The Top 5 Small Business Marketing Myths

small business marketing myths
With all of the information floating around on the internet (and in the real world), it can be tough to figure out what is and isn’t good for your small business.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common misconceptions about small business marketing and talk about why it might be a good idea to abandon them.

Myth #1: Designing ads yourself is a good way to save money

Unless you know the difference between a vector and a bitmap, understand the rule of thirds, and know about kerning, it probably isn’t a good idea to design your own ads or corporate identity. The public has a very sharp eye, and will quickly see the little red flags that show the true origin of your marketing materials. Having a home-made logo will tell people that you aren’t well established and can’t afford a professional. It’s a much better long term decision to just pay for it to be done right.

Myth #2: The bigger the audience, the more customers you’ll get

A bigger audience is usually a less targeted audience. A less targeted audience will get fewer conversions. In the end, a large audience means you’ll spend a lot more money for the same number of interested potential customers.

Myth #3: All publicity is good publicity

Since small businesses generally operate in smaller markets, bad publicity can really hurt. A bad rap can travel very quickly through local circles and can easily damage your sales. On the flip side, a good recommendation can just as easily boost your business.

Myth #4: You only need to market until you build up momentum

Having momentum is a good thing, but it’s very important to keep on the ball. Markets can change quickly, and people get bored fast—so stay on top of things to make sure your business continues growing over the long haul.

Myth #5: A really great product will sell itself

Even great products need marketing to really succeed. Having the right message, and delivering it to the right people, will help take your great product and turn it into a great small business with great sales. The product alone isn’t likely to do that.

Visitor Added Myth: It’s okay to write your own ad copy
Commenter Naomi Dunford (from IttyBiz) mentions that it is not a good idea to write your own marketing copy. There are trained professionals who do this and will be much more effective.

What do you think about these small business marketing myths? Have you heard them before? Are there any other myths you want to mention? Let’s discuss them in the comments.

Also, something new we’re doing for subscribers. If you subscribe to our feed (either with rss or email), you’ll get 3 more bonus myths. Look out for more of these subscriber extras in future articles.

Reader Comments

Oct. 17. 2007 12:44 AM
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Can I add one? Don’t write your own ad copy.

On your blog, people already like you. They will forgive you your mistakes. If you ramble or you don’t focus or you use weak words, they will allow it because they have other reasons for reading your stuff. Out in the big bad world, people will eat you alive. Or worse, they’ll ignore you.

Copywriters aren’t that expensive and good copy bought once can last a really long time. Rolls Royce used David Ogilvy’s “the loudest thing is the ticking of the clock” copy for two decades and only replaced it because they changed to digital clocks which, of course, didn’t tick.

Your list is great - they should make this required reading for small business owners. Dugg and Stumbled.


Oct. 17. 2007 2:03 PM
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Naomi - Wow I can’t believe I missed that one… It’s going in as an update. Also, thanks for the stumble : )


Oct. 17. 2007 5:25 PM
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Ahh, yummy, Stumbly goodness. You’re more than welcome - thank you for the link! (We have quite the little mutual admiration society here, don’t we? And they say marketing people are cutthroat.)


Nov. 15. 2007 10:14 PM
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About copywriters not being expensive- it depends on your definition of expensive. When I took on clients I was always appalled at the people who expected my work to be cheap. I don’t do corporate writing anymore but I still appreciate the value of a good writer and I have no problem paying for it.


Nov. 29. 2007 6:32 PM
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how about underestimating the power of a press release? even though it might not directly hit your target audience, you never know who might pick it up, if it’s written properly.


Jun. 2. 2010 10:07 AM
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Your list is great - they should make this required reading for small business owners. Dugg and Stumbled.


Sep. 25. 2011 8:11 PM
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#4 is very true.  Too many small businesses put all their marketing efforts up front and then reduce it to nothing when they start making consistant sales. When it comes to marketing efforts, I believe in setting aside a set number of hours per week to dedicate to it.  If business slows I suggest filling the hours that would normally be spent servicing customers with marketing efforts until sales pick up.


Jun. 18. 2014 12:06 AM
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Peruvian Hair I have no point to raise in against of what you have said.you possess lots of understanding on this subject.


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