7 Deadly Marketing Mistakes SMB’s Make

7 Deadly Marketing Mistakes SMB’s Make

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As an SMB or startup, you often don’t have the luxury of having a vast marketing budget. But that doesn’t mean that your marketing strategy should be haphazardly strung together.

Because you need to be prudent with your money and time, we understand that you don’t want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your marketing strategy. And you can still compete with the big boys if you just avoid these deadly marketing mistakes.

1.  Focusing too Much on the Features and Not the Benefit

The features and benefits of a product or service work well together. Features are the characteristics of said product or service while the benefits are the positive results of the features. For example, the feature of an iPad is that it can hold a ton of apps. The benefit is that you can use those apps to improve your business and personal life.

The key when marketing your products or services is to balance how much you focus on features and benefits. Features are fantastic. They’re snazzy and sound great in a soundbite or in a How-It-Works video. But the benefits allow you to emotionally connect with your consumers by solving a problem they may have. And that connection will push them to click, buy or share our product or service.

2. Not Putting Your Customers First

In the end, all that matters is that your customers are getting the value they need. Joey Coleman explains that you only have 100 days to make a customer happy.  100 days to turn them into fans. When looking at it this way, that’s three months. What are you doing today to make your customers raving fans?

Buffer is one of the great champions of catering to the customer, even going as far as having a customer happiness category on their blog.

And they don’t stop there either, they meticulously measure customer happiness and then post it on their blog for all to see. So not only do they care about the customer, they also care about being transparent. And that’s a big part of why they are so successful today.

3. Not Having an Excellent Mobile Experience

Face it, 28% of website traffic comes from mobile devices and that number is increasing every year. That means that if your mobile experience is lacking, you are losing potential customers right now. Those days of paying little to no attention to the user’s mobile experience are over.

Since so many people are accessing your company’s site through their smartphones and tablets, you need to make the mobile experience pleasurable. This often means simple designs, easy-to-read fonts and no flash. Here are some more tips to improve your site’s mobile experience.

4. Forgetting About Networking (And Networking Etiquette)

Living in the age where marketing efforts are often concentrated solely on online presence, it is easy to forget to cultivate your offline presence too. And yes that does mean lint rolling that business casual outfit and networking.

Networking can be a refreshing activity, a break from being hunched over a laptop or tablet, eyes red from poring at a bright screen for hours at a time. Networking is only a drain if you treat it as such. But we understand that it is not a skill that comes easily. Our advice: Just be a human.

5. Being Inconsistent

Whether it is your blog or social media presence, success comes from consistency. According to Eric V. Holtzclaw, there are 5 benefits to being consistent in business. Consistency:
(1) allows for measurement
(2) creates accountability
(3) establishes your reputation
(4) makes you relevant, and
(5) maintains your message

If you can’t measure your growth and/or setbacks, your business will remain stagnant. And without reputation, relevancy, and a focused message, you’ll have a weak business foundation and any possible company growth will be stifled.

6.  Not Measuring Success and Creating Obtainable Goals

Ambition is an amazing thing except when it comes to goal-planning. It’s great that you want increase user conversion by 150% in the next month. But when it comes to your marketing strategy, it’s better to be more realistic.

Sometimes you need to confine your lofty dreams to your vision board. Because 1) lofty goals are difficult (and stressful) to plan for and 2) when they aren’t met, the disappointment can prevent you from moving forward. Instead opt for smaller and more attainable goals. It’s all about the baby steps.

But it’s hard to plan for the future if you have no idea what worked in the past. There’s a saying: “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” And while we don’t think that quote was meant to endorse the need for measuring web traffic and the like, we think it fits.

Without measuring tools, it’s hard to ascertain the size of your success for future comparisons. A lack of measurement puts your entire strategy into chaos because you’re not sure which marketing stunts worked (and when they worked) and which deserves their own epic fail meme.

And since we’re in a quoting mood, Socrates said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” We say the unmeasured marketing strategy is not worth implementing.

7. Failing to Consistently Build a Mailing List

Before Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, there was email. And when those aforementioned platforms are replaced by newer versions of themselves, email will still be around. Email’s longevity makes it a great marketing tool, but there are other advantages to building a mailing list.

Email allows for a deeper relationship with your consumer. When someone signs up for your mailing list, that already signifies their deep interest in what you have to offer.

This means they are more likely to buy or share your products and service. And because you don’t have to deal with ranking systems, your interaction with the consumer is personal and more one-on-one. But like everything else, if you’re not consistent with your mailing list you won’t get results.

What mistakes have you made in your startup or SMB? Share with us in the comments below or tweet at us @onboardly.

What do you think?

2 Comments
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The first point actually answers customers question about any offer: “What is there for me?”. The features can be generic coupled to the fact that some may not know how a feature can help them.

When a benefit is mentioned with some potential customers in mind, the latter can easily decide whether the product is a perfect suit for them.

Satisfaction seamlessly follows when the product is used. When you have products that over delivered, the main thing you need is the first sale to win a customer (though the most difficult).

Thanks for sharing

Regarding point #7 and mailing lists. What are your thoughts on “buying” mailing lists? Do you think this is too old school or simply not worth it, or is it a matter of better list quality?

Growing your own organically is clearly the best option, but do you think buying lists still have a place in terms of getting a head start?


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