I often hear that business owners and leaders are frustrated that their marketing isn’t working and they don’t know why.
Often, they’re dependent on their agencies or internal teams to tell them why – but, when they’re asked, it questions their marketing capabilities and activities, so they don’t give great answers. In many cases, the agency’s or team’s criteria and goals are actually different and they’re convinced they’re doing a good job!
There can be many reasons why your marketing isn’t working – here are what I’ve seen as the five most likely reasons.
- It’s Your Website
It’s a marketer’s job to get more people to your website because the more people visit it, the more likely they are to buy. This makes a lot of sense – as long as the website does it’s part, helping new visitors to find what they’re looking for and explaining how you solve their problems.
But if the website doesn’t do that, then all the website traffic in the world won’t help you. I’ve seen a wide range of issues, from the fact that it’s too slow to load (and people don’t have the patience to wait for it) to bad messaging and copy, to bad Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
A classic example is a website that talks about you, and what you do, rather than talking about how you solve your clients’ biggest problems. So I recommend that your website is the first place you look – especially if you’re getting a decent amount of traffic already.
2) You’re Wasting Money and Time in the Wrong Place
If your website is fine, then the next problem might be that the wrong people are going there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people spending money on increasing their website traffic but sending people there who don’t need the product or service.
Some of this comes from FOMO and the perception that’s it’s important “to be everywhere.” That includes social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and now TikTok. But where you should “be” – and how you should spend your marketing dollars – depends more on who you want to reach. The fundamentals of marketing are ignored so much of the time, including going after the wrong audience. You may not be accurately targeting the right people to come to your website in the first place.
3) Your Activity is Like Buckshot
By this, I mean the “spray and pray” method of marketing – lots of volume but not focused. This is similar to the FOMO I mentioned above: the idea that you should be doing all sorts of things because people tell you it’s important. You’ve heard video is important, so you did one. It’s on YouTube and no one has seen it.
Or you’ve heard you have to be on Facebook and maybe Instagram – what about LinkedIn? – so you’ve hired an agency to help. They’re out there with lots of posts and lots of hashtags. Everyone is very very busy.
But they’re not getting you more leads or more sales. Sound familiar? Just “doing” a lot of marketing activities is not effective marketing.
4) You’re Not Looking at (or Understanding) the Data
I see businesses who have reports that were sent by their marketing agency or team. Typically, they say: “I get this monthly report but I don’t look at it.” And when I ask if they understand it, most of the time they say “No, not really.”
Do you understand what metrics are important? Do you know what to ask your marketing team or agency? Most businesses don’t. They act on faith. This means they’re not sure that the data is being used to their advantage. Or, if their marketing agency (or team) is doing this, they’re not explaining what they’re doing or what they’ve learned.
5) There’s No Strategy
The biggest reason I see that marketing fails is there’s no strategy. Why is a strategy important? Because it defines where you’re going – the goal posts. How you get there may involve some testing but all of the activity should be focused on goals:
- How much more website traffic did you get?
- Did you increase the number of leads?
- Were they good leads?
- Did you get more sales?
Marketing for the sake of marketing doesn’t get you anywhere. If you don’t have goals to meet and a way to attain those goals, you’re pretty much throwing away your money. Can you afford to do that?
If you don’t have a strategy or you’re not sure which of these reasons applies to you and your marketing efforts, contact me and let’s talk.