March 2, 2021

Steps to Take to Avoid the 7 Deadly Marketing Mistakes

We covered the mistakes many business owners make, and in this post, I would like to review a few techniques and to provide you with some tools to avoid them.

In our previous post, What are the 7 Deadly Small Business Marketing Mistakes, we covered the mistakes many business owners make, and in this post, I would like to review a few techniques and to provide you with some tools to avoid them.

Setting SMART Goals

SMART goals are very effective if built correctly. You can follow along with your own SMART goals worksheet. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. 

An example of a SMART goal would be “to increase organic traffic to by 20% over the next 3 months.”. The “S”, “M”, and “T” are the easiest to judge. This goal is clearly specific, measurable, and time bound. The “A” and “R” are subjective. Whether a goal is achievable or relevant is situation dependent.

Small Business Solutions - Setting SMART goals

Developing Marketing Strategies to Achieve These Goals 

The goal answers the what and by when. The strategy outlines how it will get done. One of my favorite tools for developing strategy is a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).

A SWOT is a simple tool using a simple grid. Please use this SWOT grid if you would like to follow along.

Strengths are anything that provides your business, product, or service with a competitive advantage that you can leverage. Weaknesses are anything that competitor could us to gain an advantage over you. Opportunities are any new idea or external event that can provide you with the ability to gain advantage or remove a disadvantage. Finally, threats are any potential internal or external event that has the potential to create a disadvantage or negate a strength.

Small Business Marketing Solutions - SWOT Analysis

A good strategy can do one or all of the things depending on your goal

  1. It plays to, leverages, or showcases your strengths
  2. It minimizes, eliminates, or avoids an area of weakness
  3. It enables you to seize an opportunity
  4. It mitigates a threat, plans for a threat, or helps monitor the risk of a threat.

Build a Marketing Plan

You may not be aware that over 70% of all small to mid-sized businesses lack a marketing plan. Without one, your risks of making at least one of these 7 deadly mistakes goes up dramatically.

Identify Your Target Market

A target market has to meet these four criteria. 

  1. All the members must share an identifiable and shared trait, belief, or characteristic.
  2. The target market must be separate and distinct from the rest of the market
  3. The target market must respond similarly to market conditions
  4. The target market must be large enough to make it economically viable.

The video below goes into more detail on how to create a persona based on your target market. You may find our target market tool to be helpful as well. 

If you operate in a B2B market, business listings can be a good source for ideas. Also, local chambers of commerce may provide additional insights. 

Develop Insights in Your Customers’ Needs

There are a couple of ways to develop insights into your customers' needs. The most obvious is to talk to them. The trick is to listen to what they have to say without bias or filters.  

When you hear something new, I recommend saying something such as, “You said X. I find that interesting. Could you tell me more about why you feel that way?” It often provides you with a deeper understanding of what they want and why.

The second way is through a technique called social listening. There are several tools that can help you read and analyze what you customers are saying about a certain topic on social media accounts. You can learn a great deal about how your potential new customers think about a topic.

Clearly Explain the Benefit of What you Do

With a better understanding of what your customer needs both from a functional or task level and on an emotional level, you are ready to craft a very interesting benefit.

A good benefit statement has two components. First, it outlines the task you perform (functional). Then it gives the customer a boost of dopamine with some emotional reward. Emotional rewards trigger dopamine. Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure.

We evolved to seek dopamine. If you make me feel good, I’m more likely to want to associate with you. It acts as a social glue.

Over the years, I’ve found this template helpful:

Small Business Marketing Solutions - Benefit Statement

Position Yourself Well versus All Your Competitors

Competitive analysis is more involved that we can cover in one post. We have more information in our Brand Message section of the website, and we offer a competitive analysis slide review as well.

Once you’ve completed your competitive analysis, it is time to position yourself uniquely within this mix. The video below goes into more detail on positioning basics.

Marketing Campaign 

To ensure they hear your message, you need to develop assets that communicate that message in the media to your targeted audience.

If you have done a thorough competitive analysis using keyword and hashtag research, you will have a decent idea of the social media platforms and other digital properties your audience frequents. If you have not completed an analysis, I suggest you take the time to do so.

Once you know where they are, you need to develop creative or other assets that standout from the crowd. Review your assets versus your competition. 

Ensure that they look sufficiently different so your asset(s) is/are eye-catching, relevant, and easy to grasp is less than 3 seconds. Make sure that these assets are usable for digital marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.


We covered a significant amount of territory in a brief time. This post shares solutions to the seven most common mistakes so you can avoid them.

Hopefully, by knowing what these deadly small business marketing mistakes are and by using the guidance and tools provided, you can avoid the 7 deadly small business marketing mistakes. However, if you need help with any of these marketing services, please contact us. ProStrategix is recognized by Design Rush as a top digital agency in NY.

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About the Author

Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile

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