Businesses face many challenges, and most of them are related to their core business offerings … and rightly so. However, no matter how great your product or service is, the fact remains that those who “have a need to know” need to be aware of what you offer. The creative team here at ImageWorks took a survey of business owners, reviewed past research, and came up with the following list of reasons why so many small and medium-size businesses fail at marketing:
- Underfunding. Let’s face it, marketing is one of the first things to get cut in a budget. Also, more than 75% of business owners admittedly have set marketing budgets using guesswork rather than by following industry recommendations. Marketing and its counterpart, branding, are vital components of the customer experience, and they’re the only way to make sure that customers can find you. For more information on setting a marketing budget, check out this article.
- Marketing tasks are assigned to internal staff. In an attempt to cut costs, most organizations try to tackle marketing using their internal resources. What actually happens is marketing as a whole suffers. It’s very difficult for employees to accomplish all the marketing tasks that are required for success, and even harder to do it at such a high level that goals and results are achieved as planned. For less than the cost of one employee, you can hire a professional agency to handle and manage all your marketing activities. See our list of top-performing marketing tactics here.
- Business chooses the wrong marketing tactics. There is a plethora of options to market your business, including SEO, email marketing, advertising, social media, content marketing, direct mail, alliances, PR, trade shows, and more. It’s hard to do them all, especially internally. Look for help from a professional marketing agency that can walk you through the options and determine what works best for your industry.
- No lead/prospect nurturing.Did you know that 93% of customers do NOT have a “buy now” mentality? Ninety-three percent are passive! They are just looking, gathering intel, considering changing vendors, etc. This is why your brand experience is critical and nurturing your visitors is even more important. How is this done? Visitors can be retargeted using remarketing campaigns… and your visitors should be able to sign up to receive bite-sized pieces of information via email, reinforcing your value proposition, story, offerings, problems they face and solutions, testimonials, and more via drip campaigns. It’s a lot to ask a visitor to visit your site for an average of two minutes and come away with an immediate understanding of all you offer and why they need it. If this same content is distilled and shared over time, it is easier for a potential customer to see the value of what you offer and act on it. Remember, it takes an average of five to seven contacts to trigger an interaction.
- It’s put on the back burner.I have heard it 100 times. Our customers get it: They want marketing and they want a firm to hold them accountable and ensure that a strategy is in place, executed, and managed. But they don’t always do it. It’s put off until the next quarter or even for an entire year. I would say some of this delay is because of budget and some is due to a fear that they don’t have the resources in place. Bad excuses. A good marketing agency will make sure you have the resources and tap into your experts or industry experts to ensure information and content are accurate. Marketing’s #1 goal is to increase revenue, not waste money. It has been proven that companies committed to proper marketing budgets see a much bigger ROI and grow faster than companies that remain static and rely on word of mouth. So as we head into 2016, make a commitment to make it the year your business finally addresses your marketing challenges!