If you are a new business garnering less than $5 million in sales, then you will probably be spending 7 to 8% of your gross revenue on marketing and advertising – as recommended by The U.S. Small Business Administration. Because your company is relatively new, marketing will certainly be a crucial ally in terms of building brand awareness and reaching and retaining your target audience. In order to make the most of your marketing spend, steer clear of the following mistakes, which can stand in the way of your profit goals and potentially stall your business in terms of growth.
Making Blind Decisions
Your marketing strategy should be based on a thorough analysis of what your customers need. Be very careful about changing things because just one client or colleague doesn’t like it. Every marketing decision – from branding right through to social media – should have a statistical why and wherefore and that means working hard to obtain crucial data. Your business should use more than one method to obtain information about your customers. These include but are not limited to transactional data (what products or services are clients interested in and what strategies have you used for these products?); Google Analytics (to understand click patterns and frequency, etc.); surveys and polls; and user-generated feedback that you compile from your social media sources. GAP learned the lesson when it comes to making changes that weren’t backed by statistics, when they changed their famous logo to a lackluster one that failed to resonate with its audience. The result? Two days later, the old logo was back!
Around 78% of people watch online videos on a weekly basis and 55% do so every day, according to HubSpot, so if you are working non-stop on your social media presence, don’t forget to include cracking video content. Your videos should be targeted at your market in a well-thought-out fashion. If you are in the luxury sector, for instance, you will need quality video recording equipment with optimal audio. If you are a young startup, then in-house videos are okay – but they will still need to look and sound good. Invest in the right professionals once your company can afford it. Sloppy editing and poor sound are two of the biggest turn-offs for savvy viewers.
Average smartphone rates have increased by 64% compared to the average desktop rates, according to socPub, so your website should be fully optimized. Mobile users (and this includes tablet users as well) should be able to navigate through your site quickly, finding content they need intuitively through optimal design. To optimize for mobile, make sure that all images and videos can be viewed without a hitch, provide readers with readable text they do not need to zoom, make sure loading speed is up to scratch, and generally ensure that users can get to where they want to on your site in a couple of clicks.
Forgetting Who You Are
Coke made the mistake of its life when it aimed to rival Pepsi’s sweeter formula with a brand new formula that essentially admitted that Pepsi had won the beverage war. When customers began to hoard old cans containing the original flavor and, of course, clamor about the big faux pas, the brand quickly returned to its original formula, finally understanding that tradition was very much the backbone of the Coca-Cola company’s success. It is certainly a competitive world out there and although keeping up to date with what your competitors are offering and their marketing strategies are key, it is vital to remember your target audience and to not try to be everything to everyone; loyalty to those who are backing your company is key.
To get your marketing strategy right, make decisions based on what your company stands for and stay true to your ethos, especially if the formula has been working thus far. Finally, present the best possible image of your company on desktop and mobile, investing in professionals that will relay the desired image of your company to your target audience.