How NOT to Sabotage Your Small Business Marketing Success

Wondering if a business person would in any way really sabotage his/her own success?  Of course that sounds impossible but the truth is, many are. While many small business owners think they are effectively marketing their business, the fact is they are cutting their own throat!

It doesn’t matter if as a small business entrepreneur you’re running ads that are pulling in leads/customers. You may even be a business blogger writing regular and impressive blog posts and you’re perceived as an expert in your field.  Yet if you’re failing in the following areas, you definitely may be sabotaging your own success because successful marketing goes beyond these things.

Small Business Marketing Tips

The following are a few ways small business owners unknowingly sabotage their own success.

1. No Marketing Plan 

There is a popular saying that those who fail to plan have already planned to fail. That indeed is the truth. If as a business person you have no marketing plan, no matter what you’re doing right now you’ve set in motion forces that will sabotage your marketing success. Of course you can market without a plan but a plan will help your focus your marketing efforts so that you can make the most of your marketing budget.  So if you don’t have a marketing plan right now make sure you create one.

2. No Written Goals

Just think about it for a moment, those marketing activities you’re engaged in right now do you have a specific objective you want to achieve with them? Are your goals written down? This is another area where many business entrepreneurs sabotage their marketing efforts. As a business person you need a clear vision and a target to aim for with every of your marketing activities. That’s the way of smart business owners. They have written goals and objectives for what they want to achieve with their business and for each of their marketing activities. What more, proofs abound of people who put their goals into writing having a higher success rate than those who do not.  A written marketing goal will help you determine how much of marketing you need thereby making things a lot more easier for you.

3. Short-Term Mental Attitude

Another way you can sabotage your marketing success as a business person is in your approach to what you’re doing. Are you consistent with your marketing efforts? Do you pull the plug too soon? Are you the reactive type who, though it may appear, is doing a lot of marketing on the surface is not doing anything consistently or long enough to make any impact?

You must understand that consistency is one virtue you must learn as a business person.  Running an ad or sending out your newsletter a few times and then giving up because you received no immediate results is worse than doing nothing at all.

You should know that marketing statistics indicates it takes somewhere between three and 10 exposures to a message for the average consumer to notice it and take action.  It therefore means that having a short-term attitude towards your marketing is actually detrimental as it’s quite possible your audience may only be warming up to your messages about the time you threw in the towel!

4. No Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Maybe placing this at the bottom of this list may give you the impression that you can really overlook this but that is indeed fallacy. In fact, this is probably the biggest culprit why many business owners sabotage their marketing efforts without even realizing it.

Why do you expect someone to buy your product or service instead of all the other products or services available to them?  Have you figured this out?

You should be able to figure out what is unique and better about your product or service, and then found a compelling way to communicate this in your marketing message. Business experts all agree that no matter how great a marketing plan may be it will be of no use if you have not clearly defined your USP.  Therefore marketing without a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will only be wasting your time and your money.

How to Banish Marketing Sabotage and Succeed With Your Business Promotions

1. Develop a marketing plan – Of course this is obvious from the foregoing. As a business person your number priority should be to develop a marketing plan every year.

2. Write objectives – Write at least one objective that states what results you would like to achieve with your business over the next year.  And, write at least one objective for every marketing activity you undertake, that states what results you would like to achieve from that activity over the next year.

3. Stay the course – Check in on your progress toward your objectives every three to six months, but give your plan a good nine to 12 months to work.

4. Determine your unique selling proposition and make sure it is represented clearly and in a compelling way in everything you do.

5. Don’t try to be “everything to everyone.”  Focus on a few specific benefits and a specific audience.

6. Track all of your marketing activities so you know exactly what is working and what is not working.

7. Don’t rely on one marketing activity. Employ a mix of several marketing activities to reach more people more times.

8. Create a system to help you stay on track with your marketing activities every month and to help you plan ahead for future activities.

9. Create a realistic budget based on a percentage of your projected revenue, or the dollars you have available for marketing and stick to it.  Marketing is an investment in your business. You have to spend enough to make progress but not more than your business can financially support.

10. Understand your environment – The economy, competition, the strength of your particular industry, your prospects’ situation.  You have to understand them all so you can create an effective plan to either overcome obstacles or take advantage of opportunities.

Take away: A marketing plan built on a clear unique selling proposition with the right objectives is necessary if you don’t want to sabotage your marketing success. A well thought out plan based on the guidelines above will ensure that your business stand a much greater chance of succeeding.  All of these activities are part of a good marketing plan. And no business that wants to succeed should be without one.

Over to you: Do you agree that business entrepreneurs need a well figured out marketing plan to succeed marketing their business online? Let’s have your take on this in your comments.

Why Email Marketing: 6 Reasons To Invest In Email Marketing In 2013!

Why Email Marketing still hold sway when many thougth otherwise

A few years ago many marketing pundits referred to email marketing as a dying internet marketing strategy. They predicted email marketing to fade out in a matter of years!

But it is surprising that we are now in 2013 and instead of fading out email marketing has remained a strong force in doing business online. In fact, it is now predicted to be one of the biggest online sales drivers.

The advent of social media marketing (another big one for building relationships online) could not in any way stop it. Bloggers who a few years ago considered it anathema have now become the biggest advocates of building email contact lists for relationship building and effective marketing!

Looking at all of these, the question one will want to ask is, why is email marketing so valuable in marketing online that it has defied every prediction and remained  a force to reckon with online?

Why, despite the increase of email spam (one of the biggest problems of email marketing), marketers have continued to levitate towards using email marketing for online businesses?

Why Email Marketing Has Defied The Pundits’ Word!

1.    Easier Leveraging Ability

Email marketing gives the easiest way to leverage on the power of the internet. I’m sure you know one of the reasons for using the internet for business is the ability to reach a large number of your target audience in a cost-effective, quick and easy way.

Now, email marketing gives you just that power. With email marketing you simply need to compose an email targeted at the reader and her needs, customize it with the necessary tags (first name or last name, etc), and then click the broadcast button to reach thousands of people instantly!

Nothing can be this easier and if you truly want to reach the millions of online buyers and prospects then making use of email is something you want to consider.

2.    Scalability

If you have been involved in an offline business you will understand that the more customers you have, the busier you become. However, in email marketing, it is much easier because regardless of the size of your mailing list, whether it is 100 or 10,000, all you need to do is click broadcast and everyone on the list gets notified! You don’t really need any extra effort to reach more prospects. Big or small, it all takes the same effort!

Why email marketing3.    Highly Targeted

Another reason why email marketing has remained highly effective at getting sales and therefore has refused to bow to the negative predictions is the fact that the recipients get a kind of “in your face” marketing promotion. With email, you are marketing directly to the customer through their PERSONAL mailbox. Not only will you grab their attention firmly, they will tend to respond with the right buyers mindset because they are marketed to directly, unlike other advertising where the buyer might not be in the frame of mind to buy things.

4.    Personal Marketing In Action

With autoresponders you can customize your email marketing message in such a way that it allows you to connect with the subscriber individually. This is really a big plus for email marketing because the more personalized your email, the better the result because it comes like a message from a friend.

5.    Automation Made Easy

There’s nothing that online marketers love more than the ability to automate things. Frankly! Just take a look around you. We want to automate our content creation. We want to automate traffic generation. Even social media interactions which are supposed to be interpersonal relationships are being automated!

Now, there is no other area where automation is really much easier and better than email marketing. With an autoresponder, you can time your emails to enable you build a really intimate relationship with every new opt-in subscriber! You can decide, for every new opt-in subscriber, what to send, when to send it to them and the frequency between each email.

6.    A Good Pre-Selling Strategy

Whatever you are selling online you know the importance of preselling, especially if you are an affiliate marketer.  With email you will not only be able to build a relationship with your subscribers but also presell them and lead them to your blog, sales letter or website (or affiliate product site as the case may be) to check out what you have to offer. Of course, with the email you are able to set them in the right frame of mind before they evaluate what you have to offer them.

You Need Email Marketing No Matter Your Online Business

Now, can you see why email marketing has remained central in marketing online? If you are not implementing email marketing in your online business, you’re definitely losing out. Whether you are a blogger or a web entrepreneur, one of the good decisions you can make for your business this year is to have a system to build an email list.

In subsequent posts I’ll be delving deeper into this subject. Some of the topics we’ll be dealing with will include how to set up your autoresponder to build fruitful relationships with your prospects and customers, the etiquette and effective strategies of email marketing in a socially connected internet and of course, how to integrate email into your blogging and social media marketing strategies.

I know you don’t want to miss any of these posts because the purpose is to help you boost your online profits. But you may not be able to follow these updates if you are not signed up for my free update newsletter. I therefore ask you get your free signature in the box below.

It’s Your Turn: That’s it from me for now. Share your thoughts and opinion on this subject in your comment below. Do you consider email marketing as ideal for bloggers? Do you think it is a good online marketing investment? Over to you!

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