When going into business, you’ll probably hear lots of claims, ideas and suggestions when it comes to marketing your business. But to be honest, there’s a lot of false information floating around out there, and it can be hard to tell the difference between good and bad advice.
To make sure you’re on the right path towards reaching your business goals with your marketing efforts, here are five common marketing myths debunked that you can cross off your list.
1. If You Build It, They Will Come
Too many business owners have the false notion that as long as their business, product or service exists, people will buy it! But doing great work or having an amazing product is only the first step towards business success. No matter how fabulous your product or service offering may be, if people don’t know about it, they won’t buy it – it’s that simple!
Marketing is all about telling people what you do. There are many ways you can do this – but no matter how you do it, you have to tell them!
Marketing has to be an essential element of your business strategy to achieve success. Simply opening your business doors and expecting clients to come to you just isn’t realistic. You need to get the word out there – firstly by generating awareness and then convincing them that what you’re offering is the best choice over the competition.
You may think people need your product, therefore they will buy it. But in most cases, people don’t realise they need it. You need to convince them! And how do you do that? By showing them how your product solves their problem or meets a need they have. When your marketing efforts are customer focused, the audience you are promoting to is more likely to realise the benefits and convert into customers.
Word of Warning: Starting and growing your business is hard work! No one told you it was going to be easy, and marketing is just another piece of the puzzle you have to keep ontop of to get your business to where you want it to be. That extra effort you put into marketing can really be the difference between going bust and achieving success.
2. Any Marketing is Better Than No Marketing
Although we say it is important to market your business, that doesn’t mean that any marketing is good marketing. Your hard-earned money is being spent on these promotions, so you want to make sure your advertising is effective and will provide a good return on investment. If you don’t put time and thought into your marketing strategy, you may as well throw that money away.
Think strategically about the type of people you want to target and the message you want to put out there. For example, a newspaper ad probably isn’t the right choice for a company who’s trying to market to a younger age bracket.
Developing a solid marketing strategy is vital to success.
Word of Warning: Rather than throwing your money into the wind on any old marketing campaign, research your target market, know your niche and stick with it throughout your entire campaign. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to attract and convert them!
3. Quantity is Better Than Quality
This statement can be debunked in two ways – both in the promotions you undertake as well as the product and service offerings you sell.
Some businesses think marketing is about being loud and putting your business out there as much as possible – however, you don’t want to overdo it!
If you oversaturate your audience with too many promotions, they may switch off, become disinterested or even view your brand in a more negative light. This is especially the case if your marketing materials are being pushed out to a broad, untargeted audience – most of whom have no interest in your product or service.
Don’t waste your time bombarding people with marketing materials they have no interest in.
Rather than pushing your marketing materials out to a broad audience, choose a refined and highly targeted audience instead who are more likely to pay attention to your promotions.
By having fewer promotions, you’ll also have more time to get the promotional messaging just right. Quality over quantity is about being authentic rather than tacky. So, take the opportunity to show who you are, what your business is about and why customers should choose you rather than pushing out a large quantity of generic marketing materials that could be associated with any business.
Depending on your business or industry, you may also want to consider cutting down on the number of products or services you offer. Customers often prefer a few options done well rather than a bunch of mediocre choices. High-end restaurants, for example, typically only have a few options on their menu for this very reason.
When there are multiple options available, many customers may have a hard time making a clear decision, which can result in procrastination and no decision being made. Focus on what you do best and don’t try to be everything to everyone all at once!
Word of Warning: So, at the end of the day focusing on quantity of marketing versus quality of marketing is like yelling in an already noisy room full of people. You will not be heard! There is always someone who can yell louder and eventually you are going to run out of energy and even hurt yourself. Focus on having conversations instead of making noise!
4. Marketing is the Same as Advertising
Many people get confused by this, but marketing and advertising are in fact two different things. Advertising is one of the tools that can be used as part of a larger marketing strategy and effort which involves buying space or time to relay a message, while marketing involves the systematic planning, implementation and control of business activities that facilitate an exchange between the business and its customers.
This false idea leads many business owners to think that marketing is expensive because many forms of advertising can be expensive.
But marketing doesn’t always have to include advertising.
Rather than running a TV, radio, newspaper or digital advertisement, you can also promote your business through other marketing efforts such as direct contact either over the phone, email or in person at a trade show. Generating leads in this way is also very cost-effective, proving that marketing doesn’t have to break the bank.
Word of Warning: If you focus too much on just advertising, you lose sight of the bigger picture! Marketing means so much more for your business – giving you broader control and a better overview of your commercial efforts and processes that ultimately help drive conversions.
5. Promotions Need to be Creative or Entertaining to Generate Sales
If you choose to have advertising or branding created through an advertising agency, many of these agencies will probably say that you need a creative or entertaining ad to make your business stand out from the crowd. While this may be the case for some clients and strategies, it’s not always the way to go for all businesses.
If ROI is important to you, promotions should focus on sales and results.
If you have a unique product or service with benefits that people would genuinely want to know about, all you really need to do in your advertising is sell your product! Be honest, outline the benefits and give your audience the facts.
But you’ve probably heard that creative and entertaining promotions cut through the clutter, are highly memorable and get lots of engagement. This is true in many cases, but if the promotion focuses too much on ‘standing out’, the message and the ultimate goal gets lost and the ad actually fails to sell your product or service.
Word of Warning: So, when coming up with the creative for your marketing campaign, don’t forget to keep your eyes on the prize – ROI. Think about your business and the industry you’re in and try developing practical promotions that generate desirability and motivate your audience to take action.
Get the Balance Right for Your Marketing
If you need guidance on your marketing efforts or you want help to achieve your broader business objectives, our business coaching at Keystone Executive Coaching is designed to help sole traders and business owners stimulate business growth.
So if you want to take your business to higher levels, work with us! By taking advantage of our dynamic approach to business coaching, you will get the help you need to get your business to where you want it to be.business success marketing marketing myths