5 Small Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

5 Small Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Be sure to avoid these branding mistakes.As a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats: CEO, marketer, accountant, designer, writer, social media manager, producer, consultant, and occasionally receptionist. It’s a lot to maintain. You’re only one person. So things occasionally slip through the crack. But, one thing is certain, you can’t afford small business marketing mistakes.

You’re an expert at what you do, not at marketing.

And that’s okay. You don’t have to be. But, as a business owner, you can’t afford to make too many marketing mistakes.

To help you out, here are five marketing mistakes you need to look out for and avoid:

1. Not understanding your buyer(s).

Understanding your buyer goes beyond having a product or service that consumers or clients want. It’s about understanding their motivation and reason for purchasing that product or service.

Your buyer(s), most likely, all fall within the same realm of persona. It could be that they’re all moms looking for the perfect stroller or highchair. Maybe your buyer is a high-level business executive looking for a pen that won’t explode in their pocket while their private jet is 35,000 feet in the air.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, you need to understand your buyer in order to actually market to them. Not understanding your buyer is a common small business marketing mistake and it can hurt your sales process deeply.

2. Not segmenting your audience.

You keep checking your website analytics because you can’t believe how many people are actually coming to your site. You’re thrilled beyond belief. How’d you pull it off?

It’s exciting to get a lot of traffic, but are you getting the right traffic that will generate leads?

Remember when it comes to analytics, you have to look at things like conversion and bounce rates. Just because people are coming to your site doesn’t mean they’re finding what they need or even staying on your site for more than a few seconds.

If you’re targeting everyone, you’ll reach no one. Another common small business marketing mistake is not segmenting your audience so you can speak directly to the persona you’re trying to sell to.

From marketing materials to the information on your site, you need to be driving the right kind of traffic to the right pages. If your products or services solve the pain points of several different buyers, then segment the buyers, so they are only reading and viewing information that pertains to them.

3. Not understanding your value proposition.

Your business is unique. Even if there are a thousand other companies out there selling products or services similar to yours, they aren’t you.

You have a unique value proposition and you need to know what it is in order to market to your customers and clients. A small business marketing mistake you can make is not understanding your value proposition nor leveraging that proposition to propel your brand and business to the next level.

If your messaging is just like your competitors’, then potential leads have no way to distinguish you from a different brand. You’ll end up playing a pricing game and you won’t win that. Someone will always be willing to sell cheaper.

You need to win leads by showing them and telling them about what makes you different—better.

4. Not being consistent with your branding.

We say this all the time, but having a logo and a website does not make a brand. Your brand is so much more than that. It’s the essence-the spirit-behind your company. That essence is just represented by elements like your logo and website.

Knowing your brand is great, but being consistent with your branding is the key. For many small business owners trying to manage their own branding, this can be an easy mistake. Whether you just threw a sales flyer together or made a new business card, you changed your logo to fit the space or you used language that you wouldn’t normally use.

Sometimes you have to get things out the door in a hurry.

But, when your brand isn’t consistent, you can send the wrong message and create a disconnect between you and your potential clients.

5. Not having a strategic marketing plan.

Small business marketing comes down to having a strategic marketing plan. If you don’t have a plan, then you might as well be looking for something in the dark. Without a strategy behind your marketing efforts, you can easily end up working against yourself.

With a marketing plan in place, you create a powerful and memorable brand that generates leads and nurtures those leads through your sales funnel. Without a marketing plan, your efforts won’t have the same payoff.

Your small business marketing should be all about generating leads and closing deals. With the right tools and strategies in place, you should see results on your marketing investment. If you aren’t seeing those results, then it might be time to reevaluate your plan.


Iconic helps small businesses develop strategic marketing plans that build brand awareness, establish specific tactics, and provide the right materials.  

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Jason Hutcheson

A hard working, scrappy entrepreneur with a passion for helping others succeed by mixing sales technique, creative design, and digital marketing into a potent cocktail of awesome sauce.

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