Small businesses may seem to be likely casualties of the recession, but, according to a recent FedEx poll, their owners are remaining optimistic. In fact, 72% of the small business owners polled in the shipping giant’s Signs of the Times small business survey said they will be the driving force behind the U.S. economic recovery in 2010. Additionally, 42% of those polled said they were planning on spending more money on marketing and sales initiatives this year.
Since saving the nation’s economy is a tall, albeit admirable order, MainStreet thought we would help by pointing out the common ways in which small businesses mismanage their marketing money.
Spending the Entire Marketing Budget on Week One
More often than not, small businesses will pour tons of startup capital into their marketing campaigns at launch. While there’s logic to this (how will you attract customers if no one knows you’re out there?), business owners who spend their entire marketing budget on a launch set themselves up to fail in the long run. Why? Because marketing is a never-ending process. You can’t stop advertising once the money runs it. Well, you can, but that would be a waste of the capital you spent.
“People see and receive so much advertising that the one-time marketing tactic is no longer effective,” Peter Geisheker, CEO of The Geisheker Group Marketing firm, explains. “A prospective customer may need to see your advertisement seven to twelve times or more over a period of several months or even a year before they will buy from you.”
Additionally, once you get them in the door, you’ll have to work to keep them there. Take giant chains, like Wal-Mart or McDonald’s as examples, who have already established brand loyalty, but haven’t ceased all ad campaigns. They know that marketing is not a one-off; out of sight means out of mind. Of course, small businesses don’t generate the cash flow that giant corporations do (if they did, they would no longer be a small business, would they?). However, small establishments can afford protracted advertising. They just need to identify their target audience.