Every year, businesses across the globe collectively lose billions of dollars in marketing. From small service based businesses to multi-national corporations, no company is immune to this.

Even if you assume that your company’s marketing strategy is generating results, there’s no way of knowing for sure until you dive into the finer details. For example, if you use a business dashboard, you can easily track everything from social media performance to website traffic.

Regardless of what’s happened in the past – good or bad – it’s critical to understand why businesses lose so much money on marketing. Here are three of the primary culprits:

1. No Strategy

Every business needs a marketing strategy. Even if you have a small marketing budget, a comprehensive plan is necessary if you want to stretch every dollar as far as possible.

For example, HubSpot reports “55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.”

If you fall into this group, a good portion of your marketing resources should go toward creating engaging blog content.

Beth Comstack, former vice chair of General Electric puts it best:

“Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.”

2. Afraid of Change

Go back in time 20 years and no one was talking about effective content and social media marketing. Instead, marketing was all about direct mail, promotional items, and billboards (among other strategies).

Companies that are afraid to change remain stuck in the past. And those that are stuck in the past will never take full advantage of the opportunities available to them.

Who knows what will happen in the years to come, but here’s something that will definitely hold true: the companies that are on the cutting edge of marketing are the ones in the best position to succeed.

3. Fail to Track Return on Investment

A common example is companies that spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on social media marketing without effectively tracking their ROI. They love connecting with their audience. They love sharing fresh content. They love the idea of becoming an influential brand.

But there’s something missing: return on investment.

The only thing that truly matters is your return on investment. If you’re not tracking this, there’s no way of knowing if your company’s marketing strategy is working or coming up short.

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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