Poor Knowledge of the Market
It goes without saying that launching a business without having done any research is a straight path to failure. But the same is true with complacency in researching the market as the business starts to generate income. Resting on the original research laurels will cause a new business to instantly be on the back foot. The environment changes, trends change, technology changes. So research led strategy will give your business the best chance to stake a foothold in the market and ensure you continue to make traction.
Without a plan of action as to how a business is going to achieve its long term aims there is no direction and no ability to anticipate change. Strategy should always be a working document. Things do change and further opportunities present themselves. This is true both externally and internally in any business. Strategy is a fundamental part of business growth, without a concentration in this area business are adopting the ‘scattergun approach’.
What is the scattergun approach?
A scattergun approach is to try a multitude of scenarios to gather the results without prior planning or process. Essentially ‘to throw mud at the wall and see what sticks’. With a solid foundation of research and customer profiling businesses do not need to take this approach.
The scattergun approach can burn through budgets and requires a massive amount of management time. Instead a business should gather solid research, then create a hypothetical statement as to the assumption of the result/s and test strategy in small increments to gather findings which will lead to refinement of the strategy. Rather than running an unmanageable amount of tests, it is more efficient for businesses to run a couple of strategy experiments in parallel or run successive tests.
Lack of Call To Action (CTA)
This is one of the most common startup mistakes. Getting customers to spend with you seems such an obvious thing to say, it’s not necessarily that easy. But informing their buying journey, transporting them from an interested party to a potential client is done via clear instruction. For example what do they do next after they have read your really interesting and informative article should they want more or to further explore you? Maybe you want the next action to get them into the sales funnel, like joining a newsletter or providing an email address in which to send a whitepaper to.
Customers are used to CTA’s, they want next steps at the end of something. It’s a little confusing and perhaps disappointing when there are none.
A call to action may be just the right push needed to convert a client who is on the fence in terms of making a decision. Prime examples of this are CTA’s that have a degree of urgency like a countdown clock on a sale item. But calls to action can be a more gentle steer like a Read More/Learn More link, it’s dependent on the type of marketing, stage of the sales funnel and of course the business aims.
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