No matter what industry you’re in, there’s no doubt that marketing will play a critical role in the growth of your business.
Word of mouth referrals can only take you so far, and even guerilla marketing efforts rarely offer longevity. To survive in a competitive business environment where half of all businesses are failing within five years, marketing needs to be an important part of your strategy.
However, many business owners lead their marketing efforts based on common myths and misconceptions about the field. The following are five myths that tend to mislead business owners and lead them astray:
5 Marketing Myths that tend to Mislead Business Owners
1) Marketing and Advertising Are interchangeable
The idea that marketing and advertising are interchangeable is one of the biggest misconceptions about the world of marketing. Although there are similarities between the two, they are very different.
Marketing is the set of activities that you put into motion to determine how you’ll communicate value to your target consumers. It encompasses the entire end to end process of understanding your customers, selling to them, and maintaining relationships with them.
Advertising, on the other hand, is a specific type of marketing intended to promote a product or service. This specific advertising move is most often based on the data and research collected during the marketing process. Marketing deals with exchanging value, while advertising calls attention to something specific.
2) You Can Handle Your Own SEO
Search engine optimization is a must when it comes to marketing. Take one look at some of the best SEO statistics and you’ll quickly see why it’s so impactful. Without SEO, it would be very difficult to appeal to search engines.
With the vast majority of consumer purchases starting with an online search, it’s critical that you prioritize your SEO efforts.
However, unless you have SEO experience, this is something you shouldn’t attempt to learn yourself. If you’re on a shoestring budget running a solo team, you can start by using a plugin like Yoast, which guides you through some of the more simple on-site SEO must-haves.
However, learning SEO is an entirely new job; Google changes its algorithms hundreds of times per year, and every strategy is different. Instead, work with an agency or reputable freelancer to help you.
3) A Marketing Plan Isn’t Necessary
Some business owners believe that they can execute marketing tactics without having to put together a concrete plan. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Ad hoc marketing doesn’t bode well when it comes to long-term strategies. Ad hoc marketing will quickly lead to inconsistent branding and messaging, making it difficult or even impossible for you to build a brand identity that sticks.
According to Exults.com, a marketing agency, even though strategy takes time, it’s extremely valuable and provides you with a roadmap that could mean the difference between success and failure.
Lastly, ad hoc marketing is likely to end up being more expensive than a traditional strategy, even if it takes longer than you’d like.
4) Your Market Includes Everyone
Like any business owner, you want to make money. And to the beginner, it might seem appealing to everyone is the best way to go.
After all, the more customers you reach, the more money you make. Right? The truth is, it’s not as clear cut. Reaching 1,000 customers and converting 10 isn’t the same as reaching 100 customers and converting 10.
First and foremost, you have to consider the cost of acquisition. Every customer costs money to acquire, and if you’re not targeting the right people, you’re wasting time and money.
Furthermore, the simple fact is, your business cannot and will not appeal to everyone. Even the biggest, most well-known corporations cannot appeal to everyone.
Instead of casting a large net, cast a smaller, more niche net that hones in on your core demographic. By focusing on a specific market, your budget and resources will thank you.
5) What Works for Another Company Will Work For You
It might be tempting to see one marketing strategy do very well for another and then strive to emulate it any way you can. But what works for someone else won’t always work for you.
Great marketing campaigns succeed because they are based on very specific pieces of research and effort put forth by their respective companies. Even when the company in question is very similar to yours, this doesn’t guarantee results.