4 Reasons Why Your Marketing May Not Be Working

Tips to Improving Your Marketing Results

target marketing to improve marketing results
Knowing your target market increases results. Tuomas Kujansuu | Getty Images

Ineffective marketing is one of the top reasons home businesses fail. It’s not that new home business owners don’t know that they need to market. Many of them market regularly. They tweet, place ads, write a blog, and do all the activities the gurus tell them to. But marketing isn’t just about pushing your ads in front of people. You can place your ad on a website with one million views a day and not get a single response.

I know, because I’ve done it. It’s disheartening and a waste of money. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are four common errors new home business owners make when marketing their product or service.

1. Not identifying a target market.

Marketing starts with knowing the most likely people to buy what you’re selling. When determining your target market, you want to know demographics, such as gender, age, etc, but also why it wants or needs your product or service. You can have more than one market group, but you need to understand what each group needs. For example, in my market of working at home, moms want to be home with kids, whereas baby boomers want to secure their retirement. Both want to work at home, but for two very different reasons.

2. Thinking “everyone” is a target market.

Even if you sell refrigerators, which everyone needs, you can’t define your market as everyone.

Odds are there are features of your refrigerator that make it a better fit for some people and not others, such as price, quality, efficiency, etc. If you have a wide market, you need to identify the subgroups and determine their motivation for wanting or needing your product or service.

3. Marketing message doesn’t “speak” to the market.

One reason you want to understand your market is so you can speak its language.

There is an art to writing marketing messages that get results. General messages geared to attract everyone usually attract no one. Think of the marketing messages you respond to. Likely, they say something that grabs your attention. Using the work-at-home example above, when I target moms, my message talks about being home with kids and flexibility, the things moms want. But when I market to baby boomers, I talk about security and enjoying retirement. Both groups want to work at-home, but I attract them with different language that speaks to their needs. You want your marketing materials to do the same by matching your message to the market.

4. The market doesn’t see the message.

The other reason you need to know your market is so that you can figure out where they are and put your message in front of them. To do this, you need to know where your market hangs out. Where can they be found? Where do they shop? What magazines, newspapers and newsletters do they read? What websites do they visit? Your goal is to put your marketing message in these places. There is a reason you don’t see beer commercials during daytime television. That’s not to say that people who watch daytime TV don’t drink beer.

What it means is that beer companies know that their best results come when they place their ads in front of people who are doing things that are often accompanied with beer, such as watching sports.

There is a science, or more accurately, a psychology to marketing. Once you understand it, your marketing will be more effective, which means greater results for less money and effort. The key is to know your target market. What makes them tick? What are their wants and needs? What language do they use? Where do they hang out? The answers to these questions will help you design marketing messages that your market will respond to.