Bad habits. From minor ones like biting your fingernails to more harmful ones like smoking, we all are guilty of falling into repetitive bad behavior.
It’s all part of the human experience.
Since businesses are run by humans, it stands to reason that your business may develop some bad habits of its own from time to time.
From a marketing perspective there are bad habits that can limit the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, therefore limiting the growth of your business.
Let’s examine what these bad habits are and how you might avoid them.
Siloing Your Marketing Efforts
What does it mean to silo your marketing efforts?
When you promote your business without taking into account what you are trying to accomplish as an organization you are siloing your marketing efforts; meaning you are acting like your marketing goals and organizational goals are independent of one another. This can result in your marketing efforts being ineffective or inefficient because you are not promoting the products and services that you should be promoting.
You want to focus your marketing efforts on the products and services most likely to result in the highest among of increased revenue for your organization. The only way to ensure you are doing this is to align your marketing and organizational goals.
By identifying your organizational goals, you are stating how you want your business to grow. Your marketing goals are how you’re going to achieve those goals. By combining the two, you are identifying the services/products that are most likely to grow your business in the manner you are looking for and figuring out how to get it in front of people who want it. When you understand that, you can set marketing goals that are meant to get you closer to your organizational objectives.
Making Your Marketing About You
Just about every marketer falls into this trap at some point. While the purpose of marketing is to attract prospective customers by telling the story of your business, you still must make your customers the star of the story.
Here is how you can do that:
- Address you customers’ pain points with helpful tips and resources without asking fir anything in return back
- Share your messaging on the marketing channels your potential customers use
- Encourage your customers to interact via social media, email, and reviews
- Show your followers respect by interacting on their posts and responding to their questions and comments
Successful marketing is a two-way street. If you make yourself and/or your business the star of your marketing, you are turning that two-way street into a one-way street. By making your customers the star you are creating the foundation for long-lasting trust and relationships with your target audience.
Focusing On Just the Sale
Yes, ultimately, your goal is to make a sale. However, you cannot make closing the sale the primary or only objective of your marketing. Your audience does not want to be peppered with constant messages of “BUY NOW” or “SALES ENDS SOON!”
What they want and need is a trusted resource they can turn to when they need help.
Think about your own experience.
If you needed an emergency plumber at 2AM, but all the person talked about was their fee while showing no interest in what your actual problem was, you might not be too excited to have them come out to your house. However, if the person took the time to understand your situation and maybe even suggest a temporary solution so you would not have to spend extra for off-hours work, you would feel a lot better about hiring this business.
The great thing about being a resource first is more often than not the sale comes naturally and much easier because you have put the work into establishing trust.
Working Harder, Not Smarter
This is a big one and one that we are guilty of ourselves. What we mean by working smarter is that you have to understand what resources you have at your disposal and determine the best way to use them.
We will give you two examples of where we failed to use our resources properly:
- Even though we pay for graphic designers for custom designs, there have been times when we did not get requests in on time, which resulted in delayed posting or having to do our own graphic design.
- There have been times when we did not communicate posting schedules for blogs, which resulted in blogs being posted unedited and with errors.
To correct these mistakes we carefully updated our monthly content procedures so all graphic design is done at the very beginning of the month and that all blogs are edited BEFORE they are published.
Whatever your process is, understanding what resources are available and how you will use them will make marketing your business much easier and effective.
Random Acts of Marketing
This last one is often a byproduct of siloing your marketing efforts. Random acts of marketing is just like it sounds. They are acts of marketing that have no rhyme or reason. They are emails sent here and there, social media messages with no purpose, or an outdated website.
Marketing your business takes a combination of time, effort, and (most likely) money. These happen to all be things that most small- and medium-sized business owners are consistently short on. Whatever you put towards marketing your business, you want to get the most from your investment.
The best way to do this is to market your business with intent. This means developing a strategy so you understand your goals, know who you are speaking to, where they get their information, and what forms of content are most likely to get them to act.
Falling into bad habits is easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult to get out of them. The first step is to identify what bad habits you are falling into, then devise a plan to correct the bad habit(s). More importantly, ask yourself if you need help finding your way out.