Have you ever put a lot of resources and effort into your marketing, only to see it fall flat? Or maybe, you are not seeing the results you were anticipating. You are not alone. Let's examine why your marketing might not be yielding the results you expected.
We asked our TAB members for additional insight into why marketing fails certain businesses.
#1. Trying to expand product offerings and reaching multiple markets at the same time.
There are many reasons your marketing is not working. Most companies begin by offering a limited product or service line to a target audience. Growth can come by expanding the number of offerings to your existing clientele or expanding the number of markets you approach with your current offerings. Problems arise when you try to simultaneously offer new products or services to multiple markets, diluting your marketing dollars' impact.
The Alternative Board. San Antonio, Texas
#2. You missed your audience.
Marketing is a broad and vague term. There are hundreds of marketing strategies incorporating different styles, content, media, placements, and so on.
You could be doing some of the following to promote your products and services:
• Traditional Marketing – Brand promotion via snail mail, radio, print ads, TV ads, flyers, billboards, etc.
• Outbound Marketing – Cold calling, e-Mail blasts, mailers, etc.
• Inbound Marketing – incenting potential customers to contact you, likely using content marketing.
• Digital Marketing – Leveraging online tools, including, but not limited to the following:
◦ Social Media Marketing
◦ Search Engine Marketing
◦ Online Digital Ads
• Event Marketing – Using educational or entertaining events to attract and reach potential customers.
This list could go on for many pages. Some strategies are waning, while others are bleeding edge. More importantly, some will reach your audience; others will not. Some that reach your audience will not resonate with them. Worse yet, a poorly chosen or executed marketing strategy might make the wrong impression on your audience, causing you to lose business. Lastly, what reached and resonated with your audience five years ago may not be effective anymore.
Is your marketing strategy reaching your audience? Is it leaving them with the impression you want them to have? Is it moving them to action? Does it include the action and capture the prospects' essential information?
If you haven't asked or answered these questions in the past two years, it's time to reassess your marketing plan.
The Alternative Board, North Texas
#3. You are selling the features, not the benefits.
When businesses post on social media or talk about their business, they always talk about their service/product features, which is not beneficial.
While it is essential to have a great product, your target audience will likely hear the same message from your competitors about their products. The potential client has not experienced either of you, so he cannot know who is better, who may have overstated, and the difference between the products. Instead of promoting the mere features of your product, you are better off stating the benefits and create credibility by presenting case studies and testimonials.
When marketing your product or services, you should focus on how the product or service will improve your prospective customers' lives. For instance, as a business coach, I always say, "I make things happen." Once you grab their attention, you can then start listing the features of your product or service.
The Alternative Board, Israel
#4. You are not clear on who your target market is and what outcomes they are seeking.
Too often, when a company is marketing themselves, they are focused on their product, their services, features, and functions and not their client. Are these things important? Yes, but it is more important to show your target market that you understand them, their wants and needs, their fears and dreams, and then position yourself and your company as the knowledgeable guide to solving their problems.
The Alternative Board, Burlington, Massachusetts
#5. You did not put together a comprehensive strategy and marketing plan first.
You need to understand your business vision, value proposition, and target customer first and then craft a complete marketing plan to deliver that message to your target customer. You also need to understand your marketing budget and build an efficient and effective planned spend for each media channel. Make sure you are prepared to take on the additional volume of potential business so that you satisfy your new customers entirely and continue to provide the best product or service to your existing customers.
The Alternative Board, Haddonfield, New Jersey
#6. Here are the common reasons marketing misses the point for most businesses.
• Your audience isn't clearly defined. Too often, businesses want to serve everyone and don't focus on a clear definition of their target market or ideal customer. Therefore, they waste their marketing resources (time, money, and energy) since their target is too broad and they don't connect with anybody. Define your target market — demographically (who), geographically (where), and psycho-graphically (what's important to them).
• Your messaging isn't unique or compelling. Too often, businesses want to be everything to everyone and don't focus on what truly sets them apart from their competitors. You are then seen as a commodity instead of a valuable service/product that customers would choose over your competitors. Focus on 3-5 unique things your company can do better than anyone else and deliver on those every time. This becomes part of your brand and value proposition. This should include the niche service or product you provide and valuable benefits your customer experiences.
When you're crystal clear on your audience and messaging, you can succinctly state, "I help [target audience] by [your niche service/product] so they can [benefit they will experience].
The Alternative Board, San Antonio, Texas
#7. Additional reasons why your marketing is not working:
• No consistent marketing strategy
• Lack of focus on segmentation and targeting prospects.
• Not using the proper media to reach your potential customers.
• Message not following audience expectations.
• No consistent follow-up activities.
The Alternative Board, Atlanta, Georgia
#8. You don't know what your customers want.
There are reasons why your marketing is not working effectively. And one of them is: Your clients are not looking for a quarter-inch drill; they want a quarter-inch hole.
Do you know what your consumers or buyers want? Do you know what solution you are bringing for them?
We all will need to think outside-in instead of inside-out. Join our TAB International Member event to learn more!
Vincent Vermeulen - Master TAB Netherlands
The Alternative Board, North Holland, Netherlands