Entrepreneurs Reveal Top Marketing Challenges

Entrepreneurs share their biggest marketing dilemmas alongside practical solutions they use to overcome them.

How can you meet your company’s toughest marketing challenges head-on?

From finding creative ways to market your small business to learning which marketing strategies and tactics work best for your business, marketing challenges are not uncommon. So we asked entrepreneurs to share their biggest marketing dilemmas alongside practical solutions they use to overcome them.

1. Utilize creative, low-cost self-promotion tactics to drive WOM.

“My biggest marketing challenge has been finding creative ways to market with little or no cost attached. I’m doing it, though and I have been very successful. I opened my interior design business in 2009 and my discount designer furniture business in 2011…Word-of-mouth (WOM) referrals have been the best way to go about things for me, but I have gotten customers from my car magnets, from the supermarket, from shopping for my clients in Home Depot, Facebook, optimizing my website, etc. Shameless self-promotion pays off…”

– Jennifer Scully, President of ReDesign for a Dime and Discount Designer Furnishings: @JenniferScully1

2. Choose the right marketing strategy.

“Knowing which marketing opportunities to choose [is very important] when there are so many to choose from. As [Hewlett-Packard’s David] Packard says: ‘A great enterprise is more likely to die of indigestion of too much opportunity than starvation for too little.’ ”

– Michael Rosenberg, President and CEO of PlasticPlace.net: @plasticplace

3. Maintain credible and authentic marketing messages.

“As a high end adult store in a hyper-competitive market, establishing credibility and sophistication for products that are commonly considered as seedy and disgusting is a challenge. I constantly struggle to maintain credibility and authenticity for my brand to set my business apart from the competition. To do this, I’ve deliberately taken steps to distance myself from the adult industry and focused on coverage in mainstream media.  I am constantly working hard to educate my consumers as well as the media that there is an entire new category of products: Luxury Sex Toys.”

– Stacy Rybchin, Founder and Chief Curator of My Secret Luxury: @MySecretLuxury

4. Create organic awareness with social media.

“The biggest marketing challenge we face is driving traffic and increasing exposure. We have self-funded our venture through its beta phase and reached a point that we consider to be ‘proof of concept,’ but continuing to create awareness is difficult. There are many organic ways to drive traffic to your site through social media and other marketing efforts (i.e. blogging and blog outreach), but ultimately it comes down to time and money.  And while we have hired a couple of part-time interns onto the staff, we still feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to pursue every opportunity.”

– Alex Lieske, President of Borrow Baby Couture: @borrowbaby

5. Market in platforms that speak to more than one target audience.

“I utilize social media to find out what my ideal clients like to do and what motivates them so I can provide services to better suit their needs. As an attorney focusing on two areas of the law (estate planning and small business formation and counseling), it is difficult to hone in on your ideal clients’ needs when you are trying to service two different groups of people, especially in the context of social media. My biggest marketing challenge is finding my ideal client and using social media in order to provide valuable information. I have found that finding a niche where there is an overlap of both ideal client groups (rather than marketing to each group separately) is most beneficial, and allows me to more effectively reach my ideal clients.”

– Karly Wannos, Owner and Managing Attorney of The Wannos Law Firm, P.A.: @karlywannos

6. Develop a social media presence with proactive content marketing.

“As the managing partner of a personal injury law firm, my greatest marketing challenge by far is developing a strong social media presence. For my business, we have the unique obstacle of not having a definitive target customer; anyone could be involved in an accident that leaves them injured, thus anyone could need to use our services. Being able to build a strong following on social media becomes difficult because most people are reactive rather than proactive when it comes to retaining a personal injury attorney, mainly due to the fact that no one plans on ever needing our services. To overcome this struggle we try to provide content that provides a greater good and a service more people would want to interact with, and should they ever need our services we are here.”

– Richard P. Console, Jr., Managing Partner of Console & Hollawell, P.C.: @ConsoleAtLaw

7. Stay abreast of Internet Marketing changes.

“As a young small business owner, I find Internet marketing to be the most challenging of all marketing.  Its changing all the time so it’s a constant learning curve.  Be it Google changing the algorithms and dropping in rankings, or social media marketing its definitely an ongoing learning task on my agenda.”

– Anita Hodzic, Owner of BA House Cleaning: @bahousecleaning

Can you relate to any of these marketing challenges?


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