Marketing is often misunderstood (what it is, why it matters, etc.). As a result, there are many misconceptions. Over the last 13 years, the GRIT team has heard it all, including what we like to call “marketing myths”. Therefore, it’s time to set the record straight and put to rest the five most common marketing myths we’ve heard over the years!

Marketing is too expensive, especially for a small business.

For many businesses, having a dedicated marketing team or agency is not part of the business plan. If it is, when times get tough, it is the first cut made. Many people believe marketing is a waste of money and is not essential to the overall success of a business. However, this is not true.

Strategic marketing efforts benefit a company’s bottom line when planned wisely. It is important to begin with strategy as well as understand how success will be measured [what is the return on investment (ROI)]. If these things are not in place at the start, chances are, efforts may feel like a waste.

For example, when it comes to digital campaigns, tracking marketing tactics monthly (with tools such as Google Analytics and SEMrush) can help assess what is working well and what is not. From there, decisions can be made to allocate more budget to the efforts that are performing and reduce the spend or adjust what is not.

A larger audience is always better.

Targeting more people is not always better. Not only does marketing to a large audience cost more money, but it may not be as effective. By targeting a large audience and not narrowing the scope based on the ideal audience for the product/service, the message may be shown to individuals who are not interested or do not have a need for the product/service being offered. When the audience is defined based on demographics and psychographics, the message is shown to individuals who are most likely to make a purchase and conversions increase.

Long story short – more is not always better. Define the target audience and find the mediums (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, etc.) they use most often. Then target them with messaging through those channels. Not only is this the best use of resources, but best practice to gain more delivery of your messaging on platforms with restrictive logarithms.

A well-designed, user-friendly website is the only thing needed to increase sales.

Just because you build it, does not mean they will come. While an up-to-date, user-friendly website is important, when sales are down, there may be a larger problem that needs addressed. Understanding what’s happening in the sales cycle is the first step to solving the issue. Increasing sales is a joint effort that may include a modern website, a strong brand story and elements, public relations strategies as well as traditional and digital mediums (such as increased SEO, social media and paid ads) to help get a company noticed and sales on the rise.

If I’m on social media, I don’t need a website.

When used correctly, social media has become a serious marketing tactic. It allows you to build your brand, connect with and grow an audience, develop a better understanding of how to improve your product/service, and create inexpensive marketing communication. It’s important to remember, it is not the only platform to tell your story or close your sale and all goes back to what is the strategy for using the channel.

Social posts are typically engaging stories that should make a target audience want to hear more. While the audience may see your post, and even engage, they don’t always have a clear path to how to do business with a company. Properly designed websites and/or landing pages can lead the customer on a journey through the value what is being offered, bringing the brand story to life. It also allows additional customers to find the product/service through proper SEO.

In today’s environment, where customers are pulling content (vs a push marketing culture of the past), it isn’t one or the other – it is both. Social media and websites are partners in telling a brand’s story and getting the user to take action.

It is better to ignore negative comments than address them.

When engaging on social media, be aware of the risks. Many individuals and brands take to social media to display their stance on sensitive issues, providing a chance for negative comments. As well, not every customer experience is perfect, and people are happy to share where brands fell short. It is important to address all comments, even if they are negative. Ignoring the comment (or deleting it) can make individuals think the company isn’t listening to them and/or doesn’t care about their opinions.

If a negative comment is found on a brand’s social media channels, it is best to respond quickly and strategically and move the conversation offline as soon as possible. This includes channels that offer reviews, such as Yelp, Angi, TripAdvisor, Glassdoor and Google to name a few. Not only may the response help decrease the chances of a larger issue, but is also shows the company listens, even if what they have to say is negative.

At GRIT, we dig deeper to help our clients take their marketing efforts to the next level. Through strategic planning and monthly analysis, we ensure the tactics we put in place are providing value to our client’s bottom line. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help with your next marketing project and help your company succeed!