Not Identifying a Marketing Plan
Many small businesses don’t make use of a proper marketing plan, seeing a structured plan as a “big business” practice. They instead choose to market their products and services on an intuitive, sometimes seat-of-the-pants basis. Even a simple plan can make a big difference:
- It forces you to identify the target market. A company’s best customers, and hopefully the ideal customer, should be in the target market.
- You get a higher return on investment (ROI). Every dollar will work harder when it is focused.
- It forces you to think about both short and long-term marketing strategies. Focusing only on the short term can be devastating to the future of the company.
- It provides a basis on which to evaluate a company against its industry or market in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- You can eliminate waste by building efficiency. Limited resources can be allocated to create the greatest return.
- It will help you to minimize risk, mistakes, and failures.
Being Unclear About What Makes Your Business Different
Your course is different from any other out there. You know what makes it unique and special, but do your customers? Differentiating yourself from the hundreds of other golf courses around is essential to effectively marketing your business. Start by identifying or creating a unique selling proposition that you can leverage in your marketing material. This is your chance to show your audience what it is that makes your different, and tell them why they should choose you!
Marketing to Everyone
Quality over quantity is especially important to small business owners with limited marketing budgets. Casting too wide of a net for customers is one of the most common ways small courses waste their marketing dollars. While it may be true that golf in general appeals to a broad audience, when it comes to marketing you need to narrow down your target to a recognizable group so you can use messaging and marketing approaches that reach them directly. If you don’t, you’ll end up spending money trying to reach customers that won’t convert. A well thought out and structured digital media campaign can help you identify and target very specific audiences based on who is most likely to end up booking.
Ignoring the Competition
Setting yourself apart from the competition is important, however there is a lot you can learn by keeping an eye on your biggest competitors. There are many tools available for competitor research, but a free and easy place to start is by conducting a Google search. See how where they are advertising. Who are they trying to reach? What features are they trying to highlight? Check out their social media profiles and look at how often they post and what content is popular. Once you have some research on-hand, conduct an analysis for each major competitor and then your own business to uncover some new marketing opportunities.
Fearing Social Media
Social media is an undeniably part of any good marketing plan in the age of digital marketing. It has quickly become one of the most affordable and effective tools for small businesses to focus their marketing dollars and see high returns. Millennials and older generations alike use social media for recommendations, suggestions and reviews from friends. Using well timed and informative posts can not only help create awareness with your followers, but it’s a chance for link building and calls to action. A properly planned and content rich social profile is invaluable to today’s small business owner.
Refusing to Try New Marketing Activities
We’re all guilty of falling into routines. Most small business owners are over-scheduled, often juggling multiple priorities at the same time, but digital marketing is a constantly evolving part of business today. New opportunities are being created this minute, and by ignoring the changes you run a very real risk of becoming complacent. Spend some time occasionally to see what opportunities are available to you, and identify any you may be missing out on. Don’t be afraid to step outside your normal comfort zone and experiment with some alternatives to your normal marketing strategies.
Now that you know some of the potential mistakes you can make, you can work on avoiding them. Be dynamic, know your audience, and understand your competition. Additionally, you can visit here for some additional tips and ideas for small businesses marketing.