Marketing is the single most important process of a successful business. Yet so many entrepreneurs and small business owners treat it like a game of chance; guessing, hoping and praying with each roll of the dice. The fact is, Marketing is a complex system that combines both science and art and when taken seriously and done right can have a huge impact on a business’s bottom line.
If you’ve been going around and round, riding the hamster wheel and not achieving your business goals, it could be that your Marketing sucks. Here are 8 tell-tale signs.
- You haven’t done your research. Ok, I can almost feel your eyes rolling – YES, research absolutely must be the first step for any small business owner or entrepreneur who is even thinking about starting a business. So if you didn’t do it in the start-up phase, do it now! Study the marketplace, your industry, your target market. Is there a need for what you sell? Why would people buy it and why would they buy it from you? DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. This is the foundation of any good marketing strategy.
- You don’t know or understand your competition. How well do you know your competition? REALLY. Name three. What are their core offerings? What do they do well and not so well? What is their differentiation statement? Don’t know? See #1.
- You constantly chase the shiny new thing. The latest CRM tool, the latest local magazine, the newest social media site, WordPress plugin or email service provider platform. Whatever it is, if it’s new you’re there, whether it’s right for your business or not. If you’ve done your research you’d know that not every shiny new thing is right for your business and you’d stop wasting your time and money.
- You haven’t interviewed your best customers. The best way to learn about your business is to talk to the people who choose you and stay with you. If you haven’t asked them the right questions, you’re not making the most informed decisions about any marketing you invest in.
- You don’t track or measure anything. If you’re paying for PPC, SEM, advertising or any other marketing tactic without testing, tracking and measuring you’re shooting yourself in the foot and most likely, losing lots of money. How can you know what’s most effective and what’s a waste of money if you don’t test and measure?
- You rely on sales people to guide your marketing decisions. Do you really think your SEM company or local advertising rep is going to have your best interest in mind? Their job is to sell you their services. And while they want you to be successful with their product, chances are they aren’t going to tell you their product isn’t’ the best fit for you, even if it isn’t. In addition, most aren’t strategic marketing experts, so they can’t possibly guide you on the best overall strategy for your business.
- You have no Marketing Plan. It’s simple, without a plan you’re shooting at a moving target. Without a Marketing Plan you don’t have a marketing strategy and market research and analysis to make informed decisions. Without a Marketing Plan you probably don’t have clear goals or a strategy for achieving them. A Marketing Plan starts with asking the right questions, doing the right research, and laying the foundation for all future marketing decisions. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you have some data – sound logic behind your marketing decisions?
If you’re ready to take Marketing your small business seriously do the research and create a Marketing Plan. If you can’t do it yourself, a Marketing Consultant is an excellent investment. Sure, they aren’t cheap, but it’s worth it in the long run. How much money have you wasted over the years on the wrong marketing? Fortune Marketing helps our small business clients make more informed marketing decisions so they stop wasting money on marketing that sucks. Contact us for a complimentary 20-minute consultation.