Small Business Marketing Challenges

As the COVID-19 is all set to become an endemic, small businesses and startups get many opportunities to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. Entrepreneurs will get potential customers interested in their products/services by adopting innovative marketing ideas. Also, they will combine multiple marketing strategies to facilitate long-term growth.

But no entrepreneur can generate and convert more leads, in the post-pandemic age, without overcoming a slew of small business marketing challenges. Often lack of marketing budget is cited as the key marketing challenge for small businesses. Many entrepreneurs overcome this major challenge by switching from outbound marketing to inbound marketing.

Likewise, many small businesses overcome resource constraints using free editions of marketing automation tools and solutions. However, customer preferences and marketing trends these days change at a rapid pace. Small business owners have to address new marketing challenges regularly to improve customer experience and sustain revenue growth.

10 Marketing Challenges Small Businesses Must Overcome to Sustain Growth

1. Combining the Right Marketing Channels

Inbound marketing strategies help small businesses to create brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales conversion through multiple marketing channels. A small business can further repurpose the same content for multiple marketing campaigns like social media promotion and search engine optimization (SEO). But small business owners often lack the experience and expertise required to identify and combine the right marketing channels for a specific product/service.

2. Implementing Original Marketing Strategies

Many small business owners save time and effort by copying competitors’ marketing strategies. The copied marketing strategies help them focus on the right marketing goals and reach the right target audience.

But the outcome of digital marketing campaigns these days depends on the quality of digital content creates and published by a business. Also, a business can generate and influence more leads only when the marketing strategies are aligned with its resources and expertise.

3. Tracking and Adopting Emerging Trends

Both industry trends and marketing trends these days change at frequent intervals. Small business owners often find it challenging to monitor competitors and identify emerging trends. Likewise, they ignore the emerging market trends.

But a business can beat competitors only by adopting the emerging trends early. Entrepreneurs cannot influence potential customers and keep existing customers interested without finetuning marketing campaigns according to emerging trends.

4. Creating Relevant Content

Like large businesses, small businesses these days generate, nurture, and convert leads by publishing and promoting a variety of digital content – articles, blogs, whitepapers, videos, infographics, and images. But no business can make the digital content effective in achieving present marketing goals if the content does not meet customers’ expectations and needs.

Small businesses often find it challenging to know what type of content their potential and existing customers want. Many entrepreneurs overcome this small business marketing challenge using analytics and conducting content audits.

5. Optimizing Websites

Inbound marketing strategies help small businesses increase website traffic consistently despite the lack of marketing budgets. But no small business can convert website visitors into customers and leads when the website does not deliver an optimal user experience.

A website’s user experience is impacted by a variety of factors. An entrepreneur can keep visitors engaged only by optimizing the website’s loading speed, mobile accessibility, data security, and navigability. Also, he must measure the website’s user experience regularly to fix various issues.

6. Delivering Excellent Customer Service

A significant percentage of customers these days choose and switch brands based on the customer service experience. They love companies that help customers find information and solve problems without putting in extra time and effort. Small businesses lack the marketing budget required to build a customer service team.

Many entrepreneurs overcome this small business marketing challenge through customer service delivery automation. They help customers solve problems by interacting with chatbots, accessing free tutorials, and watching videos. Small businesses must overcome this challenge to win the trust and promote customer loyalty in the long run.

7. Changing Policies and Guidelines

Most tech companies these days change their guidelines and policies to protect customer privacy and increase data security. The policy and guideline changes made by tech companies impact the performance of marketing campaigns directly. For instance, the search engine algorithm changes made by Google and Bing impact a website’s search engine visibility and traffic in a short amount of time.

Likewise, email marketing campaigns were directly impacted when Apple updated its privacy protection policy. Small businesses, unlike large businesses, lack the resources and expertise to revamp their marketing strategy proactively to overcome the impact of these policy and guideline changes.

8. Irregular Technological Upgrades

Small businesses these days operate in digitalized environments. They measure customer experience and marketing campaign performance using a variety of software and automation tools. But small businesses often opt for open-source software and free editions of automation tools to curtail costs.

Some of these software and tools lack the features required to identify emerging trends and get actionable insights. Small businesses must upgrade technologies regularly to boost marketing campaigns by taking the right action at the right time.

9. Confusing Performance Tracking KPIs

In addition to defining marketing goals, most small businesses these days measure the performance of marketing campaigns. But small business owners often ignore the significance of defining digital marketing KPIs unambiguously. Hence, they fail to get real-time insights into the performance of individual marketing strategies. Also, confusing KPIs often make it difficult to calculate marketing ROI accurately. Entrepreneurs can identify marketing opportunities and challenges by defining marketing KPIs clearly.

10. Absence of Experienced Marketers

Many small business owners overcome budgetary constraints by running marketing campaigns on their own. They find it challenging to plan, monitor, and manage various activities due to a lack of time. Hence, marketing activities often become inconsistent and sporadic.

Also, many entrepreneurs lack the digital marketing expertise required to create high-quality content and plan lead generation strategies. Hence, it becomes challenging for small businesses to drive lead generation and conversion activities due to the absence of experienced marketers.


In the post-pandemic age, entrepreneurs must overcome several small business marketing challenges to achieve sustainable growth. They have to overcome budgetary constraints by implementing the right inbound marketing strategies and investing in the right marketing automation tools. Also, they have to monitor the emerging market trends and measure marketing campaign performance to know what is working and what is not.

Unlike large enterprises, small businesses and startups lack the resources required to generate leads and drive sales using traditional media like television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Digital marketing enables small businesses to compete with larger enterprises without increasing costs. A small business can launch personalized and targeted digital marketing campaigns to generate leads and increase sales conversion rates consistently.

But no small business can boost lead generation and lead conversion simply by launching multiple and different digital marketing campaigns. It has to monitor and fine-tune the performance of individual digital marketing campaigns to achieve preset marketing goals. The small business marketing automation tools help small businesses and startups manage multiple digital marketing campaigns efficiently through the automation of various marketing activities.


According to International Monetary Fund :

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world into a recession. For 2020 it will be worse than the global financial crisis. The economic damage is mounting across all countries, tracking the sharp rise in new infections and containment measures put in place by governments.

The recessional phase of the global economy will make many existing marketing trends obsolete and create many new marketing strategy and trends. The recession will make many business owners reduce marketing budget to control operational cost. But the business owners cannot generate more revenue during and after the recession without investing in digital marketing.


The technology changes have become really frequent and disruptive nowadays. Small business owners cannot engage and retain customers without integrating conventional and next-generation marketing channels. They need to look for innovative digital marketing strategies to increase online sales and remain profitable in the longer run. They need to prepare and implement a robust digital marketing strategy according to both existing and emerging trends in digital marketing. Also, they have to implement various digital marketing best practices efficiently to reach out to more customers and achieve higher conversion rate. Here are 7 digital marketing strategies for small businesses and startups in 2018.


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