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  • Writer's pictureDiandre Myburgh

Three marketing mistakes your small business may be making

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Do you run a small business? If so, chances are that you’re also responsible for all the marketing activities within your business. From whipping up a super-smart website (optimized for search engines, of course) to sending out a snazzy monthly e-newsletter, to acquiring as many new customers as possible, there’s no shortage of tasks to do when it comes to trying to get the word out about your brand.

There’s also no doubt that, as a small business owner, you’ll come across very different marketing challenges in comparison to your counterparts working in large enterprises. You’re more than likely to be dealing with smaller budgets, smaller teams (you may even be operating solo), and less time for operational tasks such as administration and rigorous AB testing of campaigns. As a result, you’re more prone to making mistakes that are not only magnified in the context of a small business but can also lead to long-term consequences for your brand.

In this article, we outline 3 of the top mistakes that Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) marketers tend to make — and provide some practical tips to prevent you from making them.

1. Juggling too many things at once

If your business is currently in a growth phase, there’s a strong chance that your brand isn’t quite a popular household name yet. And in an effort to secure that all-important first sale, you try to do too many things in such a short amount of time: you may work on several different marketing messages at the same time, you might try to advertise across too many channels, or you may pull the plug on a particular campaign after not seeing results for a day. The result? The execution of your marketing strategy is poor, so you’re either not attracting any customers — or they’re simply turned off by your disjointed messaging.

Our tip: One reason why (SME) marketers try to do multiple things at once is because they find it hard to determine which channel to focus on and where to allocate resources. Consequently, they spread themselves thin across many areas. Finding your first new customers begins with firstly determining who your perfect customer actually is.

Knowing who your ideal customer is changes everything from your product offering, marketing strategy, value proposition, pricing, tone of voice, and much more. While it’s true that defining your ideal customer can often feel like you’re excluding other potential customers who might buy from you, focusing on the right customers during your business’ growth stage can bring much-needed clarity to your marketing efforts. Soon, you’ll be on your way to landing your first bunch of new customers.

2. Not generating enough quality leads

As an SME owner, you may have recently hired a dedicated sales or business development professional who is known to be a gun at converting leads to customers. But chances are that you don’t have a marketing specialist who can help you route enough valuable leads to sales in the first place; in fact, it’s you who ends up trying in vain to generate your own sales leads — and more often than not, these efforts don’t get you the results you want. Your website is either attracting little to no leads, or it’s generating a handful of leads, but your salesperson argues that those leads are of poor quality and therefore, useless.

Our tip: You or your marketing specialist must generate enough quality leads to keep sales happy. How do you qualify enough leads for sales? By starting with a lead qualification framework, which involves routing qualified leads to sales and unqualified leads to nurture (for later requalification), a step that many marketers often neglect. To make this seemingly daunting task easier, good marketing automation software can help you automate the process of qualifying and scoring leads, and sending hot leads through the sales funnels via a CRM such as Pipedrive or Salesforce.

To illustrate this example, let’s refer to the lead qualification journey below. Leads that come through to your website and engage with you via an Intercom chat conversation are automatically qualified via an Intercom tag. These qualified leads are then sent to your sales team via Pipedrive for easy follow-up. The result: you’re not spending time manually sorting out qualified and unqualified leads, and you don’t need to hear your salesperson complain about poor quality leads again.

3. Failing to acknowledge loyal customers

Acquiring new customers is great but it’s also essential to maintain the customers that you already have and make sure they’re happy — this is especially crucial if you’re an SME owner.

According to Adobe, returning and repeat customers comprise only 8% of visitors to your website, but they deliver a staggering 40% of your total revenue. Additionally, Invesp argues that the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60 to 70% while the probability of selling to a brand new customer is less than 20%. In short, investing in customer retention is the way to go if you want to see skyrocketing growth and a healthy boost in profits.

Our tip: If you want to boost your performance, spend more time retaining your valuable existing customers. Effective customer retention strategies include being proactive in providing superior customer support, delivering unparalleled customer experiences, and rewarding positive behavior through loyalty programs.

You should also consider reconnecting with disengaged customers as part of your customer retention strategy. Disengaged customers usually fall into 2 categories: the first set of customers likely disappeared after purchasing a single product while the second set spent a large amount of money on your products or services in the past, only to become disengaged recently for whatever reason. By using the power of marketing automation to win these customers back by sending offers or discounts triggered by an activity or event, you’ll be on your way to winning them back.

Success won’t happen overnight

Running an SME is challenging, but it will also be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. Now that you’re aware of the most common marketing mistakes that small businesses make (and how you can fix them), you’ll be better prepared to continue growing your business to success.

This article was originally published by

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