Let's go on a buying journey. Think about the last item that you bought, where you spent more than $100. Maybe it was something for your business or home. Write down the item you bought and work backwards through your buying journey. Describe why you chose that particular product. Did you see an ad? Did someone recommended it? Was there information on social media which made you curious? Write down all of the things you remember related to that purchase.
For example, we recently installed new windows in our house. Before we bought the windows, we talked to a few of our neighbors, checked. Angie's List, and then we went to the company website.
Do this exercise two or three times for different types of purchases, so you get a better picture of your typical buying process. What information sources to you rely on and what influenced you?
Next, build your customer's buying journey the same way. Evaluate your marketing based on your typical buying process. If you were a customer for your product or service, would you notice your marketing? If the answer is yes, that's great. if you are your target customer.
If you're not your target customer, you got some work to do. Ask several of your customers about their buying journey and see how that lines up with your marketing. Make sure you are spending money on marketing to enhance their buying journey.
The trick for small business owners is not to spend more money, but to spend well, making investments designed to motivate customers to pay attention to you.