I started this blog with a simple concept:
Marketing is not the same for small businesses as it is for large.
To support this discussion, I presented my top 10 list of small business marketing pitfalls:
- Misunderstanding the difference between marketing and sales
- Failing to use the existing staff (even if it’s just you) in the right roles
- Failing to seek (the right) outside help
- Not really understanding why you do what you do
- Failing to align marketing message and delivery
- Picking the wrong marketing tools for your business
- Failing to commit to your strategy
- Missing your opportunities to gather market research
- Gathering the wrong market research
- Failing to create clear expectations and hold marketing (and sales) accountable
If you have been following along (or at least have read through this list carefully), you might notice a very important point:
Most marketing problems are not isolated marketing problems. They are business problems.
Now, that is not to say that Marketing can’t lead the effort to solve these issues; but as a business owner or key executive, you need to recognize that they can’t do it alone. They need your active support — your sponsorship.
When you are small, and some days your business seems to hinge on the next sale, you might think that spending time on strategic “navel-gazing” is a waste of precious sales time. That would be a mistake. The whole point of my list of pitfalls is to drive an important point home:
Even small businesses have to spend time thinking strategically.
In fact, with their limited resources, it is even more important to the small business that the mission and strategy is understood (and it should be easier, since their are fewer layers in the organization and less attenuation). Spending some time up front to get your strategic ducks in a row will help you move faster going forward and (hopefully) prevent getting lost along the way.
So I encourage you to go back through my list, consider if you are caught in one of these pitfalls, and make it a new year’s resolution to do something about your “marketing problems.”