It can take more than just a good product to bring in customers. Being able to successfully market your business is essential to long-term sustainability, which is why the U.S. Small Business Administration has identified several ways that business owners fail in marketing to customers.

  1. No goal – What do you hope to accomplish with your marketing? Regardless of what type (digital, print, etc.), you need to set specific, measurable goals so that you’ll be better able to design successful marketing campaigns.
  2. Neglect current customers – In trying to attract new customers, many businesses fail to retain their existing ones. Customer acquisition can be more costly than customer retention, so it’s important to find a good balance between the two. Stay in touch with your existing customers and work to enhance their loyalty.
  3. No marketing plan – Marketing without a plan in place can be a waste of money. Know what marketing channels your desired customers use and develop your plan around those channels.
  4. Failure to maintain reputation – Word-of-mouth can be just as valuable as any marketing plan. Continue to monitor reviews sites like Yelp and social media platforms, so that you can effectively respond to positive and negative posts, comments, and reviews.
  5. Not asking for the sale – It is possible to be too focused on “selling” the customer that businesses forget to actually ask for the sale. Your marketing plan should have a call to action so that your customers know what to do, such as trying a new product, making an appointment, or visiting your website.
  6. Impatience with results – A successful marketing plan might not yield instant results. Many small business owners move from plan to plan without sticking with one marketing strategy long enough to see how it fully plays out.
  7. Don’t track results – You need to know if your marketing plan is working. Today’s digital marketing tools let you gather more data than ever before on how customers respond to your marketing messages. Use analytics tools to your advantage so you can fine-tune your marketing message.