Let’s play a fun game… Describe your day using a line from Friends.
I’m guessing a lot of your responses would come in the form of Memes and GIFs. And Friends gives us so much material! The truth is, the cast of Friends tackled just about every challenge of young adult life, as they found jobs, fell in love, and figured out their purpose.
Maybe not so surprisingly, we could play the same game when we think about marketing challenges.
We asked ourselves to describe the top marketing challenges that small businesses face, using a line from Friends.
These are the results…
Marketing Challenge #1: Setting Goals
Just like Phoebe and her lack of a life “pla,” you’ll struggle if you don’t clearly define your marketing goals. This will make it hard for your business to grow, advance, and realize its vision.
Why is this?
If you’re not clearly defining your marketing goals, then you’re not connecting them with your business goals. When this happens, you can struggle managing your budget, connecting with customers, building a client base, and growing your business.
So, instead of sipping a cocktail in your pajamas, set to work, define your goals, and design a plan.
Marketing Challenge #2: Target Audience
Oh boy, Ross sure got himself into a pickle when he said the WRONG NAME during his wedding vows. Talk about not knowing his audience! Whoops!
The fact is, Ross wasn’t focused. He’d been distracted by Rachel’s sudden appearance (and most likely had his heart secretly set on her anyway). He was NOT focused on connecting with his target audience: Emily.
Similarly, many small businesses struggle to connect with their target audience. Businesses might have trouble understanding their audience’s deep desires, pressing needs, and particular characteristics. As a result, it’s a challenge to communicate with them. Plus, they could message the WRONG audience and waste a lot of time.
Bottom line? Devote yourself to the audience in front of you. Show them that you understand THEM, that you care about THEM… and start by using the right name.
Marketing Challenge #3: Engagement
Man, this one came back to haunt Ross, didn’t it? He took time away from Rachel AND showed her in a pretty powerful way that his attention to her was… compromised.
The fact is, we can’t expect our audience to be committed to us, when we’re not committed to them.
If you offer your services, then your audience expects you to be there for them – no matter what. If you “take a break” from social media, email marketing, or blogging, then your audience will notice. They might get frustrated or confused. Worse, you could risk losing them altogether.
You don’t have to go crazy with constant social media posts and emails. But, you DO have to create a realistic plan and use automation tools to help you engage consistently. When you do, you’ll avoid the awkward (and lengthy) process of rebuilding relationships and re-earning trust.
Marketing Challenge #4: Confidence
It took Chandler quite a while to believe he was a worthy partner, didn’t it? Poor guy stumbled over relationships until he finally realized his confidence with Monica (and even that took a while).
The thing is, he had a lot going for him the whole time. He just needed to trust himself – and go for it.
The same can be true for marketing your small business. Getting your business off the ground is a daunting task. You might worry about failure, mistakes, acceptance, and more. Sometimes it seems easier to just hang out quietly on your website and hope people find you.
But the fact is, if you don’t TELL your audience that you’re there, then they won’t find you. If you don’t SHOW them how much value you offer, they won’t buy from you. Finally, if you don’t confidently ENGAGE them, they won’t commit to you.
So, go for it! Trust yourself and your value, and build a strategy that will showcase your business to the world!
Marketing Challenge #5: Listening
We all wanted to believe Joey could do this. If he just listened to Phoebe’s lessons enough, he’d master French and get his next big part.
But… Joey has a hard time listening sometimes. Maybe he’s just not willing. Maybe he really doesn’t care. Or, maybe he’s just Joey. Whatever the case, his lack of listening skills are going to prevent him from getting that job.
Think about this: if you speak to your customers in a language (or tone) they don’t understand, how likely are they to buy your products or hire your services? Not too likely. Part of a great marketing strategy involves using language that your audience “gets.” To do that, you need to LISTEN to your audience.
Social listening is a great way to understand your audience’s needs and questions. You can also note common words, phrases, and themes. Using those same words, phrases, and themes in your marketing efforts will connect you to your audience in a meaningful way — and show them that you have what it takes to do the job for them.
Let Us Help Solve Your Marketing Challenges
Have you encountered one of these marketing challenges recently? Is there another one you would add?
Our social media pages offer tons of free marketing advice and tips to help you overcome challenges and take your business to the next level. (We also have a lot of fun!)