Small business marketing – 3 things to avoid

By marketing in this particular case I am referring to promotion which is  just a small but highly visible part of marketing.

In a nutshell, promotion shouldn’t be about telling people what you do it is about engaging with them and telling them why they should engage with you.

From extensive work with businesses both large and small a common theme is  that they view promotion from inside the product or service whereas you really should try to view it from inside your target’s head.

The 3 most common and avoidable errors in promotional marketing are:


Describing your job:


If I want my books done or some tax advice I will look for an accountant. If I have a dripping pipe or a faulty boiler I will call a plumber.


Similarly, if you are a plumber or an accountant I will have broadly surmised what your job is, so giving me a list of things that plumbers or accountants do won’t engage me, nor will it really inform me. At worst it will bore me.


If, on the other hand you have a specialist area or are fundamentally different from other plumbers or accountants, that is what we need to be talking about. With specific relevance to me.


Meeting minimum expectations:


My minimum expectation from anyone I take on to do a job is that they will be reliable and trustworthy. By telling me that you meet that minimum expectation does little to reassure me and might even alarm me.

If you do social media the minimum expectation is that you will get my profile noticed, that you will get me followers or whatever.

What I really need to know is how that will help me? What is the outcome for me?


Giving too much information:


Too much information – even good information reduces the desire to engage. At the extreme, if you have answered all of my questions why do I need to call you?

Looking at a page full of script is off-putting, rather than getting your prospect to take it all in, there is a very real chance that they will take none of it in.

Ideally, you need to give me just enough information and incentive to take me to the next step.


In conclusion it pays to remember that however enthusiastic you are about your product or service – your audience almost certainly isn’t – what they are interested in is the outcome for them.


Keep it short & sweet!