The Benefits Of Testing Your Internet Marketing Advertising

The internet is such a big place that many internet marketers do not where to start when it comes to advertising and promoting. So what they do is run a solo ad in a popular ezine. Or they buy traffic by the hit. After awhile it becomes a shotgun approach or throw it on the wall and see what sticks. This is a bad idea for many reasons. Let’s look at some of the benefits of testing the internet marketing advertising you do.

If you have a business that will benefit from traffic on the internet you are going to have to advertise. Unless you have an unlimited budget you will want to know what is working and and what is not working in your internet advertising.

One of the first ways can be as simple as asking ‘how did you hear about us?” You can add a survey form to you website and offer a reward for filling it out. If you capture names and email addresses to create a mailing list you can ask your list how they heard of you in the first email you send them. Knowing how people are finding you allows you to do more of that type of promotions and maybe cut back on something else that is not working.

Embedding code into your ads for the purpose of receiving feedback is also a great way to test the response to your Internet marketing advertising. Your ads can be coded so you receive feedback each time a user clicks through a particular advertisement. This is helpful in letting you know which of your ads is getting the most attention.

Another form of testing is to run 2 different ads at the same time in the same place and see which one pulls the best. You could try different headlines with different text in each ad. You can do this in an email campaign spread out 2 weeks a part for the same product. A simple change in a heading could produce significant results in the response your email gets.

Using good tracking software is important for testing. Your hosting company should provide you with statistics that are helpful as well. You could create 2 different web pages and advertise them separately and then view the stats provided you to see which page is pulling the best results. Tracking your campaigns is one of the huge benefits of Internet advertising. You can see almost immediately when a change you make in a marketing strategy is working. Not so in the old days of yellow page and direct mail campaigns which took longer to make changes or could not be done for a whole year.

Internet marketing offers you many advantages, but make sure you test to optimize your advertising and marketing budgets for the greatest results and profits.

20 Newsletters Every Marketer Needs To Stay Ahead Of The Curve

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

Humans without ambition – Goodbye and Goodluck!

I am a serious marketer and I want to make it big. 5 Years down the line, I want to groom myself into one of the biggest guys in digital marketing a.k.a. ‘The Wolf’. I restlessly ‘Ƨrawl’ the web for intelligent marketing blogs and consume knowledge liberally. I do not mind sharing my learnings with people who respect time and money.

Know the dynamics of the entire marketing funnel, like the back of your hand.

Read ahead. May the Force be with you.

1. NeilPatel.com

Specialization: Thought leadership

Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, three tools that nearly every SaaS marketer knows, as well as the founder of Quick Sprout, where he helps businesses drive more traffic and make more sales online. Neil also actively consults, invests, blogs and speaks all over the world; in short, he knows what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

Analytics: Whatever be the topic, the most striking feature of Neil Patel’s blogs is his love for analytics, which is so obvious in his posts. Neil primarily focuses on analytics to understand customer behaviour to improve conversion rates by tracking the right business metrics.

Actionable: As an entrepreneur, Neil is continuously experimenting and developing new and cutting edge Internet Marketing tactics, while working with some of the biggest brands in the world. All of this experience is reflected in his blog/newsletters. So what Neil offers in his blogs is practical marketing solutions rather than untested hypothesis.

This newsletter will give you practical advice on inbound marketing, It will give you data driven customer insights, it will help you leverage analytics to drive growth, it will guide you towards controlled automation and above all it will give a strong perspective to think about marketing in general. Do not miss out on this newsletter!

Most Shared Article in 2015: How To Use Growth Hacking To Attract and Retain Customers (1.4K Shares)

2. Search Engine Land

Specialization: SEO + SEM + Local Search Marketing

Search Engine Land is a news and information site covering search engine marketing, searching issues and the search engine industry. SearchCap is a daily email newsletter recap of search engine news. It provides a summary of what happened in search at the end of each business day. This includes all stories from Search Engine Land posted that day plus headlines from sources across the web.

SEM & SEO: Subscription to this newsletter will keep you updated on the latest developments in Google and Bing ads, whether they’re tweaking Product Listing Ads, adjusting Enhanced Campaigns, or changing the way ads display on various platforms. This newsletter will also keep you updated on the latest news or how-tos from best SEO practitioners and thought leaders..

Search Engine Land is launching a new industry awards program called “Landy Awards” that will recognize individuals, agencies, and internal marketing teams within the digital marketing community who have demonstrated excellence in executing organic and paid search marketing initiatives. And SEMPO Partners with Search Engine Land for the Landy Awards which will be held on September 30, 2015 in New York City.

The subscription will also keep you updated on the latest news about local search marketing, including tips to help small businesses, franchises and community locations be more visible in locally relevant search results.

Another cool feature about SEL is that they post search engine news stories throughout the day so that the users are informed the instant a new story appears. This is perfect for the content marketers who wants to keep up on everything as soon as it happen.

Most Shared Article in 2015: It’s Official: Google Says More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop (10.7K Shares)

3. Content Marketing Institute

Specialization: Content Marketing + Brand Marketing

Founded by Content Marketing Evangelist and author Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute, can be described as a blog for brand marketers. The blog and newsletter features some of the best guest bloggers and thought leaders in content marketing space. The newsletter is known for its quality original content.

The blog and newsletter features a post a day written by Pulizzi and other industry leaders who discuss everything related to content, strategy, and tips for hiring. There’s also a weekly round up of current events going on in content marketing, so that readers can learn about the kinds of content other people are putting out. This newsletter is the be-all end-all in content marketing, and a serious source of research and stats.

Resources: Content Marketing Institute also offers many free resources including blogs, webinars, and archived podcasts that you can use to build up your personal knowledge and expertise.

Subscription to this newsletter keeps you updated on one of the most authentic and authoritative opinions in content marketing space.

Most Shared Article in 2015: How to Write Content That Engages Mobile Readers (3.8K Shares)

4. MWWPR

Specialization: PR

What makes MWWPR an essential subscription for a marketing professional is their expertise across practice areas and disciplines and their experience in crafting solutions & strategies that make their clients more competitive.

Comprehensive Coverage: This is the only newsletter which covers the PR related exhaustively. It discusses everything from consumer lifestyle marketing to LGBT marketing, presenting left-brained technology with right-brained content for a well-rounded offering, you won’t find elsewhere.

Research: This newsletter is an authority on PR related Research, insights and strategy. It discusses several meaningful insights and practical ways to develop highly effective communications strategies, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative research.

Strategy: It helps you arrive at the strategy behind targeted communication plans and activating consumer behaviors vital to your business – product purchases, brand recommendations and long-term engagement of key stakeholders.

This newsletter will give you a practical understanding of building working relationships with media, analysts, and other influencers that drive the market conversations. It provides you with all the latest information and skills needed to work with influencers to create your own communities, do original research, events and build partnerships. As a marketing person you need to understand and manage PR, in order to move up the ranks, try MWPR, you will not be disappointed!

5. Marketing Land

Specialization: Digital marketing + Martech

Marketing Land is a news site covering internet marketing, social media, mobile marketing & more. This is a sister site of Search Engine Land. This newsletter keeps you abreast of the latest interactive marketing news, views and how-tos. Each email newsletter will round up everything that Marketing Land has published on the topic in the previous week, including links to news stories and columns by expert practitioners.

Very well classified: This newsletter covers a wide range of topics from Display to search, from mobile to analytics. The topics of the newsletter are very well classified and gives the user the choice to select the topics of his/her choice. This is one of the few big blogs/ newsletters to cover niche topics like Retail, Marketing industry, Martech etc. This is one of the reasons why you should subscribe to this newsletter.

Hottest news: Marketing Land’s newsletter covers the latest developments and techniques in the complex marketing ecosystem. This newsletter gives you the first mover advantage with the latest updates and lets you leverage the upcoming products & tools to your brand or client’s advantage.

This newsletter consistently comes up with fresh, original and shareable ideas and is the one-stop shop for digital retail news and stats, expert opinions, how-to guides and actionable insights. Consider this as your marketing newspaper and subscribe.

Most Shared Article in 2015: What The Unofficial Death Of Google+ Means For Marketing (7.2K Shares)

6. Adweek

Specialization: Brand Marketing

What is the must-read publication for all executives at the largest advertising agencies? I wouldn’t think twice before saying that the answer is AdWeek. A publication which covers strategy, data and branding tailored for CMOs and top marketing professionals. Adfreak, the official blog of Adweek, is an excellent repository for brand marketers and exclusively covers the best and worst of advertising, branding, designing and content writing.

Brand Marketing: Subscription to this newsletter would keep you updated on a wide range of topics related to branding and advertising. The topics covered are essentially at the intersection of advertising, media and technology.

Viral Content: AdFreak is a collaborative effort by AdWeek staffers to chronicle all the latest and greatest campaigns in the ad world. Unlike the straightforward style of AdWeek Magazine, AdFreak presents its contents in a comical, sarcastic manner mildly reminiscent of the great Defamer. One can’t be expected to keep up on all the latest ad campaigns, and that is where AdFreak excels.

Adfreak is a daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising media marketing and design and is a must-read news for marketing, agency, creative and advertising professionals.

Most Shared Article in 2015: What Is Branding? This Thought-Provoking Video Tells You in Just 2 Minutes (11.1K Shares)

7. Marketo

Specialization: Content Marketing Strategy and Marketing Automation

Marketo blog specializes in providing scalable marketing automation solutions. Although this is

targeted at enterprise level clients with large marketing/sales teams and large budgets this blog offers some really cool insights into a content marketing strategy that scales. Marketo blog offers loads of shareable content about marketing.

Now, moving the leads through the marketing funnel can be done faster by integrating ReadyTalk’s reliable webinar solution with Marketo

Marketing Automation: The Marketo blog is one of the most well-designed and thorough marketing sites out there. Marketo blog specializes in Marketing Automation, but is also an excellent source of content on categories such a s modern marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and social media, and every blog contains multiple images that complement the text. The content is fun to read, informative and educative at the same time.

Creative Content: Of all the blogs and newsletters discussed till now, marketo stands apart. They are creative in the way they present their content and their blogs have a viral appeal.

Automation and data are the two overriding themes of the Marketo blog. With a healthy emphasis on email, this blog gets at the heart of modern marketing. Automation will continue to be more important in marketing, so start digging in now.This newsletter is a must for all those who intend to scale their marketing efforts and i.e. practically every marketeer.

Most Shared Article in 2015: How to Integrate Social Media and Blogging from The Art of Social Media (2.9K Shares)

8. Unbounce

Specialization: Landing Page Management and Conversion Optimization

The Unbounce blog features tons of great scientific tips on building amazing web pages that are optimized to collect and convert leads.

Subscription to this newsletter gives you a very good analysis of different landing pages, it provides multiple examples of different landing pages and actionable information on what is good and what is worth testing/changing.

Data Driven Analysis: Unbounce presents content that is supported by scientific evidences and examples. It is all about conducting scientifically sound marketing experiments to build landing pages that convert. All of their posts provide a short critique after each example that can give you some A/B Testing ideas for your landing page.

Best Practices for design testing: For A/B testing, it’s often effective to start with starkly contrasting designs. Once one design wins out over the other, you can start to narrow down your tests with each iteration. This newsletter provides massive amount of useful information on best practices for designing tests.

Most Shared Article in 2015: 32 Ways to Squeeze Leads Out of Your Next Marketing Campaign (7K Shares)

9. Inbound.org

Specialization: Ultimate guide to growth hacking.

Absolutely. This community is full of awesome, friendly, knowledgeable people who legitimately want to help you. Their newsletter provides some of the best business/marketing advice can be learned from other founders.

Awesome community: Regardless of your current role/position you should always join a marketing growth hacking community. Any place where marketers, growth hackers, and founders congregate to discuss is where you need to be and there is no better place than inbound. This newsletter gives you a quick snapshot of the most popular discussions.

Traffic generation: The focus of this newsletter is a bit narrow, it specializes in growth hacking techniques particularly on how to get highly qualified prospects to your site.

Inbound is an amazing community of bloggers, marketers and enthusiasts passionate about non-paid channels like SEO, social media, content marketing, conversion rate optimization etc. Don’t think twice before subscribing to their newsletter.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Today, Facebook announced they’ll be adding a new feature to Messenger that allows you to send money (9K Shares)

10. Marketing Profs

Specialization: Marketing Education & Research

MarketingProfs is an online resource and community for marketing professionals. It provides its members with information via newsletters, blog posts, training and seminars. It is a multi-million dollar company today that serves a community of more than 492,000 entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and professional marketers at the world’s largest corporations. Their newsletter is reflective of all this knowledge and serves as a guide to practical marketing insights, lessons, perspectives, and know-hows.

Knowledge upgradation: It is essential for any marketer to keep abreast of the latest developments and updates in marketing and there is no better newsletter for this than Marketing profs. Marketing Profs is one of the best places for guest posting and naturally attracts good articles.

Wide Range of Topics: With 23 categories of content to choose from, you could spend hours a day reading MarketingProfs. And that doesn’t take into account the podcast, in-depth marketing guides and video tutorials.

This newsletter offers real-world education for modern marketers through training, best practices and research. A must subscription for all marketers.

Most Shared Article in 2015: 2015 Will Be the Year of Video Marketing (3.1K Shares)

11. Convince and Convert

Specialization: Content Marketing and Social Media

A Practical and actionable marketing blog. To the point, crisp and insightful. No wonder Convince and Convert is presently ranked as the #1 content marketing blog in the world, the #3 social media blog in the world, and the #18 overall marketing resource in the world. This is one of the best newsletters for B2B content marketing information.

Killer guest bloggers: The list starts with Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert and one of the most innovative thought leaders in this space, known for his consistent & quality content.

Case studies: Their newsletter and blog posts focus on case studies which will help you get better at social media and content marketing through audits, creation of strategic plans, setting up and configuring metrics and tracking.

Convince and Convert is an award-winning blog and comes out with a daily email newsletter called “Definitive”, and the weekly “Social Pros” podcast for social and content professionals. ‘Definitive’ is one of the most sort after newsletters in digital marketing space.

Convince and Convert also provides consultancy services and works with some of the biggest brands in the world. Their newsletter and blog is, therefore, reflective of their experience working for dozens of brands and agencies to bring best solutions to their social media, content marketing and digital marketing challenges.

All of this makes Convince and Convert, one of the best practical and actionable marketing newsletter. Do subscribe.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Why You Should Be Building Trust, Not Traffic (2.6K Shares)

12. Quick Sprout

Specialization: SEO + Link Building + Affiliate Marketing

The Quick Sprout newsletter, comes from one of the most popular thought leaders in Digital marketing Space, Neil Patel and is a must-subscribe for all business owners. If there is one reason for subscribing to Quick Sprout newsletter — that is to never miss a new post. Such is the importance of these posts. Every post is insightful and has practical applications.

Data driven Insights: The content of Quicksprout tends to revolve around entrepreneurial lessons related to online businesses. What makes this blog so special is that it is open about showing real data to validate the information they provide. Seeing real website traffic numbers, conversion rates and growth data is what makes this content so special.

Although Quicksprout specializes in SEO, it has a variety of articles on online marketing and some awesome social media marketing articles.

Awesome infographics: But what differentiates QuickSprout’s content from the rest of the content on the web is it’s use of infographics to explain data driven insights. Such insights help in explaining stuff real quick, this is probably what brings the newsletter it’s 35K subscribers!

Expertise: Neil Patel is an expert marketer and he puts out some killer blog posts that help his audience really get an in-depth grasp on topics like SEO and content marketing, usually a piece that is neglected by lots of ecommerce companies.

Subscribe to this newsletter before you miss out on another article!

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags (4.6K Shares)

13. Mashable

Specialization: Social Media + Tech + Business

If you are a marketing professional who wants to stay ahead of the curve, then you can’t miss out on the Mashable newsletter. Here’s why.

There are 3 key features which make Mashable newsletter indispensable and the reason this newsletter tops our list.

Wide range of categories: Mashable has mainstream audience spread across techies, marketers, business professionals, and casual social enthusiasts. So they make sure that every blog post has a broad appeal. Mashable newsletter keeps you updated on a wide range of related categories and gives you a good macro picture.

Fresh Content: Mashable always prefers to be in the first group for any piece of news. They consider second hand news to be completely unworthy of publication. Of all the things, they do not compromise on freshness of content!

Viral content: The Patented algorithms of Mashable ensure that you don’t miss out on any content that is going viral. This newsletter keeps you updated on the biggest stories before they become big.

For content marketers staying ahead of the curve means survival. Don’t miss out on this newsletter.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Facebook reaching out to users who might be suicidal (17.8K Shares)

14. Entrepreneur

Specialization: Entrepreneurship + Business

Alert: If you don’t subscribe to this newsletter, you will miss out on some really good quality content!

Entrepreneur magazine is known for its awesome content and amazing contributors. Their ability to attract highly skilled writers, thought leaders, and innovators is one of the reasons why they rank on this list.

Good Quality Content: Entrepreneur mag has a very targeted niche audience. This gives them an advantage to be highly selective about their writers and contributors. They know their audience really well and publish tailored quality content.

Targeted Content: Articles covered in this newsletter pertain more to the aspiring entrepreneurs and early stage ventures, focusing more on topics related to technology and growth strategies. This is especially useful for marketers interested in growth hacking and viral marketing.

Good Categorization: This newsletter clearly categorizes its content into specific topics and lets you choose from these topics. You could subscribe to all the topics or go for particular ones.

From Money & Finance to Growth & leadership, this newsletter covers everything related to entrepreneurship and is a must for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Most Shared Article in 2015: 10 Success Habits That Will Dramatically Improve Your Business (40.4K Shares)

15. Buffer

Specialization: Social Media + Content Marketing

Although the newsletter from Buffer blog specializes in providing good quality content on social media, it also focuses on productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business. This makes it indispensable for content and social media marketers.

Social Media: The content of this newsletter as well as its blog is intended towards promoting buffer application,a social media management tool. Naturally the newsletter is social media centric and is a great repository for articles on sharing, creating, analyzing and converting with social media.

User Education: One of the primary reasons for the popularity of this newsletter is that it believes in providing content that educates + motivates readers to take action and still has that viral appeal. No wonder they have succeeded in growing to a 41,231 newsletter subscription base.

This newsletter comes in the form of both a blog and daily newsletter and will give you the ins and outs of scoring big on social media. Their posts will help you maximize your return from social media platforms by educating you on how to measure your performance. While they may not post as often as other blogs, their posts are thorough, detailed and data-driven. Buffer newsletter is full of all the best social media tips, tools, experiments, and advice.

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Psychology of Facebook: Why We Like, Share, Comment (9.9K Shares)

16. HubSpot

Specialization: Inbound Marketing + Sales

This newsletter provides you with the latest Marketing Tips, Trends, and Best Practices in digital marketing space. Known for their actionable content, they cover a wide range of topics that include SEO, blogging, social media, lead generation, email marketing, lead management, analytics, and more. Above all, you can’t mention content marketing without mentioning HubSpot. These guys literally wrote the book on it.

HubSpot software is a sophisticated Marketing platform which helps you in managing Inbound Marketing and Sales. HubSpot maintains specialized blogs for Marketing, Sales, Agencies and Web design.

HubSpot Academy is a blog intended for user education and provides resourceful guides on everything related to Inbound marketing and sales. It provides detailed user guides on topics from Keywords to Call-to-actions.

When you are stuck for ideas, need answers to specific marketing questions, want content to use as reference and to understand new concepts and ideas, spend time on their newsletter! This newsletter provides awesome content on everything related to Inbound.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Do You Really Need That Exclamation Point? [Flowchart] (10.7K Shares)

17. Moz

Specialization: SEO + Inbound Marketing

When we are talking about Moz, there are two things we need to know before getting into the details of their newsletter. One ‘The TAGFEE Code’, two ‘Rand Fishkin’.

The TAGFEE Code: It essentially drives everything Moz does, everything they create and cultivate – their software, content, corporate culture, and relationships. They’re all a direct reflection of their mission to be as Transparent, Authentic, Generous, Fun, Empathetic, and Exceptional as possible. Same goes with their blog and newsletter.

Rand Fishkin, The Wizard of Moz: He’s founder and former CEO of Moz and co-founder of Inbound.org. An active blogger, Rand regularly writes on SEO, content, search, & social on the web, from his multiple blogs. Known for his ‘Whiteboard Friday’ lectures, Rand is today the most sort after thought leader in Digital Marketing space.

Moz Top Ten: Almost everything Moz does with marketing seems to be spot-on and their email newsletter is no exception. Instead of pushing their agenda with tons of their own posts, the Moz Top Ten pulls a bunch of great posts from around the web and shares them with its audience.Their posts cover covers the best stories on inbound marketing, SEO, and social and this is one weekly newsletter people look forward to reading.

Get this Newsletter now! I mean now!

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0 (10.6K Shares)

18. Social Media Examiner

Specialization: Social Media in/and business

Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest online social media magazine, designed to help businesses discover how to best use social media tools like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with customers, generate more brand awareness and increase sales.

Amazing case studies: Subscribing to their newsletter gives you an update on the amazing research and case studies on social media presented by SME in their blog. This blog is go-to resource for most things Social Media. They cover a wide variety of information and have some have an array of extensive articles and case studies on Facebook Marketing!

Social Media Experts: Social Media Examiner blog is one of the most important blogs dealing with social media, new updates and features, and the usage of social media in business. Want to hear what’s new on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, etc? Subscribe their newsletter and you will never miss anything related to social media.

They work with top social media experts to bring you all the news you need to optimize content marketing with social media. Their articles in the newsletter will help you integrate social media into your content marketing strategy.

Most Shared Article in 2015: New Facebook Terms: What Marketers Need to Know (12.1K Shares)

19. KISSmetrics

Specialization: Web Analytics with a focus on ecommerce and SaaS

Everything apart, these stats alone make a strong case for you to subscribe to this newsletter.

– 350k visitors a month

– 82% of web traffic is from the blog

– 70% of leads from blog (15 sales reps)

– $100k-$150k a year spent on blog (infographics, content, content promotion)

– Estimated ROI of $900,000

Data Driven Insights: This newsletter provides you with the most authoritative and scientific methods to optimize your marketing based on metrics and covers this topic in depth. Although this newsletter specializes in Analytics, it is an excellent source for data driven insights on other topics such as Branding, copywriting, E-Commerce, Marketing, Social media, Design, Twitter, Facebook etc.

Customer Insights: As the tagline suggests ‘Google analytics tells you what and Kissmetrics tells you who’, this newsletter provides insightful infographics, Data visualizations and cheat sheets on customer behavior and psychology.

Numbers and data don’t lie — they tell you what is working, what isn’t and how the business responds to testing and changes. Your ability to decipher analytical data and use that information to make changes in your business decides your success or failure. This is exactly what you get out of this newsletter. We highly recommend this newsletter for everyone into digital marketing, especially for budding SaaS and E-Commerce companies.

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Ultimate Guide to 150+ Google Analytics Resources for 2015 (3.5K Shares)

20. CopyBlogger

This newsletter is a preeminent source on using content to market a business and is ‘the’ destination site for SMBs for tools and techniques on content marketing. This newsletter gives you the solutions you need to succeed in improving traffic, links, subscribers, and a profit-generating website.

Pioneers of Content Marketing: The founder, Brian Clark, had already been using online content to build businesses since 1998, way before anyone started using the term “content marketing.” Today, many consider Copyblogger the granddaddy of blog writing and strategy.

Guidebook to web writing: This newsletter serves as a valuable guide for good web writing. Their articles are crisp, to the point and accompanied with a dash of humor. This newsletter is intended for those who are already in the good at blogging and provides advanced training.

Quality Writers: The primary reason for the success of this newsletter is the quality of the writers. Most of them are geniuses and this is no exaggeration. They share the most consummate information on the subject of blogging and content marketing. Their content is always spot on.

Copyblogger produces five to six articles each week. Each blog details the hottest trends in content marketing is written in a simple and engaging way. Subscribing to this newsletter keeps you updated on the latest posts.

Most Shared Article in 2015: 10 Key Factors That Will Determine the Future of Google+ – Copyblogger (3.7K Shares)

Top 3 Reasons Small Businesses Fail at Marketing

I often speak to groups of small business owners and I keep hearing the same comment over and over again with many of them saying that marketers don’t matter or marketing doesn’t matter anymore.

There are many reasons I’ve heard as to why marketing doesn’t matter: “all my business comes by referral,” “I never spent money on marketing and my business grew,” “marketing is a waste of money,” “I see no value in marketing,” “marketing is all luck so why spend money on it,” and so on.

Oh, how they are so very wrong! Below are the top 3 reasons why:

1. Their definition of marketing is wrong

When business owners tell me that marketing doesn’t matter, they usually have a totally different understanding of what marketing is than those who recognise how marketing contributes to business goals where it enables you to charge the most money you can for your services and products.

Marketing is first about spending time building a solid foundation based on strategy before proposing a series of tactics aimed at lifting sales. Until the business finds a way to change the context of how their ideal customer views what they do, and then becomes become the obvious choice provider, they’ll find that their marketing efforts never seem to build momentum or gain any return on investment.

You must be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your customers. Or, to look at it in a different way, to be able to address the number one question on your customer’s mind at exactly the right time.

So, how do you do this? The conversation that is taking place in every prospective customer’s mind revolves around two major points. There is a problem they have, and that they don’t want… and there is a result that they want, and they don’t have.

Those who often misunderstand marketing believe that it is only about advertising campaigns, brochures, flyers, website, email marketing, SEO, tradeshows, social media, copy, etc. These are the tactics – the way you implement your marketing. I’d argue that marketing is essentially the core of business strategy because it is about understanding the current customer, tapping into their fears, their goals and their aspirations and then creating products and services that the ideal customer is willing to buy from a brand they now they know, like and trust.

2. They believe either they or their co-worker can do it

Sometimes in the “do it all yourself” world of small business (or even big business when it comes to it), it’s difficult to identify the areas that require outside help. A business may be able to set up their newsletter, add plugins to WordPress, write a Facebook or LinkedIn post, and clumsily create header graphics, but you need somebody who is trained, practiced, and skilled at looking strategically and holistically at the marketplace, understanding the customer, and then creating unique opportunities based on this understanding.

Just think about it for a minute; just because you have a calculator and excel does that mean you are an accountant? If you have a ruler, pencil and have watched some episodes of Grand Designs – does that make you an architect? If you post regularly to your friends on Facebook and Instagram – does that mean you are a social media expert?

So why do small businesses believe that by buying a Mac and some software they will become a designer, marketer and communications expert?

It needs to be led by a strategic marketer who can then develop an integrated marketing approach. Can you or your co-worker do this? In some cases, you can. But those who can are most likely to either come from marketing or consulting backgrounds where they have transferable skills and experience defining AND delivering against a growth strategy.

If you are a small business, you need somebody who will have a very solid, process, streamlined, consistent, repeatable approach. First, they will research and learn about your company in great depth, the dynamics of the marketplace and identify shifts, trends, and changes. From there, the strategic marketer will be able to present the different elements of your marketing plan in logical order of how you should construct them, update them, or revise them; and identify the key areas you should be focusing on – be it generating leads, converting leads, increasing transactions right down to changing prices.

3. They hire the wrong marketing help

There is a huge misunderstanding around marketing strategy, marketing tactics, and marketing execution.

There is a difference between being strategically capable, creatively capable and executionally capable.

Small business owners don’t hire a strategic marketing coach/firm to develop creative graphics and headers; nor should you hire an advertising/graphic design agency to handle marketing strategy. A small business doesn’t need to hire a consultant or a firm who is a strong marketing executor when their biggest need is a strategy for sustainable growth. You may get more attention, but not the best results.