Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Why your marketing strategy isnt working (and what to do about it)

So, you have a business you love. I mean, you really love it. And you think everyone else should love it too. But it isn't flying. And the orders aren't flowing in. Or the phone isn't ringing off the hook. 

And, actually...no-one really knows about it.

But why? 

Well, there could be lots of reasons. Many people often make the mistake that just because you love the business or your products and know about it that everyone else should too.  

But usually it comes down to one or all of the below.

So, let's break down the 'why' and then focus on how to fix the problems.

WHY is my marketing not working?

You don't have a plan - Not a real plan anyway. You haven't put together a proper strategy and you're essentially just 'winging it'. No marketing will EVER work without a proper plan to execute. 

You don't know your audience - Have you considered who your audience is? Sometimes this can be very obvious but sometimes it might be quite wide and varied. Or maybe you haven't even considered it?

You don't know your product - Do you really know what it is you're selling? Do you know why it's so great? What makes it good? 

You're not looking at your data - Now this is key! SO many people may have a plan, they have a target audience. They've defined their product. But you're not looking at your data to see whether this is actually true.

You're over complicating it - We've all heard about 'KISS' (keep it simple stupid) and it is always relevant. A long time ago, a previous boss (who I respect very much) said something which stuck with me. 'Do more of what works and less of what doesn't' Sometimes we can be guilty of looking at newer marketing trends and thinking we need to be doing that when that's not always the case. 

So what do I do?

To begin with take a look at each of the above statements and see which one/s apply to you.

Do you have a plan? If the answer is YES then great! 

You're way ahead of a lot of people who set up a business with no plan and just believe the customers will come. If you don't then you need one. 

A good marketing plan isn't complicated (despite what many people will have you believe) as marketing should be simple. It should include:
  • What do we do?
  • Who are our competitors and what do they do?
  • What makes us different?
  • Who are our customers?
  • Where do our customers hang out online and in person?
  • How do we get our message in front of them?
  • What channels do we use?
  • What's our message?
  • WHY should people use us?
  • How do we measure what we do?
Take the time to write your plan. To really look at all the above and write a strategy to fit.

If you HAVE got a marketing plan do you really know your customer?

If you know your customer you need to really think about who they are, what they do and where they hang out. Then think about why they might want your product. If you know all of this then it might be worth considering if your customer base is too wide? Sometimes we can have too wide a range of products or services which makes marketing quite hard. Have a think about what type of customer is the most important to you and consider just that group of people and how you focus on them.

Do you really know your product or service?

This is really common to not really know what you're selling. You think it's obvious but you've never really considered in detail exactly what you're selling and why. You need to know everything about what you're selling. In great detail. Only then will you understand who might want to buy it.

Are you looking at your data?

Recently I was working with a client who had just been collating email lists of people they thought would be interested in their product. T
hey had been emailing them information about their product every week. 

On closer inspection of their data I saw that NOBODY was actually opening the emails. 
But they were sending them anyway!
They weren't really looking at their message and what they were sending or who they were sending it to so I guess they ticked quite a few boxes above. You need to know WHAT is working. WHO is paying attention to your message and why. These people are genuinely interested in what you're doing so focus on them. I don't mean hone in on them and spam them with sales emails. I mean look at who they are. And look at why they're interested. And look at the message you are sending them. Once you understand your data it will really help you to fine tune WHO, WHAT and WHY and isn't that really the most important part of your marketing really?

Are you over complicating things?

Do you have a marketing strategy that works but you've read you should be doing X, Y and Z? Marketing is not 'one size fits all'. Just because one channel works for one business doesn't mean it will work for you so if you have something that works don't take your eye off the ball to try something new. 
You absolutely should NOT keep churning out the same thing just for the sake of it but don't try and be on a million channels and all things to all people. Especially if you are a small business. Focus on getting one thing right that you know works. 
Once that's running and doing well you can look at adding something else into the mix but don't try and run a million different promotions on four different channels whilst forgetting your key message.

Marketing works if you ask the right questions.

We could expand on WHY it might not be working but I would suggest the above are some of the main reasons things might not be going as planned.

Take the points that might apply. Grab a piece of paper and see what comes out. 


Just keep it simple, ask the right questions and revise your plan. And then you'll be flying!

HOWEVER! If you have tried a lot of the above and you are still struggling and need some support with your marketing then just drop us a line or give us a call 07887552888.

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