Wanting to grow your small business online but are struggling to work out how to do effective marketing whilst staying profitable?
Some business coaches recommend allocating 5-10% of your monthly revenue to marketing, but how’s that work when your cash flow is up and down?
Let’s take a look at some of the key challenges small businesses face with marketing.
Challenge #1: Prioritisation
Are you clear on what activities to do, and in which order, to maximise return on investment (ROI)?
Should you be…
- Running FB ads,
- Creating a content strategy,
- Running webinars,
- Working on partnerships,
- Posting in FB groups,
- Building brand loyalty,
- Updating LinkedIn,
- Sharing videos,
- Building your list,
- Updating the blog,
- Implementing marketing automation,
- Delving into SEO,
- Investing in radio or TV spots,
- Creating landing pages,
- Building an online community,
- Re-purposing content, and…
- Everything else?!
Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? I don’t blame you if you are… it can be a totally frustrating mind mess!
So here’s the big question… Do you know WHAT to do, and WHEN (in which order), to get the biggest bang for your buck?
If your answer is “no”, then you need a plan.
Take Action: Create a clear marketing strategy. Create a 30-60-90-day promotion plan. Hire a marketing consultant or coach if you need someone with more experience to work through it with you.
Challenge #2: Lacking marketing expertise in-house
Have you got someone experienced to lead your marketing – to plan, execute and report on marketing campaigns so you can focus on your key strengths?
Can you afford NOT to hire someone, full-time or part-time, to help drive your marketing forward?
Take Action: Consider hiring a virtual Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or someone who can help lead your marketing efforts.
Challenge #3: Misalignment between marketing and sales
Are you missing revenue targets & growth opportunities because sales & marketing aren’t on the same page?
Does your CRM and customer support tools give valuable Intel to both sales and marketing teams? If they don’t, they should.
For instance, all questions and objections both pre-sales and post-sales should be shared with marketing and turned into valuable content for your website and education center.
If you want to see a fantastic example of this in practice, check out the Activecampaign learning center.
Take Action: Include both sales and marketing team members in ongoing weekly meetings to discuss goals, trends, feedback, and to collaborate on campaigns.
Challenge #4: Lack of systems and processes.
Are you able to produce consistent marketing, build brand awareness, capture & nurture leads?
Are you providing a memorable experience for users throughout the multiple touch-points of the customer value journey?
If not, then you might want to create a plan for building your marketing system. Then carve time in your weekly calendar, for you or someone on your team, to do it.
Take Action: Document your processes, performance measures, and results. That’s what systemising is all about.
Challenge #5: Insufficient data.
Can you truly understand what’s working and what’s not? Do you have the ability to make smarter data-driven business decisions in terms of allocation of resources and budget?
Take Action: Make metrics and measurement reporting a key practise in your business, and review how marketing is going on a weekly and monthly basis. Against the goals your sales and marketing team define.
Where to from here?
It can definitely be a frustrating and challenging ride to work out what marketing works for your business whilst still staying profitable.
What should you be investing in and when? How do you ensure that you’re not throwing money on advertising and marketing that won’t produce results?
I wish there was an easy answer, but the reality is that marketing requires testing. Often that means investing a combination of time, energy and money.
Having said that, there are specific actions you can take to address the specific challenges listed in this article.
Review the 5 challenges above, identify where you’re at and then follow the action step recommended.
It’s also worthwhile investing in a marketing advisor, business coach, or mastermind group to get an outside perspective and some guidance.
About the Author
Anfernee Chansamooth is a copywriter and content strategist helping up-and-coming influencers, thought leaders, and community builders to craft and tell stories that sell. He’s the Director at Simple Creative Marketing, and co-host of the Founders Connect podcast on iTunes.