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Which Advertising Strategies Should Small Business Owners Avoid?

In 2024, there is a myriad of ways for small business owners to promote their brands. The key, of course, is to reach as large an audience as possible in a cost-effective way. To attract customers and increase sales, some small business owners may inadvertently fall into common advertising traps. They can end up hurting their businesses rather than helping them. So which advertising strategies should small business owners avoid?

Making promises you can’t keep.

It is vital that you don’t overpromise in your advertising campaigns. Making specific guarantees can backfire if you’re unable to make good on them. It may be tempting to make bold claims about your products or services to attract customers. However, failing to deliver on those promises can lead to disappointed customers. It can significantly damage the reputation of your brand. Undoing such damage can be extremely difficult given how quickly word spreads in today’s internet-obsessed society.

“What happens when you don’t deliver what you promised?” asks Angela Hausman of Hausman and Associates, “It may seem a simple part of your marketing strategy, but keeping promises offers powerful returns for your business that impact your long-term success. To most of us, a promise is like a guarantee — almost like a contract. When a company doesn’t keep its promises, we don’t trust the brand, which impacts willingness to buy from the brand.”

Ignoring your target audience.

Who would most benefit from your company’s products and services? Make sure that you speak to the unique needs of those individuals. It’s wise, of course, to tailor your advertising messages to resonate with your target demographic. By doing market research, you will better understand their needs, preferences and pain points. Be sure to craft advertising campaigns that speak directly to them. Failure to do so can result in your advertising efforts falling flat and failing to generate the desired response.

“Content that does not address the specific needs, interests, or pain points of its intended audience is akin to casting a net in the ocean and hoping for a catch,” writes Brendon V. Ridge on, “A deep dive into audience analytics and behaviour is crucial for crafting content that speaks directly to your market.”

Focusing solely on price.

Yes, people like to see cost-effective solutions to their life concerns. But it can be a red flag when an item or service is priced too low. Does that mean it is of poor quality? Offering competitive prices is important. But when your advertising focuses solely on price, it doesn’t communicate the value of your wares. It’s important to highlight the value proposition of your products or services. This could include such factors as quality, convenience or other unique features that set your offerings apart from the competition.

“A focus on prices is about numbers, statistics, and carries people from right-brain emotional involvement in advertising to left-brain analytics,” informs Dan Hill of Branding Strategy Insider, “That’s a bad trade-off, given that everyone feels before they think. Results from the IPA’s database of 880 marketing campaigns has found that emotionally-oriented campaigns generate twice as much profitability as traditional, hard-sell rationally-oriented campaigns.”

No matter which advertising strategy you decide to use to boost business, you’ll need funding to make it work. At Synergy Merchants, our merchant cash advance program can get you the cash you need immediately! For more information, call us at 1-877-718-2026 or email us at You can also apply online for a free, no obligation quote!

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