13 Sep How To Suck At Small Business Marketing Strategy
There are a lot of tips and tricks on our blog (and a million other small business marketing blogs) that will help you get better at marketing strategy. Sometimes, it helps to look at it from the other end. So how do you know when you suck at marketing? Better yet, how do you identify competitors that suck at marketing so that you can attack, conquer, and divide up the spoils?
Here are a few sucky (sorry spell checkers, but “sucky” seems to fit) marketing strategy examples:
A competitor is not the lowest cost producer, but they compete solely on price. It’s a tricky economy. Sometimes you are forced to compete on price. Be careful, though. If your competitors can produce products or services at a lower cost, they always have the ability to undercut you. There is only ONE…I repeat, there is only ONE competitor that can compete SOLELY on price.
The company’s value proposition is “service”. Everyone’s value proposition is service. So I’m a customer. I call you and four of your competitors to pitch me. Which one of your competitors is going to tell me how bad their service is? We can’t stress this enough: service is why customers continue to buy. It is NOT why they choose to buy from you originally. Good service is an expectation, not a value proposition.
Word of mouth is your only form of lead generation. “I get all my leads from referrals.” That’s awesome. Truly. If you have sustained your business strictly off of referrals, great. Consider this though: you can’t control referrals. They could stop. Your referrals could run out of people to refer. Then what? Your business must have multiple lead generation streams as part of your marketing strategy. Referrals are the best one, but having a business’s future based completely off the goodwill of others is REALLY, REALLY scary.
You are engaging in mass media advertising on a shoestring budget. Mass media (TV, radio, large scale PPC) advertising has inherent inefficiencies. People tend to tune out noisy “interruption marketing”. It’s not a good idea to try these once and judge the effectiveness off of a single trial. The critical component of both are repeated impressions of the same message. If you can’t afford to use the tool correctly, it’s probably not advisable to use it at all. Pay per click ads we threw in. There are a lot of errant clicks on PPC ads. In fact, it was recently estimated that 50% of mobile ad clicks were done on accident. If your budget is not high enough to absorb the inefficiencies and still produce desired results, you are not in a good place.
Your website has no logical calls to action or lead generation structure. Years ago, “being on the web” was cool. In fact, at one point, if you were on the web you were cutting edge. Your website likely looked like a brochure that you might pickup from a trade show. It was all about you. It had lots of information about how you do things and how you are the right choice. It had lots of cool links where people could click to read even more about you written by you to entice people to call you. Brochure-style sites are dead. If you want to start generating sales leads on the web, you might want to stop talking about you and start talking about solving your visitors’ problems. Website design requires significant marketing strategy.
You ever uttered the phrase “our customers are not on social media”. If your client base includes any of the following: businesses, humans that are alive, or people with electricity, chances are, a significant number of current and POTENTIAL clients are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, or YouTube…or maybe all of them. 1.11 billion, 500 million, 225 million, 343 million, 49 million, and 1 billion (those are the number of subscribers each of the 5 have, respectively…probably not important). A social media marketing strategy is officially necessary.
Don’t worry if a couple of these hit a little too close to home. Identifying potential problems is the first step to recovery. If you found some potential problems around web marketing strategy, check out this cool, free e-book.