3 Small Business Marketing Myths Debunked

Myth 1: Marketing is advertising.

Advertising is one part of marketing. It reinforces your marketing strategy.

Marketing is aligning a specific offer for a specific target group.
Advertising is about bringing attention to the offer.

While we’re here, within advertising alone, there are 3 channels: 

  • Awareness, which is how you would let your customers identify your product.
  • Consideration, which is how your advertisement be accepted by the audience.
  • Conversion, which is the result of the advertisement.  

Myth 2: Marketing is only for big businesses.

Some business thinks about marketing as “nice to have once we’re bigger.” It’s not. Marketing should be done once you started. It accelerates your mission. Marketing gives insight into other important areas of your business (customer experience, sales etc).

One good example is Knix. The founder’s secret to success lies partially in capitalizing on the needs of what she felt was an underserved community. She started small “on the floor of her living room.” She managed to create an apparel category that had never existed. Also, she created a brand and stories that really resonated.

Here are a few things to consider when marketing as a small business:

  • Educate your customers. Don’t assume they know how great what you offer is (might not even know they need it)
  • Avoid oversaturation. How are you making sure your prospects aren’t bypassing you?
  • The barrier to entry is low. For you, but also for competitors. How are you making sure your prospect chooses you and not a competitor?

“Your brand is now defined as much by what your customers say about their relationship with you as what you say about yourself.”

— Sheryl Pattek, Forrester Research in AdAge

Myth 3: Great products sell themselves.

A customer must find out about your great product, yes. But once they discover it, a lot has to happen — consider this process:

  1. They must feel the need for it in their own lives.
  2. They have to get to know you.
  3. They must trust you.
  4. Next, they must want your product.
  5. If they’re part of a team, they must convince their entire team to want it.
  6. If they don’t have authority to buy, they must convince the one who can.
  7. Finally, they have to take action and buy.

It takes a ton of marketing and ad budget to climb to the top. Look at the “mattress wars” with Endy, Casper, Dozy, and others. It was a race to the top in this competitive mattress market, and Endy got there (in Canada at least). Regardless of who’s the “greatest”, it’s all consistent branding and marketing here.

Article by April Hossain, Managing Director and Daniel Francavilla, Creative Director & Head of Strategy, at Now Creative Group.

Looking for support with your small business?

Now Creative Group specializes in supporting startups, businesses and non-profits through branding and strategy to marketing and content creation.

We presented on this very topic at the Rebel/Entrepreneur Meetup in Toronto. Find out about future events and join the discussion in their Facebook Group here.

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