3 Reasons Why Smart Business Owners Fail At Online Marketing

Wayne Liew

Disappointed Business OwnerIt is painful to see smart, and sometimes, even successful business owners fail miserably at online marketing.

All of us want to get a piece of the multibillion-dollar online retail industry and business owners are trying every tactic possible.

Getting a website, setting up a presence with top online marketplaces like Rakuten, giving away vouchers to get Facebook page likes in return, pumping thousands of dollars into online advertising and sponsoring bloggers are just the tip of the iceberg of what many SMEs are doing.

Unfortunately, most of these campaigns returned nothing but a big negative figure in your income statement. In other words, they fail.

It begs for the question – why? Why do businesses, even those with millions of dollars in revenue or a double-digit growth rate, fail when it comes to online marketing?

They Take the “Wait and See” Approach

Waiting Man Checking His Watch

  • There was a time when you can buy keywords like “credit card” on Google AdWords for only SGD0.10.
  • There was a time when it costs absolutely nothing to reach every single person who liked your Facebook page.
  • There was also a time when people look for new websites to visit instead of the other way round.

Change is the only constant when it comes to how consumers behave on the Internet. However, the way how a lot of business owners make online marketing decisions is the exact opposite.

They choose to wait and do you know what’s worse? Taking the leap only when competitors are already reaping the rewards and enjoying the successes. These rewards and successes would have been yours if you are the early adopter.

Moreover, most online marketing tactics do not require a huge upfront investment.

Be open to new ideas. Be willing to experiment. It takes time to learn how consumers are using new technologies and platforms. It takes even more time to discover how your business can leverage a new consumer behavior.

All these efforts are not lost even when campaigns fail because the insights you gather will become valuable reference points for future campaigns.

They Miss the Big Picture

Calculator and Stacks of Coins

A marketing campaign is successful when it can deliver profitable leads consistently. Plain and simple, right?

Yet, many business owners choose to focus on details like the number of visits, cost-per-click, click-through rate and conversion rate. Some of them even use these metrics as the primary KPI of their campaign!

As a result, a lot of marketers and marketing agencies are massaging these micro-level metrics (it’s very easy by the way) and claim to their clients that they did a great job. The same happens even when a campaign did not result in any new business or customers.

Press your marketer or marketing agency to fill your sales pipeline and bring you new customers. Let them worry about the micro-level metrics. All you need is to see positive ROI from the campaigns they run.

They See New Marketing Tactics As Magic Pills

Businesswoman Checking Her Smartphone

Data from your own online marketing campaign speaks volume. We all know this, but many of us still choose to believe what we see, read and what others claim online.

Ever said any of these to your marketing team?

Wow, I see their ads everywhere! Their tactic must be working and that’s why they are spending so much!

I heard from my friend that buying ad banners from the top news sites are better than sponsoring a blog.

My friend’s website has the top ranking in Google for some keywords. Let’s follow what he did so we can stop paying for ads.

The hard truth is, not many businesses know what they are doing when it comes to online marketing. Some are merely chasing bright, shiny objects and another faction could just be regurgitating what everybody is talking about.

You can observe what others are doing and what others are sharing, but you will never know how much returns are they getting from their campaigns.

New marketing tactics or ideas are only as good as a reason to start new experiments. Until they are able to deliver new customers and positive ROI, you should never sink your entire marketing budget into them.

Are You Smart About Online Marketing?

Have you found success with online marketing?

Are there other reasons why business owners who have successfully built their business over the years failed to take advantage of the Internet? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feel free to send us a message too if you want to talk to someone about your online marketing efforts and to learn more about how to generate new leads online.

Receive FREE updates twice a month on how to improve your online marketing efforts

 Especially for SMEs and Marketers

 15,000+ people have already subscribed. Join them today.

Unsubscribe anytime. We will never sell, rent or share your email.

⇧ Subscribe To Our Newsletter