Marketing has become more and more of a necessity for businesses but has also become harder over time. Where marketing was once a “nice to have” option for businesses, it has now become a critical aspect for sustainability and growth. Many businesses see the need to invest in marketing but once they do they find that their results are lacking.
Marketing doesn’t have to be a source of frustration for your business. Those who have found success with their marketing efforts understand the impact it can have and are willing to go all-in with the right strategy. It isn’t that marketing has gotten easier for companies, marketing in 2022 can be quite the challenge. Businesses who determine the pitfalls of their marketing and create a precise strategy to evolve have been able to adapt for success.
Each business is different. Everyone will have their own goals, marketing focus and pitfalls. However, we have found that there are several common areas where businesses struggle that affect their marketing results. Today, we are taking the time to address just that.
The 6 Reasons Marketing Efforts Fail
Marketing Efforts Lack Consistency
Marketing is like weight loss for many. They start off with good intentions at the beginning of the year then things fizzle out once other tasks become priorities. Some bounce around from tactic to tactic looking for the newest shiny object but every new fad leads to the same results. Just like with an individual's weight loss journey, the best thing for marketing is to stick with a consistent effort and give it time.
Marketing is won through consistency and for several reasons:
If you have undergone significant weight loss or know someone who has, then you understand it was not done overnight. It takes a consistent strategy implemented over time to work. Sure, there will be ups and downs and distractions along the way. But if you’re consistent over time, with a strategy that makes sense, then more often than not, you will see success on the other side.
The Marketing Strategies are Poorly Executed
Let's get this out of the way. Some marketing is just done poorly. No matter how many social media followers you have, or how much your clients love you, if you do something unsatisfactory it's not going to work well.
Too often businesses will perform marketing just for marketing's sake. An expert said to blog so they created a purposeless blog post. Someone else said that video is king so they shot low-quality videos. A webinar said social media is important so they signed up and made random posts.
When it comes to marketing, it takes more than the physical implementation of tactics. It takes thoughtful consideration of the buyer’s journey, how each tactic will help the organization meet its goals, what’s the best way to implement said tactics, and of course, what do the ideal buyers actually want.
It’s not until you look at all these different pieces of the puzzle and consider what they mean for you to successfully implement a marketing strategy.
The Organization has Unrealistic Expectations
It’s not a popular selling point, but the honest truth is that marketing takes time to work. Often individuals try a tactic for a week then get upset that it’s not working for them. Remember our weight loss analogy? How silly would it be for an individual to go to the gym for the first time then hop on the scale expecting to see results?
Occasionally, you will strike gold with a marketing campaign and it will generate a high ROI immediately, but that’s not generally the case. Generally speaking, marketing can take months before an organization sees any benefit.
Why is it important to set realistic expectations? By stepping into marketing with unrealistic expectations you won’t give the tactic the amount of energy or time it needs to succeed. It can also cause businesses to put all their eggs in one basket because their expectations of a specific marketing channel are too high.
However, the worse thing I see happen with organizations is that they decide to jump ship right before things really take off. They invest time, money and energy into a project and scrap the whole thing right before it’s able to pay off for them.
Perceptive businesses set limits and know when to cut projects that don’t work. That’s part of doing business. It’s when a business doesn’t set reasonable expectations and cuts projects willy-nilly that they begin shooting themselves in the foot and setting their marketing efforts up for failure.
There is a Lack of Meaningful Analytics
Engaging in marketing without analytics is like shooting in the dark. Analytics allow for data-driven directions that ultimately lead to an overall successful marketing program. They show us what’s working, what is not working, and where adjustments can be made.
Without analytics, businesses don’t know what’s working and they can’t adjust their strategy to improve results. Here are some of the strains that happen when an organization doesn’t have the proper analytics in place:
Let’s be honest. Marketing can come with a big price tag. Many businesses can’t afford to be inefficient with how they utilize their marketing dollars. Why spend thousands of dollars if you have no way to measure the impact?
A successful marketing program requires the ability to assess and then redirect to make improvements. Meaningful analytics become an organization’s roadmap for success. Without it, a business will become lost and confused by what’s happening with their marketing.
There’s No Holistic Strategy; Only Tactics
The modern sales process or buyer’s journey is not a linear one. Very rarely will a consumer engage a business from one vertical and stay there. Think about how business interactions take place now. Let’s use finding a plumber for example. Here’s what the process generally looks like:
It’s rarely enough for an organization to simply show up on Google or have a presence on Social Media. You have to have a holistic marketing strategy that allows users to interact with you across multiple channels.
Think about your own buyer’s journey for a moment. If you clicked on an ad and it led you to an outdated unprofessional-looking site, would you buy a product from the website? If you were looking for a service provider and came across one with no social media presence and a terrible Google Business Profile, would you call or go on to the next?
It’s not enough to focus solely on one tactic. Without a strategy, tactics will fail again and again. A successful marketing approach requires an overarching strategy that allows tactics to work in conjunction with each other.
Tactics are Implemented Without Guidance or Experience
Marketing, like any other area of expertise, takes knowledge, research, and experience to generate optimal results. Many businesses attempt to implement marketing with no prior knowledge or experience. This can lead to poor implementation or a misinformed focus on the wrong things.
I remember the first time I tried to cook chicken for myself as a young teen. I saw my friend do it and I thought “I can do that” So, one night I cut up chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, threw them into a skillet and turned it on. No oil and no seasonings were added. The chicken got cooked, but it was far from good.
That’s what many business owners experience with their marketing. They attempt marketing themselves but it’s far from what they were hoping to achieve.
This is why many businesses hire a marketing agency or consultants to guide them. It’s not that most business owners don’t have the intelligence or skill, but rather they don’t have the time to do the research and trial and error required to get good at marketing.
Marketing requires an understanding of consumer behaviors, the knowledge of how marketing strategies work together, and the experience of implementing individual tactics. Without these things, a business will not have the insights or knowledge to make the right decisions.