Skip to main content

6 Myths about Marketing You (Probably) Believe

What you can get wrong, and right, in marketing for a small business

Business person looks at many arrows

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that marketing is a critical part of running a successful small business. We'll debunk 6 common myths so you can break through the noise, get to the facts, and confidently maintain your competitive edge.

Myth 1: “Everyone is your customer.”

I know, I know—it's tempting to cast a wide net and hope for the best. But trust me, that's a recipe for wasted time and budget. Instead, take a step back and think about who you're really speaking to. Whose problems are you solving? Whose life will be improved by your product or service?

Then, hone in on the best ways to reach them. Don't waste your time, energy, and money trying to be everything to everyone. Be strategic, be focused, and meet them where they are. 

Myth 2: “If you build it, they will come.”

We all love Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, but this is not an effective marketing strategy. It's great to have a sleek, user-friendly site that showcases everything you have to offer, but just putting it out there isn't enough.

You need to actively push people towards it and keep them engaged through various mediums, whether it's social media, email marketing, or good ol' fashioned word of mouth. Consistency is key here, folks. You can't just do it once and expect people to come flocking—you have to be persistent and continually drive traffic, on and offline. Then you’ll hit it out of the park.

Myth 3: “You need a big budget to be successful.”

I like big budgets and I cannot lie, but marketing does not have to be expensive to be effective. True, having a bigger budget will give you more options and allow you to reach a wider audience, but it's not the only path to success. It's about being creative and making the most of what you have available to you. There are plenty of low-cost or even no-cost marketing tools and tactics that can be just as effective as traditional methods. 

Myth 4: “It’s Sales VERSUS Marketing.” 

Ah, the age-old battle of two titans of the biz world pitted against each other in a gladiator style battle. Psssst—we are better when we work together to create some serious magic. Marketing isn't just about making your brand look good, it's also about forging real relationships with your customers and keeping you top of mind, priming them to buy. 

Myth 5: “You have to do it all.” 

We wear all the hats. So. many. hats. But here's the thing—there are so many different specialties within marketing communications, the key is to get an overview of how those pieces fit together and identify which ones work best for your business, your brand, and your team. Don't try to do everything—focus on the activations that give you the highest impact. Test and choose which ones work best for you, and then stick with them. Save your sanity, focus in on what works for your brand and business, and chuck the rest.  

Myth 6: “You just need to go viral.”  

Yes, you need social media, but forget the notion that going viral is the be-all and end-all of social media success. Attempting to ride the waves of viral fame can be a fickle game, with erratic results that are out of your hands.

Your customers rely on you to solve their problems, so focus on consistency and value, giving them a reason to come back time and time again. As social media continues to infiltrate every corner of our lives, you can evolve your business to stay relevant and competitive.

BONUS TIP! If you employ an individual, team, or agency that handles your marketing, trust them to do what they do best. Don't micromanage them or listen to strangers on the internet (hi!) to tell you what is best for your business (I don’t want them coming for me in my DMs). Hire good people, and get out of their way. 

There is no magic bullet, there's no secret sauce. There are smart, actionable steps, and they are within your reach. Let’s do this. 


Lindsey Rowe Parker

Lindsey Rowe Parker

Lindsey Rowe Parker is the marketing director at Rowe Fenestration and the NAWIC Sacramento Marketing Chair.