Marketing is an essential tool for any business that has a product or service to sell. The right marketing strategy can make the difference between a successful business and a failure, and it’s surprising how many businesses get it wrong. Find out more about the common marketing mistakes affecting startups and how you can avoid them below.
Not having a marketing plan
A marketing plan is an essential part of your business. Not only will it help you to launch your business to the right people, but it will help you to continue to draw customers in and let them know about new products and services. In simple terms, a marketing plan details what your objectives are for promotion and how you’re going to achieve them.
You can learn how to create the perfect marketing plan for your business without a marketing degree, and once your business is up and running, you might want to think about hiring an in-house marketing expert to take the reins and boost your business further.
Spending too much money too soon
It’s great that you have ambitions to promote your business to a wide audience, but is it the best move for your business financially? Rather than putting your eggs all in one basket, like a TV spot, you should aim to test out lower cost avenues first such as social media marketing or press advertisements that will help you test the water and find out where your audience is. There’s also the danger that a widespread ad could bring in more demand than you can cope with, so only opt for what you can manage during the early days of your marketing efforts.
As your business begins to take off you can increase your efforts, but it’s better to start off small and work your way up rather than investing money in one particular element and have it go to waste.
Using the wrong channels
For startups to work, you’re going to need to know who your target audience is and where you will find them. There are various detailed guides to finding your target social media audience, so there’s no excuse for using the wrong channels. Young people, for example, prefer Instagram and Snapchat, so by trying to sell to them through Twitter, you could be missing out on a vital part of your audience.
Social media trends change all the time, so as part of your new as an entrepreneur you should try to keep up with the latest developments and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Taking reputational risks
When designing a marketing campaign, most businesses aim to stand out from their competitors with a campaign that is eye-catching and memorable. Sometimes, for this to work, businesses will do something outrageous to get people talking. This might work for large corporations like Netflix, but if you push people too far early on you could end up failing before you start. Knowing how to use social media the right way from the outset will help you to avoid common pitfalls faced by new businesses.
There are many mistakes that businesses can make by posting an inappropriate tweet or being inadvertently offensive, so you should consider covering your back with cheap business insurance to protect your business if anything were to go wrong. Decide what kind of company you want to be and how you want people to see you as a way to inform all of your marketing activities.
Not measuring your results
The reach and analysis of your marketing efforts can give you a lot of insight into how your business is performing and how it is perceived. The amount that businesses are spending on digital advertising is increasing, and it’s important that you analyze your data carefully to see where your ROI is coming from to allow you to continue to make savvy marketing decisions. Regular evaluation of your marketing efforts will ensure that your investment continues to pay off, rather than spend money on what could be dead-ends.
It’s difficult to analyze the performance of your competitors’ marketing plans (unless they choose to publish them). Therefore, it’s important that you measure your own to see where your weaknesses are and to strengthen your overall efforts.
Effective marketing is vital to the success of your business, but could also signal its downfall if used poorly. Seek advice and educate yourself on the best marketing practices for your startup to help you stand the best chance of success.