Recently I met with a small group of business owners and asked them their biggest marketing challenges. Here are the 5 things they shared with me. I’ll also provide a tip on ways to overcome each challenge.
1. Spending Money on advertising that doesn’t get a good return
This was probably the biggest concern and I hear this frequently from owners of small businesses. You need to make sure your advertising dollars are getting the return that you need! There are two key things to get good results: Be strategic and write good copy!
If you don’t write good copy you will not get the action or result that you want from the potential customer. And if you’re not strategic, well, you can waste a lot of money here!
So make sure you think about your advertising strategy and try to be very strategic. Then take the time to write good copy. These are two things that a good business coach can help you do as well.
2. Partnerships that take time and resources but don’t pay off
Many times we are asked to provide sponsorships or services or referrals with the promise or expectation that we will get business in return. These “partnerships” can actually be very costly not only in money but in time! So what do you do?
My suggestion here is to be clear upfront about expectations and speak candidly about how the “mutual benefit” will happen. If it is not mutually beneficial it is not sustainable, so both parties have to be committed to that end. Communicate clearly and openly at the beginning. Then track and measure everything while continuing to communicate along the way.
If the day comes that this partnership is no longer (or maybe has never been) mutually beneficial simply acknowledge that, wish each other well, and move on as friends.
3. Keeping customers engaged
Depending on your particular business, this can be a big challenge. If you sell infrequently to your customers (e.g. realtors, car sales, equipment, insurance, etc.) you will especially want to maintain those important relationships so you are not forgotten.
Two ways that most of us can grow our businesses is by helping our customers increase the frequency of their purchases, or by helping them increase the size of their purchases. However, to do this we must keep our customers engaged!
My favorite strategies for keeping customers engaged are:
- E-newsletters that offer real value
- Regular customer appreciation events
- Membership type programs
- Periodic personal contacts (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
- Social media
- Annual client appreciation events
4. Educating customers on all that we offer
It is very important to market to your existing customers. In doing so you will educate them on all the products and services you provide. Make marketing to your current and past customers your #1 priority!
Systematically educate them by sharing success stories, case studies, or information about your offerings. Also, be sure to train your employees to cross sell and up-sell!
5. Developing employees who are passionate about our product or services
Much like marketing to your customers, you will need to build your brand and your employees. Have daily huddles for 10 minutes to keep them focused and inspired. Have weekly meetings to recognize small wins and to educate them on how you help others solve problems. Be sure they KNOW the value your company offers.
Have monthly strategic meetings where you process and plan with the input you have solicited from your team. Finally, have special training times to deeply indoctrinate them into your systems, your culture, and your value to the customers you serve.
These big marketing challenges CAN be overcome but it will require discipline and intentionality. Create your plan and begin implementing that plan right away. If you need help in Sugar Land or the Houston area, contact us for a FREE 1-hour strategy session.
Sound off in the comments: What other marketing challenges do you face and how can you overcome them?