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3 Marketing Blind Spots That Are Holding You Back (and How to Fix Them) Here are a few common pitfalls business owners encounter when creating a marketing strategy — and how to address them.

By Joy Gendusa

Key Takeaways

  • Don't rely solely on digital marketing; explore offline touch points like direct mail to enhance brand recall and engagement.
  • Take the time to research your competitors to identify gaps in their strategies and opportunities for differentiation in your own business offerings.
  • Engage with customers to understand what sets your brand apart and fosters loyalty, leveraging surveys and direct feedback to continuously improve your marketing.
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Have you ever taken blurry, out-of-focus pictures before only to figure out it wasn't your photography skills that were the problem — it was the camera lens? After cleaning the glass, your pictures were perfect. Oftentimes, in business, it's the same way. We can operate within a fuzzy lens and not even realize it.

My business has worked with over 115,838 business owners (and counting), so I know that sometimes business owners have blind spots in their marketing. We're all guilty of it! We don't know what we don't know.

But the first step is taking a hard look at your perspective — the lens through which you see your audience and business objectives. The challenge is to break free from any limitations and expand your view so that you can reach more prospects with the right message.

Here are some common pitfalls business owners run into when creating a marketing strategy, and how you can expand your mindset to increase annual revenues and build strong customer loyalty.

Related: 6 Marketing Pitfalls That Can Haunt Your Company

You're too laser-focused on digital marketing and neglect offline touchpoints that provide a 70% higher recall

Oftentimes the familiar feels comfortable, and for younger generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, there's a stigma that they're glued to their phones 24/7. Yet, the unfamiliar can sometimes strike a stronger cord. Print advertising, like postcards and letters, actually excites younger generations because they are outside of the normal scope for them.

One study found that 57% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they found direct mail extremely or very useful, and another survey showed 63% of Gen Z consumers were more excited about direct mail in 2023 than they were in 2022.

In fact, scientific studies have also proven that direct mail holds a more lasting impact than digital media. Researchers found direct mail holds people's attention for 118% longer and stimulated 70% higher brand recall than digital advertising.

Whether you are a young business owner who has relied on digital marketing because it's always been your go-to, or you assume all prospects naturally gravitate toward online content, it's time to think outside of the box and get more creative with how you present your products or services in the tangible realm.

Give direct mail a try, track the results, and you may find that recipients respond even better to printed content. Remember, a postcard can stay in a home for months while an email often gets ignored or trashed within seconds of opening.

Related: Direct Mail Marketing Strategies to Target Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z

You don't research the competition to discover new ways to grow your business

It's possible to be so focused on your own business that you have no idea what your competitors are up to. But this is a huge blind spot. It's crucial to take the time to get to know your competition. Get started by blind shopping, such as signing up for their newsletter, visiting their website, analyzing the shopping experience and following their social media.

You may not want to copy what they are doing, but you can analyze what they do well, what they aren't doing well and how you can offer something unique that fills in those holes. For example, your competitor may have an amazing social media presence, but they don't have any in-person events or tangible touch points for their followers.

You could create more opportunities for prospects to interact with you in a personable way, such as shopping events, meet-ups, in-person consultations or trainings if it applies to your industry. Or if a competitor does a lot of email marketing, you could make an effort to do the same but include a tempting offer that is far better than the one they are giving out.

As you continue to analyze other businesses — not just your competitors, really any business you may interact with — save any marketing materials or ideas you like in a folder and use them for inspiration.

Related: This Powerful Marketing Strategy Will Help You Outshine Your Competitors and Make Your Brand More Memorable

You never ask your customers why they like you over competitors to find the secrets to brand loyalty

After doing some secret shopping and gathering inspiration from other businesses, I suggest you ask your customers directly what they love about your products and/or services, and why they ended up choosing you over the competitor.

Some questions you could ask include: How much research did you do before making a decision? What was the determining factor after you looked into your options? Was there anything that stood out to you that you liked about us that was different from everyone else?

You may have a couple of loyal customers you are in regular contact with that you feel comfortable reaching out to. But if you don't, you can always use a survey site, like SurveyMonkey, Jotform or Mailchimp.

You'll never know what your customers are really thinking until you ask them, and you have nothing to lose by trying!

One way to bring in more surveys is to offer a discount or free item to them for completing it. You can also motivate your employees to provide feedback by giving them merch or a small bonus if their marketing ideas get used and are successful.

By remaining open-minded and inquisitive, you'll enter new realms of growth for your company and even learn more about your mission and brand along the way.

Joy Gendusa

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder/CEO of PostcardMania

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with just a phone & a computer (no funding or investments), and today we generate over $100 million annually with 365 staff. I'm passionate about helping small businesses succeed at marketing and grow — because when small business does well, we all win.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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