Did you get pranked on April Fool’s Day? Even if you got through April 1 unscathed, you might still fall victim to some common marketing misconceptions. Don’t get fooled by these seven marketing myths.
Marketing Myth No. 1
If my product or service is good enough, I don’t need to market it — it will sell itself. According to the most recent Census, there are 27.9 million small businesses in the United States. That’s not even counting big businesses! With so much competition out there, marketing is essential to let prospective customers know your business exists. Every business needs marketing — that’s why big, recognizable brands like Disney, Apple, and Starbucks still advertise.
Marketing Myth No. 2
The more types of customers I target, the more I’ll sell. Marketing to a wide customer base may work for big companies with huge budgets. But even for these giants, it’s not as effective as it used to be. (Consider the struggles of department stores and mass-market retailers in recent years.) The more narrowly your small business can target its market, the better your results will be and the more customer loyalty you’ll build.
Marketing Myth No. 3
Good marketing will get results right away. Online marketing is more likely than traditional marketing methods to produce quick results. If someone clicks on your online ad, for example, you’ll know immediately. In general, however, most marketing methods take some time to pay off. For example, it will take a few months at minimum to see results from improving your website’s SEO or launching a content marketing campaign.
Marketing Myth No. 4
Marketing is a waste of money. Marketing is only a waste of money if you don’t do it wisely. Create a marketing plan and marketing budget to control your spending. Then monitor which marketing tactics get the best results. Once you know what’s working, you can dedicate more of your budget to the marketing methods that really pay off, and reduce spending on the rest.
Marketing Myth No. 5
The more money I spend on marketing, the more customers I’ll attract. Spending more on marketing will probably get you more leads—but leads aren’t the same as customers. When it comes to generating leads, focus on quality, not quantity, for best results. To do that, plan marketing that carefully targets your ideal customer. You’ll spend less but get more qualified leads — and make more sales.
Marketing Myth No. 6
Online marketing is all you need. Digital marketing has come to dominate the landscape — good news for small businesses, since it’s generally more affordable than traditional marketing methods like print or television advertising. But that doesn’t mean you should shut out traditional tactics altogether. A good marketing plan will incorporate both online and offline marketing to reach your target customers wherever they are.
Marketing Myth No. 7
If I use social media to market my business, I don’t need a website. Marketing and advertising on social media is a great way to build brand awareness. But the ultimate goal is to drive customers to your website and to your business. Without a website of your own, you’re putting all your eggs in the social media basket—and what happened with Facebook in March shows just how dangerous that is. What happens when a social network changes its algorithms or loses popularity? Having a business website gives you a place where you’re in control of the marketing message you deliver.