they visit. Having no reviews or mostly negative comments will lead most potential customers to run in the other direction. Unfortunately for businesses, people who are unhappy are the most likely to post their comments. That can leave even a good business looking bad online.
Stay on top of reviews by frequently checking online review systems. If someone has added your company online, you can claim that company listing so you can provide more company details and correct any mistakes. When people post negative reviews, quickly respond and do what you can to make things right. Encourage your happy customers to post reviews online so that you aren’t stuck with only poor reviews. You can even reach out to thank customers who took the time to post their feedback about their experience.
If reviews raise legitimate concerns, quickly move to address those problems so that your company doesn’t continue to generate unhappy reviews. This ties into the importance of being responsive to customers on an ongoing basis and working to provide great customer service. You might need to provide guidance to your employees to make sure they are offering customers a positive experience every single time. Remember, your company’s marketing should work for you, not against you. It’s worth taking a little time to cover these basics to help to ensure your company is successful for years to come.