Running a business is no easy feat and marketing is just one of the things that often takes a back seat to everyday tasks. The most common reactions that the team at Smart Monkey Marketing come across are "I don't know where to start or what to do" and "it is too expensive".
In this article, we aim to tackle the most common marketing misconceptions and mistakes made by small to medium sized businesses. If your business can relate to any of our top ten, then give us a call.
With hundreds of different marketing avenues to choose from, the prospect can sometimes be daunting - where do you start? If you are unsure where you are heading, a professional marketing agency can be the best port of call. Smart Monkey Marketing offer a free no-obligation consultation where we will help to identify what is the most beneficial route for you to follow, helping you to ensure your marketing investment generates real results.
The minute you start sending letters, invoices and talking to potential customers, you are marketing your business. Small businesses are the most vulnerable to changing environments and marketing can help to develop a solid and loyal customer base that will protect you when circumstances change. Not to mention of course growing your business so that you move into the medium category or higher - the world is your oyster!
Most business owners don't. You are good at what you do, but not necessarily at marketing yourself properly. Employing an agency means you have the marketing expertise at a fraction of the cost of employing in-house, and leaves you with valuable time to continue what you do best.
This is a dangerous trap to fall into. Things change rapidly and people will forget about you unless they are kept constantly reminded about what your business can offer them.
Yes and no. It is also about maintaining and developing relationships with existing customers, selling more to them, cross-selling other parts of your business and ensuring their loyalty. The Harvard Business Review contends that the cost of acquiring new customers is six times higher than that required to retain existing clients, so you can't afford not to keep your customers extra happy.
The first idea that pops into most business owners heads when starting marketing is "I need a brochure - everyone else has one so it must be the right thing to do". Not necessarily. There are lots of other options available that can be more effective and are often cheaper than producing brochure. It purely depends on what is right for your business.
There are many reasons for this - is your advert appealing to your target market? Is it in the right publications? Is the content engaging? Most importantly, advertising should always be backed up by other marketing activities. Advertising is a great way of raising awareness but people are unlikely to buy if it's the first they've heard of you.
In this day and age, most people will check out your Company and make their first impressions based on your website, so can you afford not to have a good web presence? However, a good website doesn't have to cost the earth. You would be surprised what you can get for your money these days. It doesn't have to be big, just professional.
Correct you can't measure PR 100%, but you can certainly gather enough information to get a good indication of how well it's working. For example, how much coverage you have gained, researching the target market before and after, and most simply, asking new enquiries where they heard of you. The industry view is that the value of PR is 2.5 times more than that of advertising - so it is definitely a route to consider.
Corporate image is not just about you, it's about every single person and every piece of communication that leaves your organisation. Are you sure you're portraying the right image for the type of customers you want to attract? For example, if your customers are high end prestige car drivers, you wouldn't use Barry's Backstreet Motors branding.
Overall, marketing should not be considered scary or too expensive. Any decent agency should be results driven to ensure that the benefits you receive far outweigh the investment cost. If you have any questions on any of the above points, please just get in touch.