Marketing is an important investment, and, if done properly, can distinguish your company from its competitors. This is especially true in the small business market. Most business owners don’t know that the U.S Small Business Administration considers any business with less than 500 employees a small business. Here at Accounting Seed, some of our clients are in the small business range, which makes up 47.8% of the private workforce representing approximately 57.9 million people.
Marketing is very widespread and has many different channels. So, how do you know where to spend your money? How do you know if your efforts are even effective? Let’s take a look at the top marketing missteps for small business and analyze areas of proven marketing strategies.
Every successful business owner has invested in some form of marketing or advertising for their business. If you’re looking to start marketing or advertising, avoid wasting your money on these marketing tactics.
Treating Marketing as an Expense
An expense is something one buys and it depreciates over time. Marketing is more of an investment, which is something purchased that delivers value over a period of time. The main goal of marketing is to drive more conversions and keep customers coming back. Some other goals of marketing include: solidifying your reputation, establishing a unique business persona, generating interest in your brand, and distinguishing your brand.
If you run a small business, and things start to get tight, the last thing you want to cut out of your business is marketing. Marketing is the driving force every business needs to spur growth and drive new opportunities. Cutting marketing would be detrimental to your business when it generates so much for your company.
Not Developing a Plan or Budget
Failure to make a plan and develop an actual marketing budget is one of the worst things any business owner can do. According to this 2016 report on marketing trends, most B2B marketers said their effectiveness increased significantly when they had a documented marketing strategy. However, 40% of marketers were significantly less effective without a written marketing plan.
Create a marketing plan by addressing the financial costs of each marketing strategy. Small business owners should spend 9-11% of their total earnings on marketing. But, if you’re in the very beginnings of your business, you can always invest more to build brand awareness. Be sure to measure the return on investment of your overall marketing efforts, as well.
Targeting the Wrong Audience
Even if your marketing is amazing, if you’re targeting the wrong demographics, your message won’t be received and your business will waste money. Spend time understanding your audience and customer base. Map out and review your customer’s journey and their pain points. Why do they need your product or service? Marketing efforts should be tailored to meet your customer base. If you target the ideal buyer, your business will maximize their marketing budget by attracting the right customers and retaining those customers.
Not Analyzing Your Data or Pivoting Your Business
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to make many mistakes. You need to have the support of a real-time reporting tool. Analyzing your marketing metrics and pivoting your marketing strategies to reflect your data is crucial in maintaining growth. Your business needs to continue acquiring and discovering new areas of revenue.
It’s no secret, go where the money is. In order to maximize growth and reach business goals, your business must have a reporting tool capable of providing insight into your company’s finances.
Avoid Marketing Missteps by Investing in Online Accounting Software
The best way to figure out the positives and negatives of your marketing plan is to implement your company’s financials to your CRM. Run everything through one platform. This makes it easier for your team to make impactful decisions about your marketing plan.
If you look at how most successful businesses operate, they integrate everything from sales and marketing to accounting, through their CRM. This streamlines business processes and makes your entire business operation run more efficiently.
Contact us today to find out how Accounting Seed can save your company time, money, and improve efficiency with our easy to use, cloud-based accounting software.