Marketing Stuff I Wish I’d Known When I Started my Business

There is no certainty in marketing. There is no predictable success pattern. What works for one company may not work for the next. Sometimes the best we can do is learn from the challenges and successes of ourselves and others. Here are some things everyone should know about marketing:


Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all industry. Work within your budget and plan proactively instead of throwing money at every opportunity that presents itself.

You don’t have to invest in things you can’t afford.

There are inexpensive channels when it comes to marketing. Look for the ones that offer the best ROI – they may not necessarily be the most expensive option.

Don’t spend it all in one place or all at one time. There is no absolute correlation between the amount of money you spend on marketing and the growth of your business. Understand the ROI of your different marketing efforts and be purposeful in the allocation of your money.


Websites are about creating successful outcomes not being fancy for the sake of fancy. This requires easy navigation and effective communication regarding the services or products you offer.

Conventional practices are often the better choice over wacky creativity – consumers have expectations and when your creative is cumbersome for them, they won’t stay around for long.

Mobile first isn’t a bad way to do business. Device responsive designs will perform well on a desktop no matter what – the reverse is not always true. Mobile-friendly marketing is essential.

Search engine optimization is not a one-time thing. It is an ongoing process that flexes with the ongoing changes that search engines regularly implement in their rules, regulations and algorithms.

Social Media

Social media marketing isn’t free. While it is cost efficient and doesn’t require a lot of money, it does require a good deal of time – one of a small business owners’ most highly valued commodities.

It is better to do 2 or 3 social media channels really well than to do all of them poorly. Understand where your target audience spends its time and where you get the most engagement. Focus your efforts towards those platforms.

Even if social media platforms are not the buying/purchasing vehicle, they can provide inspiration for those transactions. They are also easy-to-use feedback channels.

Yes, Math

Interpreting data and extrapolating insights are part of the job. Analytical knowledge is a must for understanding data driven, performance-based marketing. Plan your testing and analytics strategies when you plan your marketing campaigns.

It is better to have data you don’t need than to be lacking in data. Collect it all but know you may not use it all. Understand what a data point means and how it relates to your goals. And stop stressing about the vanity metrics.


There are some clients you should say “NO” to. Reality says that not every client is a good fit and poor fit clients drain your time and energy. Reality also says that you don’t have time to say yes to everyone. Understand your limitations and avoid overloading yourself and your staff for the sake of chasing money and at the expense of quality.

Demand the rates that your work is truly worth. You have to believe in your value in order for clients to believe.

Ignoring negative reviews and comments won’t make them go away. Addressing issues as soon as they arise and doing so in a public forum (as appropriate) will go a long way towards maintaining a positive brand reputation.

Interacting with positive comments and reviews is as important as interacting with the more challenging ones. People want to feel appreciated for the time and thought they put into feedback.

What else?

Active marketing is key. Don’t sit and wait for customers, go out and meet them where they are and everywhere they are - the Internet, social media channels, email, etc. Multi-channel marketing offers a more dynamic utilization of your content than a single webpage does.

Brand management is a full-time job and requires attention to happenings both outside and inside of the organization.

Humor isn’t always appropriate. You never know who it might offend and how that might impact your business.

Sales and marketing work best when they work together. Marketing cannot exist within a bubble.

Conversions are more important than impressions. Traffic that doesn’t engage doesn’t help much.

Offering value to consumers is more effective than flat out promoting your product or service. Explain how you can solve a problem common to your target audience and how you can do that better than any other business.

The Moral

Instant gratification is not the norm in marketing. It takes strategy, time to analyze metrics, and informed retooling of things in response to those metrics. Then repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Results will be gradual.

The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing will provide you with professional and exciting products and services to make sure you are making the most of your marketing budget. Contact us today.