Business owners come to us all the time with their marketing horror stories, sometimes even insisting that marketing doesn’t work for small businesses. After hearing stories ranging from false guarantees to flat out having their money taken with nothing in return, it’s clear what small business owners are up against when it comes to finding effective marketing. Here are a few examples of what to look for so you prevent bad marketing from infiltrating your business.
False Guarantees – Even if you get the campaign right there is no guarantee that it will result in the right kind of business. The most famous example of this is the “We’ve Only Just Begun” campaign by Hal Riney for Crocker Bank in 1971. Crocker Bank wanted to attract younger customers and the campaign was extremely successful in doing so, but shortly after the campaign was discontinued when Crocker Bank realized that the large number of younger clients were not as profitable as first thought. The truth is you really don’t know what will happen until you try, but you can be sure of what will happen if you don’t.
Websites Without a Purpose – Your website should have a goal, whether it’s to sell products, advertise your newest services, get more customers to your door or simply get people to sign up for your newsletter, your website needs to serve a purpose that will help you take your business where you want to go. As you develop your website, think about the primary reaction you would like customers to take and always build towards that goal.
No Useable Insight – Having someone develop your marketing material or website is not the same as marketing your business. Marketing involves developing your message so that it’s speaks to your target demographic and makes them take action. You want to tell a story utilizing the advantages that each medium provide, whether it’s online or in print, to engage potential clients.
No Measurement of Results – With the tools available today it’s easy to track the results of your marketing efforts. Measuring the results of your campaigns help you refine your message and tactics over time to make sure your investing in the areas that are bringing you the most new business. Conversely, it can also indicate when changes are needed in order to keep things moving in the right direction.
Getting burned by bad marketing can happen to anyone and when it happens to you it can skew your perception of how marketing can truly help your business grow. When your investing in your website and marketing efforts make sure you’re taking full advantage of the tools available and marketing a message that resonates with your customers.
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