Stop listening to your mother

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Is your mom, husband, best friend, (insert other influencer in your life here) in the target market for your product or service? No?  Ignore them.  At least when it comes to marketing your business.  Clearly as a mother and daughter, I’d never suggest ignoring mom’s sage wisdom on just about everything else!

Stop listening to your mother. All too often, when we ask small business owners about their greatest marketing successes and failures, the answer to the latter half goes something like, “Well, my (insert friend or family member here) had a great idea to (insert brilliant marketing tactic here), but it didn’t do anything!”

Here’s the thing – marketing is more than just a great idea.  Effective marketing considers your product or service and your target market.  And, most importantly, it considers your specific customers – how they seek information, how they buy and how they engage with your business.  When evaluating whether to run a sale, invest in local magazine advertising, send a newsletter or host an open house, consider how the effort will help you connect with would-be customers and meet your business and marketing objectives.  Consider more than just the raw cost of an effort.  While something might seem cheap and easy on the surface (often the rationale behind friends- and family-motivated ideas), if it is unlikely to yield the desired outcome, any investment of money or time is a typically a waste.

Recently, we met an entrepreneur launching a new business in the wedding industry.  She shared her beautiful logo designs and website photography with her mastermind group – a group of talented, smart women.  She got tons of feedback.  Only challenge is that her business specifically targets men.  While the insights were valuable in terms of providing a different perspective, they did little to consider the actual audience receiving the message.

So, while those closest to you might have great ideas, whether or not they’re impactful for your business is more a game of luck unless they’re grounded in some level of strategy.  You’re likely to be left with unsatisfactory results unless you happen to be targeting exactly the same market as comprises your immediate social circle.  Having trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies? Call mom.  But when she says, “You know, I was thinking about your business…,” gently redirect the conversation back to broccoli.

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