5 Costly Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

marketing mistakes

marketing plan templateAvoiding these marketing mistakes will help protect your small business brand and ensure you are spending your marketing budget wisely

Today, brand is everything. Customers have the brands they trust most and they have no problem giving their attention (and money) to them.

So, how do small businesses get their brand’s name out to the public and acquire loyal customers? The answer: marketing.

If you run a small business, you know how important marketing is. Each message you craft as a brand is some form of marketing and it’s crucial that small businesses know how to craft these messages properly.

Of all small businesses started in 2014, it’s estimated that 80% made it to year two. You want your business to be part of that 80% right? If so, you must avoid these five costly marketing mistakes.



Having No Plan

The first marketing mistake a small business can make is not having a plan at all. A business can have the best product in the world, but if there’s no plan to market it, then it simply won’t succeed. How are people going to know about an incredible product or brand if they don’t know it exists?

Creating a marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start the process by doing some research, and then build out a strategy based on those findings, one step at a time.

Targeting The Wrong Audience

Another big marketing mistake a small business can make is targeting the wrong audience. There’s nothing worse than crafting an incredible message about a product or brand and having it fall flat because it wasn’t delivered to the right audience.

This is why it’s important for small businesses to use data when crafting their marketing plans. Not only will they get the right message to the right people, but looking at data will help them make decisions that optimize their spending.

For example, let’s say you work in the marketing department at an ice cream supply store. Through data, you learn that June is the month in which the most ice cream is produced. As a marketer, you can use that data to make key marketing decisions that will help the business reach its goals.

Neglecting Your Online Presence

In the age of the internet, it’s highly likely that someone is going to find a small business online, whether it’s through a search engine or on social media.

This is why it’s crucial for small businesses to have the right online presence. A small business’s website should be well-designed and its social media accounts should be engaging. Its website and social media profiles should also share relevant content that its audience will care about.

Having a great online presence should be a pillar in your marketing strategy. If it isn’t, then you risk making a common marketing mistake and missing your chance to make a great first impression.

Not Saying What Makes Your Brand Different

In order to grab someone’s attention, you need to tell them why your brand stands out from the others.

Storytelling plays a crucial part in marketing, so if you aren’t telling your brand story, you’re wasting valuable marketing content. Part of your brand story is identifying what makes your brand stand out from others. If you own an Italian restaurant and only use recipes that were passed down in your family, highlight that as part of your brand story. Details like this can help draw in customers who appreciate and trust a family-focused business.

Is your customer service unmatched in your space? Do you have a product that can do something better, faster, or cheaper compared to something else? Find out what makes your brand or product different from the rest, and market it to the masses.

Ignoring What Your Competitors Are Doing

Piggybacking off of that last mistake, another costly marketing mistake small businesses make is ignoring what the competition is doing.

There’s a lot you can learn from monitoring your competition’s marketing tactics. You can see what’s working for them, and what isn’t. This will help you get a feel for what marketing strategies can work for you, too.

Also, if you notice your competition is not marketing to a specific audience well, you can craft a strategy that does cater to that audience. In that case, your competition’s loss is truly your gain.

When all is said and done, marketing plays a crucial part in a small business’s success story. That’s why it’s important for small businesses to come up with an organized and detailed strategy that will help the business meet its goals. By avoiding these costly mistakes, your small business will be one step closer to achieving major marketing success.




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Valerie M.

Valerie M. is a writer from Upstate New York. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The State University of New York at Fredonia in 2016 and is currently working at a digital marketing agency where she writes blog posts for a variety of small businesses all over the country. Valerie enjoys writing about music, animals, nature, and traveling.