Friday 13th GraphicIn honor of Friday the 13th, here are the Top Thirteen Marketing Myths & Misconceptions

1. Great products or services sell themselves – Careful with this one. This is the type of thinking that results in small business failure. Without the correct marketing strategy and execution, your target will have no idea your product exists. Thus, no chance for them to purchase your product or service.

2. Everyone needs my product or service – Perhaps, but again, maybe not. Often small business owners or start-ups do not realize that "everyone" does not need or want your product or service, especially if the product is marketed and priced incorrectly. 

3. Branding is for large companies – Say it isn't so!!! In my opinion, small businesses need branding more than large businesses. Without branding your customers won't remember your product when they do "need it" or are ready to "buy it". Remember, branding is your promise to the customer. Branding also keeps your employees on the same page regarding your company. Attend the No Moss Brands "Creating a Memorable Brand" workshop for an affordable solution to creating an effective brand.

4. Traditional media is dead – Well, don't I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard this. Traditional media is NOT dead, but it has evolved as the internet and social media have become more prominent. Big brands are now using traditional media in combination with what I call "new" media (social media, in-bound and content marketing) very effectively. Now, if we can only get small businesses like yours to recognize the need to incorporate a variety of media forms to maximize their exposure. Your customers are every where…it's my job as a marketer to make sure you maximize your exposure using your limited budgets. 

5. My small business must be on social media – There’s no MUSTS in the world, and especially here. You should only use social media for your business if your target uses social media. You do need to know target and/or ideal customers’ behaviors and habits to  determine which platform and how to speak to them.Facebook-founder-Mark-Zuckerberg If you're unsure how to successfully navigate Social Media for your small business, attend the No Moss Brands "Social Media for Scaredy Cats" workshop.

6. Facebook is dying…and the only people on it are old people – Let’s be real. While I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg is not happy to see the age demographics of his primary user going up, but I’m sure he’s just as thrilled with the increase in his bank account. Yes, your children are less and less likely to be using Facebook regularly, but most of us are not marketing to our children. So, the issue of Facebook users being old, i.e. – our parents, is only relevant if your target is teens or younger. 

The death of Facebook is not supported by the latest information reported by the company:

  • 1.39 billion monthly active users at the end of the year, up 13% from a year ago. That makes the population of Facebook larger than that of China, the world's most populous country.
  • Daily users now number 890 million, up 18%. 
  • Mobile users rose to 1.2 billion, up 26%.

Facebook isn’t dying, but like everything else in the world it’s “subject to change”! 

7. I don't need a website. I'm just going to use Facebook In my opinion, that’s dumb! Why? Because you don’t own that asset. This means you have no control over the changes Facebook institutes. Why would you want your business to be at the mercy of another for-profit company. Not smart. It may serve as a temporary vehicle to send your target, but not as a permanent solution. Read "Finding Nemo or your Website" for more information on your small business website.

8. You must have video on your website – Back to my commentary on “musts”. There are no musts. If your business, industry and customer dictates the need for video on your website then by all means do so. The best industries for “video” are those that are “how-to” type businesses. Or those businesses or owners who can deliver the message their customers need to be stimulated to buy. Long story short…have a strategy, and be very thoughtful about how you use your video. If you plan on using video on your home page, in my opinion, it needs to be high-quality production with a very specific message. No ramble messages about what you’re doing that particular day…use those videos in social media.

9. You need to have a Mobile App to stay competitive – Says who??? Apps are great, but if you’re like most consumers you barely use most of those you’ve downloaded.

10. People don't read their emails – People DO read their emails, and email marketing is still alive and well. The issue isn’t whether people are “reading” emails, but are you sending them the “right” email. Email marketing has become so much more sophisticated regarding segmenting and messaging based on each individuals attention. If you are still sending blanket generic emails to your database (email list) then you are giving your customers what they need or want.

Need I say more!!!

11. To win in business your product needs to be first to the market – Everyone else is a bridesmaid. Being first to the market makes you the hunted. You get to make all the mistakes on your dollar. You get to be the one to convince the marketplace your solution is “the solution”. People may not even have known they had an issue that needed to be solved. The “first guy to market” introduces their idea and has to spend the bulk of their dollars convincing folks a problem existed and they can solve it. The second and third products to market do not have to overcome this huge barrier.

12. Networking is the only marketing I need for my small business – Networking is just one aspect of your marketing plan. The real marketing occurs after networking. What do you do to cultivate relationships with all those you have just met. How do you stay top-of-mind when they are ready to buy a service or product like yours? Without such a plan, networking is like meeting people one day, and forgetting them the next!

13. My business is too small, and I can't afford to have a marketing budget – This is the one that makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Every business needs a budget. You don’t run your household without a budget, hopefully. So, if you aren’t putting any dollars in a category called “marketing” you are going to have a difficult time letting people know what you do, much less convincing your customer to buy your product. Not only should you have a budget, you should have a marketing strategy in which to use your budget. Read the "Why I am a Marketing Hypocrite" blog post for more information.

In 2015, I have introduced the No Moss Brands Academy which is dedicated to helping small business owners more successfully self-market their products or services. See Events for full listing of educational events, such as masterminds, workshops, webinars and more.