Another Marketing Mistake: Don’t Get Caught In The Hype!
November 18th 2022
If you are a business owner in Canada, there is a good chance you are already aware of the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) and may subscribe to their email newsletters or follow them on social media. As a small business we often find value in the articles they post, and their latest one titled “4 Online Marketing Mistakes Holding Your Business Back” is no exception. Our experience echoes all four of the points in this article. So much of it rings true and matches a lot of what we have seen over the 25 years we have been in the internet business.
After reading through that article, however, I think there needs to be an additional point added to the list. This fifth mistake is something that we see happening all the time which really gets in the way of meaningful progress, and often costs everyone a lot of wasted time and money. The mistake: applying market research and strategies designed for businesses that are dramatically larger or in a completely different market segment to your own business.
Scale Back: Your Target Audience Isn’t Engaged Yet
We see this a lot, and it is often accompanied by a lot of hype and overthinking. Whenever reading through marketing information or reading up on what other businesses did to succeed, it is important to keep in mind the scale of the business and the resources they had available. Many articles that share information and tips about digital marketing will not tell you that the strategies they suggest are actually designed for large companies. Make sure to keep a critical eye when using online resources, and think carefully about how those strategies would play out in your own business. It can be a huge waste of time and resources to apply to your brand new website the marketing strategies designed for high-budget websites that have hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. Your brand new website is unlikely to generate (or may not need) more than a few hundred visitors. A few hundred visitors isn't enough traffic to make high-budget decision with.
Avoid Making Important Decisions Based On Not Enough Traffic
An example of this is A/B testing on website forms. A/B testing is a great tool for determining what option works best for things like ecommerce checkout systems or which funnel flow leads to the highest conversions etc.When you already have hundreds or thousands of sales or conversions in a month, an A/B test can help you streamline your sales process. When your traffic and conversion levels are non-existent, a handful, or a few dozen, the sample size is likely far too small to give you any real insight into what is more effective. For the cost of doing the A/B test, the value received from other methods and strategies, like using ads and SEO focused content to build up your traffic levels, may be much higher. Just make sure to spend a bit of time testing your ecommerce or conversion process to make sure it’s reasonably easy, and that your development team is checking for errors and issues regularly.
For most businesses, remembering where you are and being realistic about where you’ll be in 6, 12, 24, or 36 months can help you direct your budget to areas that are most likely to help you grow. Be passionate, be optimistic, but don’t get caught up in the marketing hype!
For more related content, check out the Marketing Tips section of our blog!