Do-It-Yourself Marketing for Small Companies is Risky Business
They know they need to get the word out and promote their products and services. In fact, what keeps 76% small business owners up at night is “how to attract new customers,” based on a 2012 survey by Constant Contact.
Owners often don’t know where to start because they don’t know the basics of a good website, social media, blogging or search engine optimization. That’s probably why three in ten small businesses still do not have websites (Ad-ology research). The reality is that, unless you have a large staff that can help you tackle all of the important areas of marketing effectively, trying to do it all yourself is likely to be a waste of time and money.
Here are the reasons why most small business marketing efforts fail:
- Lack of clear objectives. If you don’t have a destination in mind, how will you know you’ve arrived? Decide whether you want to acquire new customers, generate leads or drive new revenue—whatever the goal, describe how you will know when your marketing is successful.
- No marketing strategy. This is how you plan to achieve the objectives above and the tactics you’ll use. Will you conduct email campaigns, go to trade shows, network with an industry association, sponsor race cars, etc.? Map it out with the steps you will take.
- Missing metrics and measurements. What results will justify the time, energy and expense of the marketing effort? The outcome you expect will vary based on the investment but, if you don’t determine this, you will never learn the best tactics for your business and might end up throwing money away.
- The wrong kind of help. if you have decided to get help, you might not have the basis to judge whether you hired the right provider. Use references and referrals at minimum and get clear commitments of deliverables.
- A do-it-yourself approach. Outside marketing help seems expensive when there are no guarantees. But well-defined programs should pay for themselves and generate profits.
Whether it is developing a strategy or implementing a campaign with copy and design, marketing may look from the outside like a game anyone can play. Marketing is perceived as fun and everyone wants to be involved. People know “good” creative when they see it and assume they can do it just as well.