As the new year begins, many experts come out with marketing predictions, marketing trends, and other suggestions of what you should do in the new year to improve your small business marketing. Hey, we did it too with our own article about marketing resolutions you should make in 2019. Reputable marketers always endeavor to provide helpful, useful information that their audience can use, but what about a list of things NOT to do?  We thought it was worth the effort to compile a list of these to help keep your marketing efforts on track. Avoid these common pitfalls in your marketing efforts, and you’ll see better results.

Don’t neglect to measure your marketing results

measure your marketingYes, we mention this often. Why?  Because it matters!  There are so many different types of marketing tactics a small business owner can do; some free (except for time) and some that come with a cost. If you have no idea what is working and what isn’t, how do you know what to continue doing, or even doubling up on, and what efforts to walk away from?  We do understand that there are some benefits of marketing that don’t have absolute measurements, such as brand awareness, but if you aren’t even measuring the basics of marketing you’re paying for and what you’re getting in return, you’ll never get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Don’t use a one size fits all approach when speaking to your target audience

You need to have a conversation with your audience and to do so effectively, you need to understand their needs and pain points. You also need to know where they go to consume information, and where your prospects go to find companies like yours but may not know you exist. That’s why many savvy marketers use some form of personas when creating their marketing message. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed the better.

Don’t forget to talk to your existing clients to get the inside scoop

According to an article in AMA’s Marketing Newsonly 42% of B2B content marketers say they have conversations with their customers as part of their audience research. Your current client base can give you some of the most helpful insights into becoming a better marketer, so use that resource!  Ask them why they decided to do business with you, and why they’ve stayed with you. Ask them what they perceive as your strengths or unique value proposition and how those helped to address their pain points. Then you can use that in your marketing message. That’s powerful stuff!

Don’t continue to market to your customers after they come onboard

Want to find the easiest way to grow your business revenue? Retain and upsell your existing client base. So many small businesses spend time, money and energy constantly chasing down new business, marketing to an unknown audience when they already have a captive audience right in front of them:  their existing customers! You should always be marketing to your customers. Not only could it result in more sales, it may also result in those customers referring other customers to you. Failing to continue marketing to your existing client base will short-change your overall marketing efforts.

Don’t neglect to align your sales and marketing message and efforts

align your sales and marketingYou’ve probably experienced it as a consumer. You hear a marketing message that resonates with you. You decide to reach out to a sales person and what?  It’s like you’re talking to an entirely different company!  Your small business needs to align the messaging from marketing with the messaging from sales. So many marketing dollars are wasted because of this disconnect. Sales can enlighten marketing on what resonated with prospects who bought. Marketing can work with sales to find out the best place to communicate with prospects. Fail to do this and you’ll leave a lot of potential business on the table.

There are many great, effective tactics to follow in your 2019 marketing efforts. Avoid these common pitfalls in your marketing efforts and you’ll see better results.

Patty Hughes
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