5 Marketing Myths Holding Your Business Back

5 Marketing Myths Holding Your Business Back 

Thought Leadership

Lucy Bradley, Founder of Plug Communications, looks at incorrect assumptions and explains how small businesses can market themselves simply and cost-effectively.

As a small business, every dirham counts, and marketing is an area where costs can quickly add up. That’s why being savvy and choosing the most effective ways to reach potential customers is crucial. There’s so much noise out there regarding what works and what doesn’t that, unfortunately, some of the most impactful, cost-effective tactics have been sidelined because business owners don’t analyse what really works. They get swept away by the latest trends or spend too much time on areas that don’t get results. It’s easy to make excuses and I see people hide behind these common marketing myths all the time. But be careful; they will limit your growth in the long run.

Customers Don’t Want to Be Bothered by Emails 

Do not avoid emailing customers and prospects because you’re worried about irritating them. Yes, most of us ignore junk mail, but we take notice of messages from brands we love and whose content provides value. The best email campaigns are directly targeted at people who need what’s being offered, and are imaginative and informative. The problem is many companies are too lazy to create well-thought-out email campaigns. What’s more, they only reach out when they want to sell something or to wish you happy holidays once a year. Get specific about who you want to reach, make it clear how you can help them, and be consistent by staying in touch regularly.

The Bigger Your Audience, the More Business You Will Get 

This ties into the point above about being targeted. As a small business, the narrower your target market, the deeper the connection you will establish. It costs money to market, so stay focused and ensure it’s aimed at the right audience. A costly trap is buying lists of data, which are rarely relevant or up to date. Instead, take ownership of creating and maintaining your own database, incorporating existing customers, contacts from business cards, and any leads generated through the company website, collaborations, PR campaigns, newsletters, etc. Then, add your ideal clients. Be specific and find out actual names and numbers. Yes, cultivating your own database is time-consuming at first, but it’s incredibly valuable.

Social Media Is the Most Effective Way to Communicate

Because social media marketing has become so popular, it’s where the vast majority of time and money gets spent. However, one of the biggest problems is that you don’t get a clear picture of who sees your online content. You spend hours developing blogs and social posts, only to hope they get read by the right person rather than get buried by algorithms. Also, because the online audience is so vast, you likely use generic messaging that switches off your followers. Whereas, with email marketing, you get real stats on open rates and click-throughs. You also start to see the open rates increase the more consistent you become. Emailers are just one avenue of tactical marketing. Another very beneficial approach is sending select prospects something physical by post. That way, your message lands straight in someone’s lap and you’ll be remembered.

A Good Logo Lasts Forever 

Naturally, small business owners become very attached to their brand. You should be proud of what you’ve created and passionate about how it’s represented. That said, you also need to accept that change is inevitable if you want to keep up with your customers. Just as the market evolves, keep in mind that your brand image may need to evolve to stay memorable for all the right reasons. Design styles shift rapidly; your logo can soon look dated or fail to stand out, especially if you created it yourself to save money in the early days. Determine what works with your current logo and how best to enhance or update it without losing the essence of who you are as a company. Simple is usually best so that it’s versatile and recognisable.

If Customers Need You, They’ll Reach Out 

I’m always astounded by the assumption that customers will get in touch if they want what you offer. It’s a huge saturated market out there and being visible is a must. That means you need to be deliberate about capturing customers’ attention in the first place, and then proactive about following up. Don’t leave a hot lead hanging; nurture it by taking time to get to know the person, calling them, connecting on LinkedIn, and catching up for coffee. It usually takes two or three types of outreach to get a response. Schedule your follow-ups and put them on your mailing list. Even if they don’t bite straight away, they’ll know where to come knocking when they’re ready to move forward. 

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