There is one thing all small business from around the world share and that is the fact that they operate with a really limited budget. With a very slim margin of error, the need to put every penny to good use is very obvious and even palpable.
When it comes to marketing, the need to be smart about one’s money is even more important. A small business can eek out some kind of an existence even without marketing and wasting money on it is pure madness.
Today, we will try and cover the most common ways in which small businesses waste money on marketing and how to avoid them.
Formulate a Clear Plan
There is nothing more wasteful than just jumping into marketing and start paying for services that make no sense for your business and even less sense in combination with each other. Without a properly thought-out marketing plan, it is near impossible to allocate your marketing budget in the right places.
This will include learning about your target audience, where these people are, how they can be best approached, what your competition is doing, which tactics and strategies are showing the best results at the moment, and much more.
Looking for an easy marketing plan template? Check out the marketing plan template builder.
Set Clearly Defined Goals
Among other things that you will decide on during formulating your marketing plan, you will also identify certain targets and goals that you wish your future marketing strategy to meet. Without identifying these clearly defined goals, you will easily fall into the trap of following the wrong metrics and being satisfied with results that seem great, but that do not affect your bottom line.
This is especially common with some more recent introductions to the world of marketing, such as social media marketing where vanity metrics are often mistaken for real, impactful results.
Keep Track of Everything
Once you start putting your marketing plan to action, it is absolutely crucial that you monitor everything that is happening. Because you have already set your goals, you will be able to check up on them in regular intervals and find out how your new marketing efforts are working towards these goals. Another great idea would also be to find out if your potential customers’ opinions of you have changed because of your new marketing efforts. The most cost-effective way to do this is to utilize paid survey services and have them do a thorough research for you.
If you have doubts that a certain strategy is working, give it some time, but if it keeps underperforming, cut it. This is how you stop wasting your money. Formulating a clear plan with defined goals allows you to give up on marketing tactics that do not yield results. This is where it all comes together and allows you to stop bleeding money on ineffective marketing.
Don’t Give In to Fads
There is a reason why some things become nothing more than fads, while certain practices become a regular part of the marketing arena. The reason why fads remain fads forever is that they do not really work in the long run and that the issues that are difficult to notice at first soon rear their head and show the ineffectuality of such practices.
A great example of this will turn out to be VR marketing which many people are lauding as the next big thing. It has been tried in the past. It does not work. The technology is still not there and due to certain biological reasons, it will always make people nauseous. And as we all know, it is difficult to make people buy your product when they are throwing up.
You should also never listen to people who claim that certain things are “dead”. They have done it with trade shows and email marketing, both of which still produce definite and trackable results.
In essence, it all comes down to common sense. Without clearly defined goals, it is impossible to know when you are wasting your money. Define your goals, see how your new marketing efforts are working and do not get bogged in tactics that don’t give results.
Also, try to avoid hype, both positive and negative.
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