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Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them by Rob Starr Part 1 of 2

Published on 6/6/2017
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Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them


Rob Starr

Note: This article first appeared in Small Business Trends Magazine — Marketing Edition 2017


Marketing for small business can be a sink hole for your hard earned dollar if you start down the wrong path. If you’re stuck and not getting the results you’re looking for, try looking at these 31 marketing challenges and how to overcome them.

Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Negative Online Reviews

Bad online feedbackcan be amplified through tweets and posts. While some might be constructive, you need to mitigate the damage when the attacks are vicious. Finding a reputation management company can run the necessary interference.

PPC Ads That are Prohibitively Expensive

Some people limit the scope here to search based ads where you’re picking keywords and choosing where you want your ads to appear. Therein lies the issue, Robert Brady, founder of Righteous Marketing tells Small Business Trends

“Pay per click encompasses a lot of the paid options in social networks as well,” he says.

Poor Customer Renewal Rate

The Harvard Business Review suggests that increasing customer retention by 5 percent increases profits by up to 95 percent.

If your retention rates are sagging, the problem might be in the tone of your messaging.

Small business marketing expert Ivana Taylor tells Small Business Trends using words and phrases to establish a relationship based collaboration is more effective than the old hard sell.

Messaging That’s Off

Copying and pasting the messages your competition is using doesn’t resonate with your market. Besides, it can even get your website penalized with Google.

“It’s important your message is clear about who you are and what you're committed to,” Taylor says. “Unique content is what drives customers in.”


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Website Doesn’t Convert

You might be getting the traffic to your website but not the numbers in visitors who convert into sales. Remember, first impressions are just as important in cyberspace as they were in the brick and mortar days.

You might need to tweak your landing page to get better numbers. Try simplifying your navigation. Something as simple as bigger buttons might be all you need.

Long Sales Cycle

Say you need 10 clicks to get one ebook download. Narrow that down to eight and there’s a 20 percent cost savings.

Shopping for less expensive clicks from places like Facebook is a great way to shorten that sales cycle.

Not Enough Leads Generated

The issue when you’re not getting a steady flow of leads could very well be with the image and tone your emails, social media posts and website portray. Taylor suggests you soften that approach.

“Because of the Internet, our culture dictates you need to have strengths in areas that are predominately feminine,” she says.

Poor Lead Tracking and Follow Up

Small business owners can easily get overwhelmed with all the analytics choices they have. However, not picking a way to automate your follow up procedures could cause everything to stall.

Checking out the variety of social media dashboards available today is a good jumping off point if you haven’t taken the plunge. These supply great metrics that even include open rates for email.

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Customers Confused by Your Offering

Too many choices on the landing page can actually be confusing and bad. That goes for products and services that aren’t clearly different than the competition as well. Taking the time to front load any and all of your marketing efforts to decide what makes your offering unique is worth the time.

Social Media has Become a Time Sink (and Isn’t Showing Results)

Carrying on with the too many choices theme, you don’t need to have a social media presence on every available site just because you can. Some work better than others and you need to match your target market up with the one that works.

Brady stresses that good tracking helps you to decide what works and what can be cast aside.

Keywords that Fall Flat

Search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t get your website’s ranking to where it needs to be if you aren’t using the right keywords. There’s a process to getting the right ones and SEO gurus like Allan Pollett know what they are.

“The first thing to do is make a list of the keywords that you think people will use to search for your product or service and always think locally,” Pollett tells Small Business Trends. You can actually fine tune your choices by searching them in Google.

Brand Messaging that’s Not Consistent

A message that doesn’t have the same repetitive approach doesn’t resonate with your target audience. That means it won’t stick with the very people you want it to.

Take the time to blend the old with the new here. That means developing tag lines and product attributes you can use across any integrated marketing campaigns.

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A Marketing Voice that Doesn’t Resonate

Just like Little Red Riding Hood’s porridge, some marketing voices are too hot (advertorial) or too cold (they speak down to your clients).

The trick is to be conversational and catchy, while still valued added and informational. Hiring a writer helps.

You’re Not Attracting Enough Email List Subscribers

Maybe your problem isn’t that you aren’t using tracking software. Maybe you’re having difficulty over what the software is telling you about the people opening up the emails you sent them.

Taylor suggests redefining who you send these blasts out to.

“One of the reasons they’re not selling is because they don’t know who their ideal customer is,” she says. Try creating some buyer personas to filter the message.

Your Product Doesn’t Get Any Reviews

You might not be selling enough to generate reviews or you’re not allowing for customer reviews in your online space.

Worst case scenario: you need to pull your product off the market and mine social media to find out how to fix what’s wrong in a new prototype. Best case scenario? Add a page or widget to your website to allow for reviews to be added.

Lack of Knowledge and Skills

Small business owners get overwhelmed with all the social media choices, analytical capabilities and other marketing toys they can adopt.

This one’s easy. Hire a professional marketer, says Taylor. Hiring a professional, she says, can help you focus and not get overwhelmed.


Please come back for the rest of the story


Thank you for stopping by


Micky Gramlin



Discover how marketers are reaching lead generation goals

Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them Part 2 of 2


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Rob Starr   Rob Starr is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.


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