Marketing Myths You Should Ignore

Debra Murphy
Debra Murphy Marketing Coach & Advisor to Small Business Owners, Masterful Marketing

Posted on July 14th 2013

Marketing Myths You Should Ignore
10 Marketing Myths

 

As long as I have been in marketing, I’ve heard my share of excuses for why small businesses don’t invest in marketing. These marketing myths when constantly repeated, become reality.

Marketing Myths = Excuses

Small businesses have many opportunities to attract their ideal client if they put these marketing myths aside and create a practical marketing plan that will work for their business.

Myth 1: My target market is older, therefore social media won’t work

Fact: According to a late 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 52% of online boomers and 32% of online seniors are using social networking sites, the most popular being Facebook at 57% and 35% respectively. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect and build relationships with those who just may be waiting to find your business through social media.

Myth 2: A mobile website isn’t necessary for small businesses

Fact: If your website doesn’t support a mobile visitor, you will lose many opportunities to be seen by your ideal client. With the adoption of smartphones and tablets continuing to increase, a mobile responsive website and in general, mobile marketing is very important to small businesses, especially for businesses with a physical location. Responsive websites enable small businesses to deploy one website that responds to all devices, whether your visitor is on a browser, smartphone or tablet. This lowers your cost because you don’t need two websites and creates a better user experience for all users.

Myth 3: Email marketing is no longer effective

Fact: Building your own in-house email list and providing a focused and well executed email marketing campaign is still very effective, especially when integrated into your content marketing activities. Learn how to create and deliver quality subject lines, effective calls to action and niche specific content right to your prospects’ inbox. Email marketing can enhance your relationship with your subscribers and drive your revenue.

Myth 4: I have a logo therefore I have a brand

Fact: Logos are one component of a company brand identity, but your brand image is far more complex. Brand is the perception the world has of you. It communicates your personality and influences your prospects’ opinion of who you are and whether they want to do business with you. A brand is everything you are, the value you deliver and the total client experience. Every image you project needs to consistently reflect the personality of your business. Make sure your brand is consistently used across all of your social media sites and marketing activities.

Myth 5: My nephew can build my website

Fact: Your website is the foundation for all of your inbound marketing activities and it needs to be created as a marketing tool and not the technology project. You certainly can create a professional WordPress website by using a premium theme, adding your logo, determining your color palette and writing quality content. But understanding best practices around content organization and user experience is critical to making sure your visitors find what they are looking for. By all means, if you can technically create your own website, do so. But invest in a marketing person to critique the site layout, content organization, on-page optimization, your call to action and landing pages.

Myth 6: Great marketing works instantly

Fact: Although marketing creates visibility and some tactics can produce instant results, marketing is about sustained contact with your target audience to ensure they know who you are when they are about to buy. Content marketing is not instantaneous. In fact: “Days, weeks, or even months won’t produce results that you will be happy with. Be prepared to put in at least 1 solid year before you start seeing results from content marketing.” It takes time to create enough quality content your target needs to begin producing results. Marketing is an investment and like all good investments, they take time to achieve the greatest gains.

Myth 7: Messages need to be changed often, otherwise your marketing gets old

Fact: Consistency and repetition is marketing’s best friend. Just when you are bored to tears with your marketing message or marketing campaign is when your messages may resonate with your target audience. Changing your message, brand or marketing campaign for the sake of change is a waste.

Myth 8: Marketing is Advertising

Fact: Marketing is about educating your target market about your products and services and why they should buy from you. The medium you use to communicate these messages to your target market could include advertising, but for most small businesses, the cost of traditional advertising outweighs the value. Online advertising is more cost effective, but whether you use advertising in your marketing mix to reach your ideal client will be specific to your business.

Myth 9: Lower prices encourage more people to buy

Fact: If that were always true, no one would buy a BMW verses a Kia. Buyers have their own idea of what is valuable to them and many believe that “you get what you pay for”. That is why it is so important to target your product or service correctly so that you can provide the maximum value at the right price.

Myth 10: Inbound and social media marketing is free

Fact: Although it is true that you can create your web presence for little to no money, inbound and social media marketing do require extensive resources – people and time – to be successful. Inbound marketing requires the creation of quality, relevant content and being present on the social networking sites to build relationships. Blogging, monitoring your reputation, curating and sharing content, creating and optimizing your profiles, responding to posts and comments all take time. And although inbound marketing is time consuming, it is worth every minute you put into it.

Summary

Marketing is about creating visibility for your business by educating your prospects and customers about you, your products and services, and how you can help them solve a problem. Everything you do to accomplish this for your company is a marketing activity. Marketing is truly an investment in time, creativity, resources and energy. The more you can invest the greater business success you will have.

What marketing myths have you heard that should be added to this list?

© Masterful Marketing. All Rights Reserved.

Debra Murphy

Debra Murphy

Marketing Coach & Advisor to Small Business Owners, Masterful Marketing

Debra Murphy is a Marketing Coach & Advisor to Small Business Owners

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Comments

Belinda Summers
Posted on July 15th 2013 at 4:47AM

Of all the things that you have listed, one myth that should be settled is the first one. Whether you like it or not, social media palys a big part in marketing, even if your business is only 1 day old or 10 years old. If you want to bring in more customers you need to engage in social media. It is one way of reaching more audience.

Debra Murphy
Posted on July 15th 2013 at 10:56PM

Hi Belinda,

Although you still need to understand your target market thoroughly, be sure not to make generalized assumptions about them based on demographics. I have many people say to me social media won't work because their target audience is in their (pick your age group). Stereotyping baby boomers and seniors won't help your marketing.

Thanks!

fiona hogan
Posted on July 15th 2013 at 12:46PM

There are numerous myths in the market that is affecting new comers and the marketers. Apart from this if we ignore such kind of myths then it will be good for both client and seo company. Many people think that Google+ is also a waste of time as a myth again. But recently I have been through a blog that has totally changed my mind and understood the worth. 

Debra Murphy
Posted on July 15th 2013 at 10:57PM

Yes Fiona - Google+ is a waste of time - I should have added that to the list. Can you spell Authorship? That alone is worth setting up a Google+ account. Then if you start to connect with people, all the better.

Thanks!

CK Wilde
Posted on July 15th 2013 at 4:44PM

Today I'll have the ham sandwich on rye... this small business only has $200 per month to invest in marketing but wants to try EVERYTHING. So they may start with blogging the first month. Then they want to switch to social media the next, email the next and pay per click ads the next. Without a consistent effort on any one marketing method, their efforts don't generate the results they expect.   They would be much better off if they invested some time in planning and chose one or two methods to focus on.

Debra Murphy
Posted on July 15th 2013 at 10:59PM

CK - that is a tough situation. Although you may not need to spend a lot of cash, you do need to plan your strategy and spend time working it for more than a month. It's fine to start small and expand but it's an additive process, not a replacement.

Thanks for commenting.

Seshu Madabushi
Posted on July 18th 2013 at 10:50PM

Great article and resonates will my experience. I would like to add one more myth that I come across - marketing budget is not SMBs and we will spend the money or will not spend the money for marketing purposes as I have lots of friends and they will get their friends and so on as I said in my blog - http://mkonnekt.com/smbmarketing/marketing-budget-a-must-for-all-small-b....

Debra Murphy
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 3:16PM

Seshu,

Yes, I agree! A small business absolutely needs a marketing budget, even if it is small. Knowing that you do have money to spend on various activities does help you make decisions on what to spend it on.

Great point!

 

 

AndresNicolas
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 12:27AM

SEO is dead, I just need more channels, My site is "just" 3 years old, ROI will be great when working with cheap agencies, India is agreat SEO and SEM option, I can do a great email design in a couple of hours,....

Debra Murphy
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 3:20PM

Andres,

Wow I guess there are a lot more myths to write about! SEO is dead is one that is being heard because of the Panda/Penguin releases of Google. Bad or unethical SEO is dead. Good SEO as part of your inbound marketing effort is very much alive.

Thanks for sharing!

Alesia Krush
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 7:00AM

Very good points, Debra. I loved your reasoning behind facts #7 and #8.

I've seen some people change their methods just because they didn't see immediate results, or for the sake of just changing their methods. It's not always a good idea.

 

 

 

Debra Murphy
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 3:21PM

Thanks Alesia,

Agreed. Folks get impatient when they aren't seeing the results they expect immediately. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to pace yourself to get the results you want.

gareth_pb
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 8:19AM

Great article; thanks. All of those points are sadly too familiar.

Myth 5 ... Websites should definitely be marketing led; the technology is really a means to an end.

Thinking you can create a professional site using off-the-shelf elements is a common mistake too though. If you take WordPress as an example, there are certainly some excellent themes and plugins available ... but you need to know what you're looking for, and to be able to make an informed choice between different options.

Just as you should be investing in a marketer to look at content and user behaviours, you should be engaging a technical specialist to look at performance, accessibility and similar. Ultimately if you're serious about creating a professional site then you need professional expertise at every level of the project.

Debra Murphy
Posted on July 19th 2013 at 3:13PM

Gareth,


I agree with you on also investing in someone who can handle the technical challenges. With Google putting more emphasis on page speed and quality user experience, you do need to ensure your website not only delivers the marketing aspects but also is technically solid as well.


Thanks for pointing that out!

Debra