The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Peter Drucker
People fail at marketing for a variety of reasons. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive but here are the most common reasons I encounter:
- Never been trained in marketing
- Don’t understand the psychology of marketing
- Are not consistent in their marketing message
- Don’t ask for help because they don’t know who to trust
- Don’t want to do it for themselves
- Don’t know what works and do not want to spend the money
Let’s look briefly at each reason.
Never Been Trained in Marketing
Many of my clients have not been trained in marketing. They are engineers, cleaning companies, payroll specialists, merchant service providers or insurance specialist. They are experts in their field but not in communicating their value to others. The words they use reflect a lack of clarity in who they are and the value they provide. These small business owners are too close to see clearly their value. Because they are too close and cannot see themselves and their value as others see them, they talk in platitudes: many locations, peace of mind and financial security, without context.
Don’t understand the psychology of marketing
Marketing is nothing more then explaining what you do, why it is important and who should care. Always remember most people take action to avoid pain. Marketing is helping other understand how their life will be better when they buy your product, go to your restaurant, use your services.
Are not consistent in their marketing message
Marketing is about communicating your value proposition consistently. You cannot do a post on Facebook one time and expect to get results. One blog post won’t do it not will sending one postcard. It is about defining the buyers journey and walking with the prospect along the buyer’s journey.
Don’t ask for help because they don’t know who to trust
There are so many people who claim to be marketing experts that do not promote their product or service well. They love social media and expect others to see the same value. I can see why people are concerned about making a bad decision. I am appalled by some of the marketing messages that come across my desk by other marketers who want me to use their services.
Don’t want to do it for themselves
Many people know what to do and do not want to do it themselves. Dan Kennedy said it best, “do not outsource your marketing until you know what works. Otherwise, you are wasting money.” No one knows your business like you do. You may need some help with the message, strategy or tactics but you are the final decision-maker.
Don’t know what works and do not want to spend the money
There are so many choices a small business owner has when marketing his business. Ask yourself this question, “where does of my business come from today?” and do more of that. Don’t look for a social media expert, direct mail expert or SEO expert until you know where you should spend your time. After that continue to add one option until you know that works. Then consider outsourcing.