5 Ways Not Marketing Your Small Business Will Cost You Money
By Hibu |
As a business owner, you know that every cent matters when it comes to your operational spending. While some costs are unavoidable, others end up on the chopping block more frequently than others.
Unfortunately, marketing budgets are often among the first to be slashed. But failing to market your business consistently can come with some major risks – including economic ones. Let’s take a closer look at five ways not marketing your business can actually cost you more money when all is said and done.
1. You Could Spend More Trying to Play Catch-Up
Consistency is key with any type of marketing, whether it’s digital or print. With internet marketing, in particular, you can’t expect to stay on the sidelines for months or even years and still come out ahead of your competition.
You don’t want to get stuck playing a never-ending game of catch-up. When you don’t market your business consistently over time, you inevitably have to scramble at the last minute in a last-ditch effort to find a way to get the customers you need. Not only will that cause a lot of increased stress, but you’ll likely have to spend more to effectively compete against the other businesses in your industry.
With online advertising, you can sometimes call a “Hail Mary” (go for broke with a desperation play). But you’ll probably have to spend an incredible amount of money to do it – and there are no guarantees it’ll work, especially if you don’t have other marketing channels working in conjunction at the same time. Furthermore, sometimes it’s just impossible -- search engine optimization (SEO), for example, takes months to see results. Even if you funnel every last marketing dollar into SEO at the last minute, you won’t see immediate results. That means you’ll end up wasting the resources that could be better spent elsewhere, had you planned ahead
While it might seem like reducing your marketing costs will help your bottom line, the reality is that it’s probably. An illusion – you’re cutting a cost now that will almost certainly cost you more in the long run. Plus, marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. But, if you don’t keep your marketing going consistently over time, it’ll cost significantly more when you’re under a time crunch and need results fast.
2. You Could Lose Out to the Competition
Simply put, failing to market your business, even for a short time, will cause you to lose out on potential customers. Although it’s true that your current clients already know about you, your business can’t rely entirely on existing customers. You need to be able to reach new prospects if you want your business to survive.
If you aren’t marketing your business, you’re basically giving your competitors permission to steal from you! Your competitors will absolutely be marketing their brands in some form or fashion. And if you aren’t doing the same, they’ll have the spotlight all to themselves… and you’re going to be left behind.
At a time when customers have more choices than ever, your business needs to make itself known and stay top of mind. Marketing allows you to make an impression, connect with your customers, and guide them through their buyer’s journey. You could be running the most innovative business in your industry – but if no one knows about it, you’ll still lose out to a competitor who may not provide the caliber of products or services you do.
In the end, that decreased marketing can cost you big time. Not only will you be unable to attract new customers due to poor brand visibility, but the funds you’ve been pouring into innovation won’t see returns… because no one will no about it. In turn, your competitors will become more and more visible. If you market your business properly and reach your target audience effectively, you’ll start seeing those leads (and make more money in the long run).
3. You May Unknowingly Hurt Your Business
Some business owners are afraid to make marketing mistakes. That’s understandable, as digital marketing can be pretty complex. That’s why so many business owners rely on a marketing solutions provider like Hibu to handle their digital marketing for them!
Of course, even if you aren’t actively marketing your business, you could still be making mistakes that’ll harm your business. As we’ve discussed, not marketing is the mistake. If you aren’t proactive about your marketing, there are opportunities you’ll miss.
Also, when it comes to digital marketing, by not marketing, there are online issues you could miss… and ignoring them certainly won’t help.
For example, there could be incorrect or damaging information about your business floating around the internet. Your business might have some inaccurate directory listings on various sites, or you might have received some less-than-glowing reviews from customers. In both these cases, having a marketing strategy in place can help you spot and these issues and address them effectively – whether that involves correcting those existing listings with Hibu Listings Management or leveraging the Hibu Reviews program to encourage satisfied customers to publicly share their thoughts.
Keep in mind too that trying to force marketing during a time crunch can have negative consequences. You may feel like your hands are tied and that you have no other choice but to use risky tactics to get results quickly. A less scrupulous provider might try to convince you to use “black hat” SEO techniques that go against Google guidelines. They may seem to do the trick in the short-term, but they can hurt your ability to rank well in search results down the line. If Google catches on and penalizes your site, you’ll have trouble reaching any customers at all.
Big picture, your brand will likely suffer some kind of damage when you fail to market your business effectively. At best, customers may not really know who you are or what you do as a company. At worst, they might be confused about your brand’s identity or even have a negative impression of you. If you rely on black hat SEO or other behaviors intended to manipulate popular marketing channels, your reputation could suffer permanent damage.
All of these issues translate into to lost opportunities. Inaccurate listings and bad reviews will frustrate potential customers and make it hard to build trust or win back business from competitors. Black hat SEO likely won’t yield much in terms of sales (and it certainly won’t help you in the long term). And if customers don’t know your brand – or, worse yet, have a poor perception of it – they’re undoubtedly going to turn to a competitor instead.
By developing a marketing strategy and working with a customized marketing solutions provider, you’ll stay one step ahead and avoid unknowingly hurting your business.
4. You’ll Have a Harder Time Continually Bringing in Leads
If your goal is to grow your business, you need to prioritize marketing. Word-of-mouth is good, but it only goes only so far. There’s simply no effective way to attract new customers to your business today without a digital marketing plan.
Still, 50% of small businesses surveyed said they didn’t have a formal marketing strategy . However, that same study found that 81% of respondents who invested just 5% to 10% of their annual revenue in marketing experienced growth. In contrast, only half of respondents who invested less than 5% of their revenue in marketing their businesses grew that same year.
Not only does marketing help you reach new customers, it’s also a great way to re-engage your existing ones. Customer loyalty is hard to come by… and essential. And to be successful, you can’t simply assume that someone who made a purchase once will come back on their own.
Today, almost every business, large and small, needs some type of automated customer communication. Hibu Assistant, for example, allows business owners to automate their marketing to convert leads into customers and then keep those customers engaged in a continuous marketing loop. That way, no one falls through the cracks – and you’ll never miss an opportunity to turn a profit.
5. Your Business Could Be Less Recession-Proof
Despite the fact that marketing budgets are among the first things to be cut, we know that the strongest businesses continue their marketing through times of economic downturn – in fact, many businesses do more marketing in down times. Marketing when other companies will set you apart in the right way.
One analysis published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales found that during notable periods of economic recession, the companies that kept advertising saw more growth than businesses that eliminated or severely decreased their advertising budgets. During the 2008 recession, companies that continued to market experienced 3.5 times greater brand visibility than those that slashed their marketing budgets.
Another study, conducted in the recession of 1999, found that businesses that maintained or increased their marketing spend during times of economic downturn improved their market share. Those who held steady saw an increased market share of around 0.6%, while those that increased their marketing efforts saw a 4.3% market share boost. On the other hand, businesses that cut their marketing budgets saw their market share drop by 0.8%.
These figures may be from a decade or two ago, but the theory remains both sound and highly relevant. Nearly three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy is still anything but normal. Economic experts are anticipating that a major recession could be on the horizon.
Although reducing your marketing budget might seem like a good cost-cutting solution, it could hurt your profitability in the long run. If you want to weather the storm, marketing your business is actually a great way to protect yourself and improve your chances of coming out on top.
Consistent Marketing = Cost Savings + Big Wins
We all know the phrase – “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” Marketing really is the perfect example of this concept in action. Yes, you’ll have an upfront cost. But it’s an investment that’s well worth it.
Of course, you don’t have to market your business on your own. At Hibu, we’re here to provide the customized solutions you need to win out. To learn more, contact us today at 877-237-6120 or request your no-obligation consultation.