The most common marketing mistake for small business owners?
It’s costing us millions of dollars in wasted marketing. And the truth is that this marketing mistake is something most of us don’t even think about: Fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-marketing.
Granted, that answer doesn’t help you if you don’t know what that is. But I get the feeling you’ve experienced it, and your gut is already telling you what it is. It’s when you’re throwing tons of different marketing ideas into implementation without slowing down to be sure that everything is working together.
It’s what happens when someone has a fantastic idea, tells you that you need to do XYZ, and then you implement it half way because you haven’t taken a step back to figure out how to make it successful, much less see if it will help your company grow.
The implementation often looks similar to social media posts going out only every few weeks, and ads that go out without contact information.
If you feel like I’m reading your mail or living your life, let me tell you: I’ve been there! I’ve done that. And I’ve got a solution for you.
The solution to the most common marketing mistake in small businesses:
Have A Plan: A Two Part Solution
Part 1: Create A Strategy
Marketing works best when everything works together, it’s one of the reasons that fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants marketing doesn’t work: your marketing is scattered and uncoordinated. So part 1 of the solution is to plan out your marketing. Create a marketing strategy that coordinates all of your different marketing assets.
The basis of a good marketing plan is that it is a strategy that plans out how each marketing asset works together in order to avoid the most common marketing mistake in small business.
Part 2: CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Time Blocking
This is time that you’ve blocked out to have a meeting with yourself regarding your marketing.
A Note on Time Blocking:
We’ve all been told time blocking is great, and we’ve all struggled to implement time blocking. So if you struggle with time blocking like I do, call it a meeting. This gives you a good reason to sit down because it’s a literal meeting on your calendar. With yourself, but a meeting nonetheless.
And here’s why you need to have this CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) meeting with yourself:
Most small business owners don’t have resources to hire a delegated Chief Marketing Officer. The CMO job often gets left by the wayside, which is how so many small business owners lose millions of dollars in marketing. But if you don’t have a designated CMO, you are the CMO.
Because without a CMO, marketing goes unchecked in a hundred different directions.
Here’s what it looks like
Set aside a recurring hour on your calendar where you can sit down to run a CMO meeting. Your CMO meeting will include 3 meeting items:
- Evaluate Current Activities - This is when you’ll look at everything you’re currently doing and determine if it’s working and if not, how to adjust your marketing to get results. Look at everything you have going, from Social Media posts to billboard ads, and take some time to determine if they are actually working for you.
- Evaluate Potential Activities - This is where you’ll look at all the suggestions/ideas for marketing that you’ve received/created over the last month. E. G., It’s the time for you to do some research and determine if you really need to be on TikTok like your intern said, or if your target market really isn’t there.
- Adjust - This is the action item part. You’ll take the last 10 minutes of your CMO Meeting and determine what activities need to happen in order to adjust your marketing according to what you’ve determined and discovered over the last 50 minutes. E. G., This is the time when you would tell your team that you need them to adjust this ad, or stop posting to this platform, or begin reaching out to specific journalists.
If you can begin to implement this 2-step solution, I can guarantee that you’ll see a major difference in your marketing!
Not only will you avoid the most common marketing mistake in small businesses, but you’ll begin to feel like you’re actually taking control of your marketing. You’ll start to feel some of the sweet relief of knowing exactly how things are working together and seeing results coming in.
About the Author:
Stephanie Scheller is a TED speaker, a two-time best-selling author and the founder of Grow Disrupt. In just under a decade, Stephanie has been behind the scenes with nearly 2500 small businesses. She has worked in groups and one-on-one to create total business transformation & help business owners live the life they got into business to create!