The 2 Biggest Problems with Your Marketing (And How to Fix Them)

by Anthony Sills

Small business owners who struggle with marketing can improve their results by learning the top two reasons marketing efforts fail--and developing a plan to address both.

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The biggest problem most businesses have is marketing.

In fact, the top fear of small business owners is the inability to market effectively and their top pain point is poor sales. 66% say finding new customers is a major concern.

That’s no surprise considering 47% of small business owners handle marketing efforts on their own. When it comes to marketing, it's easy to get bogged down with various techniques and strategies.

But what do you do when your marketing initiatives aren't working as well as expected?

Instead of continuing to waste time and money on campaigns that aren’t paying off, it may be time to figure out how you can develop a sensible plan for making your marketing efforts work out right.

Want to know how?

Why Most Marketing Campaigns Fail Miserably

Before I jump into the details, let’s set the record straight.

Why do most marketing campaigns fail? Because promoting and selling products or services only works when people know, like, and trust you.

Far too many business owners are looking for the latest bright shiny object that will do the marketing for them. But if you want to improve your marketing and sales, you need people to know, like, and trust you to be successful.

The problem is…

  1. Obscurity--Your potential customers may not know who you are. Even if they do, they’re thinking about their hopes, dreams, and problems--not whatever you’re trying to sell. As long as you are unknown or unimportant in their eyes, your chances of making a sale are slim to none.
  2. Credibility-- The second reason marketing efforts fall flat is credibility, or rather, your lack of it. People have heard it all when it comes to marketing claims. The result? Most of us are skeptical when it comes to advertising. That’s a problem since nobody buys without belief.

So, how can you overcome these two marketing campaign killers? Now that you know the two reasons marketing efforts fail, you can adapt.

Rethink Your Approach to Marketing

How then should you approach your marketing? Here are some recommendations for tackling both problems.

Offer a guarantee--If you want to establish credibility and lower buyer resistance, reduce your customer’s risk. For example, offer a money back guarantee or a 30-day trial. A strong guarantee shows you stand behind your product or service. You can guarantee your product, your service, or your customer’s results.

Deliver social proof--Skeptical prospects will rarely accept your claims at face value. But they will listen to other people. So include proof elements in your marketing. Case studies, customer testimonials, study data from respected sources and statements that support your point from a major periodical can all be effective. After all, the best way to be credible is to prove that your product or service really works.

Use specific details--Another credibility booster is specificity. When people consider buying something, they want to learn as much as they can. The more detailed the information you provide, the more credible it is to your prospects.

Partner with a like-minded business--To get attention for your small business, consider working with a complementary business to market to your common prospects. The strategic partnership could give your marketing efforts more reach without more cost.

Content marketing--This is one of the most cost effective ways to solve both marketing problems. Effective content marketing can position you as a trusted resource for your ideal customer. It also helps you gain visibility. A win all the way around.

Hold a photo contest--You could give away a $50 gift card to one lucky winner. To enter, you’d have users take a picture using your product or service and share on social media. This way your customers become part of your marketing team and help get the word out about your business.

Key Takeaway

When you tackle obscurity and lack of credibility, your prospects will be more receptive to your marketing efforts.

It will take time and effort to adjust your marketing to achieve your business objectives. But when you do, positive results will soon follow.

© 2016 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

Anthony Sills is a direct-response copywriter and content strategist on a mission to eliminate boring marketing. He's written copy for eBay, SEMrush, IBM, American Express, InfusionSoft and many exciting startups. You can always reach Anthony via social media or email.

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