How to Tell When a Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Work

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Marketing is an essential part of any business, and it’s a fairly easy process to learn. However, there are many things that can go wrong when you try to market your products or services.

One of the biggest problems businesses face is not understanding the difference between strategy and tactics.  When you focus solely on tactics,  you lose sight of the big picture.  A business needs to develop a marketing strategy that fits within their overall strategic plan, so there’s some consistency between the two.

Investing in tactics without weighing the return on investment (or the impact on the bigger picture) is another way your marketing efforts can fail.

It’s important for all businesses to be able to tell when their marketing strategy isn’t working so they can make the best decision about what their next step should be. In this article, we’ll look at several clues to alert you that your marketing strategy might not be working and give you suggestions on how you could fix them!

  1. You’re website traffic and your sales are disconnected from each other

If your website traffic isn’t matching up with your sales, this is a red flag that something might be wrong.  Online marketing is one of the most effective ways to get more exposure for your business. However,  if you aren’t getting enough visitors to convert into sales, this could be a sign that your strategy isn’t working.

You can test this out by checking the amount of traffic you have versus the number of sales you get on an average day. If they’re not comparable, it’s time to consider making some changes to improve the effectiveness of your website content.

  1. You’re marketing spending keeps going up and up

Businesses often don’t realize how much of a budget they’ve allocated to marketing until they start looking at their numbers closely. Even a small business can burn through $5,000 in design, printing, and advertising easily.

After you’ve invested in your marketing strategy, it’s easy to keep going back for more and more resources. However, if you’re spending is going up without any noticeable gains, that could mean that something isn’t working.

If your advertising or marketing campaigns are costing you money but they aren’t bringing in business, then you should take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Sometimes, it’s not the brand of your company or the strength of your product that is to blame for a lack of results; sometimes it’s just poor execution!

  1. You’re not clear about the return on investment

Shockingly, many businesses make marketing decisions without any sort of plan for what their return on investment will actually be. All too often, a successful marketing campaign is just assumed but isn’t proven to be effective.

If you’re making decisions about marketing without concrete numbers to back up your choices, this can have an enormous impact on your bottom line. You might end up putting money into tactics that aren’t providing any returns, and if you aren’t sure how much of your marketing spending is paying off, that’s a problem.

If you don’t have clear benchmarks for what kind of results to expect from certain promotions, then it can be difficult to know when something isn’t working.

  1. Prospects are confused by what makes you different from the competition

Another big red flag is when your prospects can’t tell what makes you different from everyone else.  If your overall marketing strategy doesn’t really add anything to the table, then it’s impossible for prospects to understand why they should choose you over someone else.

The most effective way to get prospects to see you differently from your competitors is to create a unique message that outlines what makes you different.

You need to communicate how your product or service is different from other products your prospects might be seeing in the market and how those differences are going to impact the customer experience, getting their problem solved, or getting their needs addressed.

But wait! There’s hope!

If you’re concerned you might have problems or inefficiencies in your marketing strategy, it doesn’t mean you need to throw in the towel. In fact, many of the marketing strategies that are failing can be fixed by making some simple changes.

First, take a step back and look at the big picture.  Ask yourself what kind of experience you want your prospects and clients to have. If you don’t already have a clear marketing funnel (or process) in place, then this might be a good time to start developing one.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your message, market, and media are all aligned. This means you need to make sure your message is aligned with the right market and that you’re using the right media for getting that message out.

Even if these 4 warning signs don’t apply to every situation, it doesn’t mean that a marketing strategy can’t be improved. If you keep a close eye on how your marketing is working, then you’ll be in a better position to make the changes you need in order to improve the results.

If you’d like help reviewing your current marketing efforts and exploring how you might improve your overall marketing strategy, schedule a no-obligation strategy call with us here.

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