When it comes to marketing, there really are no right answers. From year to year, techniques change and what works best on target demographics is always in flux. Depending on the market your company or product exists in, your methods may also change greatly. It’s not enough just to run ads and simply have a website anymore. If you don’t understand what makes your company or brand unique, you will likely not achieve the best results. With the new decade upon us, it’s time to sit down and dispel a few common marketing misconceptions that still affect businesses to this day.
Common Marketing Misconceptions:
Marketing vs. Advertising
One of the most common marketing misconceptions is the use and understanding of marketing and advertising as separate tools. There are many people, both within and outside of the marketing industry, that think these two words hold the same meaning. While this isn’t entirely incorrect, this thinking can lead to some major marketing mistakes. To understand them individually, we must first define them.
Marketing is the earlier stage of the process of making a product or service known to the public, or at least its target audience. It is the umbrella term that defines preparing your product or service to sell. Advertising is a subsection of marketing. It is the portion that is focused on actively selling your product/service.
Now, the misconception many have is that you can skip the marketing process and jump straight into advertising. For example, say someone wants to sell a toy. There are many that skip all of the marketing research needed to make a good campaign. They jump straight into creating ads with no information on where they’re going to sell it, how much it will cost, or who they’re going to target. This may have worked well enough when the marketing business was more streamlined and your outlets were limited, but that isn’t the case anymore.
If you rush through the marketing process and just make an ad for TV for example, you are missing out on huge demographics and resources that can be reached through things like social media or other non-traditional methods.
To succeed at marketing, you need to understand all of the tools available to you. If you take your time and put in the work to do marketing research, you will be in a much better position to succeed with your campaign.
Money, Money, Money
Another one of the common marketing misconceptions is in regards to money. Many small businesses fear “wasting” money on marketing, but this is a terrible mindset to go into business with. When you refuse to spend money marketing your product or service, you are betraying your lack of confidence. If you aren’t willing to put money behind your work, what right do you have to ask others to do the same? One of the tough parts of running any sort of business is that you have to have enough faith in your product or service so that you will see some return on your investment.
In this same realm are people who aren’t patient with the marketing process. Many inexperienced in business expect an immediate return for any marketing efforts. If simply running a single ad were enough to create a successful business, then there wouldn’t be those who specialize at it. Marketing is a balancing act; one that will almost always take time to master. Your first ad will most likely not perform the way you want it to. This isn’t a bad thing though. Every campaign, even every ad you place, will tell you something about the market and your customers. Every single time you put out a new piece of content, you will learn how to make the next one better.
The largest takeaway when it comes to marketing and money is that you have to be patient. Growing a following takes time and effort. If you aren’t willing to put in that time, and if you aren’t confident enough to put your money behind your work, you are significantly less likely to succeed in the world of business. Be confident and determined and you’ll be able to dodge this particular marketing misconception.
Time & Talent
The final enormous marketing misconception is in regards to who you are relying on to help market your product or service. There is a common thought shared among those who are new to owning businesses. That thought is that they can just rely on friends, acquaintances, or even themselves to help out with marketing efforts. While this can work in the earliest stages, if you want to be taken seriously in the business world, you need the help of professionals.
How many times have you visited a mediocre website and it completely soured your opinion of the brand? The single first impression is all it takes sometimes and you’ve lost a customer. If you try and design your own website, your own logo, anything really, and you don’t have a background in graphic design or website creation, you will almost certainly have a product that customers won’t want to return to.
It might feel easier in the moment to just do it yourself or ask a friend who has a little experience to design something for you, but in the long run it will cost you much more business and money than you’re saving. Don’t be afraid of hiring professionals, it will more often than not be worth the investment.
Starting your own business, or elevating the one you currently run, can be a daunting task. It can easily feel like you against the world. That is the primary reason you’ll find so many people thinking they can do it all themselves for the lowest cost possible. This mindset is what almost all common marketing misconceptions come down to. You can’t be afraid to hire professionals to aid you along the way and you have to be willing to spend some money. If you go into the marketing and business world with little more than a positive attitude and an impatient mind, you’ll be out of business before you know it. Just remember to slow down, take a breath, and think through your strategy. After that, all it takes is determination, patience, and a good product to succeed.
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