Marketing is an often misunderstood field. This is true even among very skilled entrepreneurs who know exactly what marketing is. Let’s talk about some of the most common marketing misconceptions.
Advertising is Marketing
This is probably the biggest misconception because advertising has been the most widely known type of marketing over the years. Think about how hyped up many of us feel about Super Bowl commercials. Advertising is a type of promotion, which is one of the Ps of the marketing mix, but it does not encompass the entire field of marketing. It is a small slice of the much bigger marketing pie.
Too Expensive and a Waste of Money
While television commercials and popular magazine ads are extremely expensive, that does not mean that there are no cost-effective ways to market products or services. This is especially true now that everyone has access to paid online advertising, such as Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising, which cost a fraction of traditional advertising. YouTube ads are a great alternative to expensive television commercials. One of the best parts is that digital marketing allows advertisers to accurately track and analyze the results of their marketing efforts.
Start Small and Invest More Later
The safest approach to marketing is to spend a little bit of money and then make a larger investment if it is successful. This is a trap and a false safe zone. As some wise person once said, you get what you put in. If you invest a little, you are sure to get little in return, which will mislead you to believe that marketing is a waste of time and money. You will essentially shoot yourself in the foot by playing it safe and potentially forgo valuable opportunities. The best approach is to figure out how much you should spend on marketing and go all in, and see what your true marketing effort will produce. The bottom line is that you gotta risk it to get the biscuit.
Build It and They Will Come
Good products and services speak for themselves. Only mediocre products and services need marketing. The build it and they will come approach to business does not work. The truth is that most industries have many great products and services, which means that your exceptionally great products or service will most likely get lost in the clutter if you are not taking proactive steps to market it. Yes, there are exceptions to this, but they are super rare.
Going viral and organically attracting masses of customers is probably on the same level of ease as winning the lottery. Even if your product or service goes viral, you still need a marketing plan to maintain its popularity and demand in the long-run. Remember the Snuggie and its viral explosion?! Snuggies were everywhere, even on Saturday Night Live (SNL), but their manufacturer still continued to spend money on marketing to sustain their popularity and demand in the long-run. They did not solely rely on viral fame. Yahoo Finance reports that the Snuggie spends $34.8 million in advertising annually.
Only Focus on Getting New Customers
New customer acquisition is important, but it is also expensive. A more balanced approach would be to focus your marketing efforts on acquiring new customers and encouraging existing customers to continue to buy your products or services. You do not want to get stuck on a hamster wheel of constantly paying for new customers. It is expensive, exhausting and short-sighted. Making existing customers happy and convincing them to continue to make purchases is more likely to lead to long-term customer loyalty. That is unless you are a large organization like Amazon that is focused on gaining market share at the expense of being profitable.
But even a giant like Amazon cares a great deal about their existing customers because they know that returning customers are where the money is in the long run. According to a Business.com article, existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. Your best option is to try to retain as many existing customers and try to convince them to do repeat business with you, and also spend some money on expanding that customer base.
Don’t Let Marketing Happen to You
Marketing is non-negotiable for organizations of all sizes. It affects almost all aspects of business. Spending money on marketing is a must because you have to spend money to make money. Even if you do not have a marketing budget or plan, chances are you are probably engaged in some form of marketing. Since you are already engaged in or with marketing, you might as well do it right and create a marketing strategy to make sure that you get the most out of your marketing efforts. Take a more proactive approach and be the main driver of your marketing efforts. Take the bull by the horn and make things happen.