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5 Marketing Challenges Small Business Owners In Australia

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Australia is chock full of small businesses. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there doing everything on their own or with very little help. Marketing is a full-time job in itself, so there are challenges for business owners who are handling sales, customer service, operations, finances, and other responsibilities – all on top of managing their advertising accounts!

Through our experience, we've found the five most common marketing challenges small business owners face and we've highlighted them below.

Challenge Number One: Marketing isn't your background.

The marketing industry has so much terminology to learn that it really is like learning a new language and many business owners get overwhelmed when starting a campaign or trying to break through on social platforms like Threads (by Meta) or X (formerly Twitter) or TikTok.

The good news is that there are lots of free resources available to help you learn more. You can try following industry blogs for tips and how-to articles. If doing this consumes more of your time and you're left still scratching your head, you may want to consider hiring a digital marketing agency.

Everyone’s brains are wired differently! If you want to hire an agency, you should find one that will be an extension of your business. Hiring a marketing agency that seeks to be a partner and wants you to succeed is a must. Unfortunately, there are a number of bad eggs in the basket in the marketing agency industry. You may have experienced them in the past or heard stories of poor performance or they are uncontactable.

Being in the marketing industry we know a bunch of other agency managers in Australia who know their clients’ business inside out, and they help with other digital aspects of the business such as SEO, landing pages, conversion rate optimisation, and more.

TL: DR Find a marketing agency that’s invested in your long-term success.

Challenge Number Two: No measures of success in place.

We are interested in getting to know you and your business. We are all about why you started the business. What makes you tick? Where do you want to take the business? Before we get into; Do you want customers to buy your products or services online? Do you want a potential client to fill out your contact form? Do you want them to call you?

Conversion tracking and call tracking, in particular, are essential to your success, so we'd like to set that up ASAP if you haven’t already. Let’s say your keyword “pilates instructor Sydney” got you 10 form fills, and you got five clients out of it.

Another keyword “Pilates studio,” on the other hand, got you zero. Without tracking, you don’t know where your customer leads are coming from. With it, you can strategically spend your ad budget on the best-performing keywords that are bringing you customers.

Don’t know exactly where to start? Getting conversion tracking set up isn’t as complicated as it might seem. We can help you overcome this hurdle if you want to track your calls and know how your marketing ad spend is working for you.

Challenge Number Three: You have a limited budget

If you’re spending $40 per day on your ads and each click costs $5, it can be hard to compete in a crowded marketplace.

Many small businesses have a strict budget: they are already spending a lot of money on traditional (print) media advertising, their websites, and the day-to-day operations of the business. Sometimes you can’t increase your budget, you can stretch that budget out to make every dollar you spend work really hard for you.

Let’s say you sell surfboards. All of your competitors are going to be bidding on the keyword “surfboards.” That keyword is going to be highly competitive and expensive.

If your main seller is longboards, for instance, try bidding on the keyword “longboard surfboard.” Longer keywords have less competition so are a great way to lower your cost per click.

Challenge Number 4: You’re getting bad advice

Have you ever received something like this advice in the past? “Someone told me that I’m not getting sales because my budget is too low. Is that true?”

To channel our inner philosopher Confucius -"If one is bestowed with a vessel of water-bearing a hole at its base, wisdom dictates not to add more water to the vessel. The prudent course is to mend the hole before further action!"

Challenge Number 5: You are time-poor

You’re about to optimise your ads, and then a pallet of inventory arrives. Then you get a call from a client who urgently needs help, and then you finish your day filing taxes (which are most likely overdue).

Next thing you know your partner is ringing you wondering where you are, and you haven’t even had a chance to write that new ad! One of the great things about Aussie slang is we describe these times with “it’s been full on,” “I’m snowed under,” and “I’m up in my armpits."

If you can find time to set four or five hours per week aside for marketing, you are on the right track and it is more than most. We understand that not everyone has those hours to spare or at least not consistently, so it is probably time to partner with a marketing agency or marketing consultant who can help you manage marketing in the background while you focus on the business. If you are going to outsource your marketing, it should be with someone who asks you a lot of questions, knows what you are after and knows what steps to get there.

Communication is key, and it’s best to connect with your marketing agency regularly. Most of our clients prefer a monthly meeting once everything is running smoothly.

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