Here at Stop and Stare Marketing in leafy Surrey, we often inherit clients’ marketing problems. Perhaps they’ve been doing their marketing in-house or through another agency and have hit a bit of a brick wall. The things that worked before don’t seem to get any traction any more, perhaps they’ve tried a social media or PPC campaigns but haven’t got the return they expected, or they’re struggling to keep on top of so many different platforms, and find it impossible to do them all effectively.
WHY ISN’T MY MARKETING WORKING?
If this sounds a bit like your situation, don’t worry you’re in good company as many other businesses find themselves in the same boat.
Here I share 5 common reasons why your marketing might not be working, and offer some solutions:
- Things Have Moved On
It’s amazing how quickly the marketing world is moving. Digital developments change the playing field almost overnight and therefore it’s no surprise that in-house marketing teams are struggling to keep up. Unless you have a dedicated team around you, those in the role of the marketing manager will find it very difficult to keep abreast of changes to the industry, identify approaches that will work for their company, learn how to use them and implement them effectively, by themselves. They’re simply are not enough hours in the day to do this, let alone if your marketing manager also have other duties within the company.
The solution? Outsourcing. Get experts on board whose job it is to keep up-to-date with their specific area of expertise and understand how to implement it effectively for your organisation. That doesn’t mean that your marketing role is redundant, far from it, instead you’ll be able to see the big picture and integrate all your marketing activities. Think of yourself as the conductor of an orchestra, driving your marketing campaigns forward, measuring results, responding to change and keeping everyone aligned with your core business objectives.
- No Difference Between You And Your Competitors
Competitor research is really important. You can learn a lot from their successes and failures. However, you don’t want to be the same. Although you may share the same customer base, sell a similar product or service, and be around the same price point, your marketing has got to differentiate your business from theirs. If everyone’s marketing collateral is the same, you’re all interchangeable. How you differentiate your business proposition from theirs often comes down to conveying your core company values and culture through your marketing.
The solution? Define your brand proposition. It can be very helpful to participate in a brand proposition exercise to find out how your customers, employees and senior management perceive your business, and how that aligns with your company values and business goals.
- Wrong Audience
We do tend to go on about this rather a lot, but it’s so important to understand your target audience. Without this information how can you find the right marketing approach for them? Sometimes business owners are guilty of using marketing techniques that work for them, forgetting that their customers may be quite different in the way they like to be communicated with and sold to. You can make a big difference to the success of your marketing activities by tweaking the content so it speaks to your target audience and by using the platforms your customers are on.
The solution? Customer avatars. Create buyer personas/customer avatars for each group of customer you wish to target so you really understand who they are, what their motivations are, how they like to be spoken to, and what you do that they will engage with.
- Too High Expectations
This isn’t a cop out from a marketer saying the campaign wasn’t successful because the client expected too much! But it’s true that many people do have unrealistic expectations of what certain marketing strategies will do. This is particularly true in the digital arena where there’s been a huge amount of excitement and talk about how accessible, how powerful, and how cost effective it is. This is all true in the right context, but there are many variables. So if you meet someone at a networking event who says their company has had 2000 hits a day because of a PPC campaign they’ve run, don’t necessarily expect the same results for your business. Perhaps their PPC campaign was focused on a heavily discounted product, whereas yours is on your day-to-day services. Or their target customer is 10x more engaged on social media than yours. These factors make a difference.
The solution? Take some advice. Get some realistic forecasts of what your expected ROI should be based on like-for-like scenarios.
Are your marketing materials all a bit irregular? If you were to look at them all together would you be able to see a distinct brand and message being conveyed? Many companies are guilty of inconsistency across their marketing content. Your in-house team might be sending out emails that look a bit like the branding on your website, but not quite, or you commissioned a flyer that has your logo but doesn’t quite carry through on other design elements. Consistency builds trust. If a customer visits your website and then finds you on social media, they want to see straightaway that you are one and the same.
The solution? Brand guidelines. Every company should have clear brand guidelines that anyone involved in marketing should adhere to. This will include everything from the font and colours used in text, to the tone of voice, style of imagery and what you say about your organisation. With these in place if you have a change of employee or you want to outsource some design work, those parties have something to refer to that will keep your marketing consistent across all channels.
We advocate an integrated approach to marketing here at Stop and Stare, which ensures consistency across all marketing activities. If you would like to speak to us about this, or any of the points above please get in touch! Leave a comment below or contact us directly 01252 717373.