In 16 seconds: I think you would agree that marketing your business is necessary for success and growth. However, if it doesn’t seem like it’s working for you and you’re not getting a strong return on your marketing investment, it could be for one of several common reasons. Read below to find out what could be the cause for your poor or lukewarm marketing results.
Marketing is a multi-billion-dollar industry for one simple reason – it works.
But not necessarily for everyone.
Marketing produces a robust ROI through building brand awareness, influencing behaviors and accelerating sales.
But not necessarily for everyone.
For six simple possible reasons that, quite honestly, probably wouldn’t surprise you, and ones that are somewhat easy to overcome
Let’s break them down, one by one.
First, let’s start with a company’s mindset and perception of marketing.
For any company that views marketing as an expense versus an investment, and doesn’t hesitate to give its budget a haircut when business is down, it does so at its peril. Oftentimes, it is because the nonbelieving company never monitored and measured its marketing efforts. (This is great news for any competing company investing heavily into a robust marketing effort.)
For any company to survive and thrive, marketing must be viewed and treated as a necessity, and there must be a strategy to drive it forward. (More on that in a bit.)
Second, marketing a brand that is not properly differentiated and one that is not interesting.
Let’s start by defining what a brand is and what marketing is:
A brand is the sum of what someone thinks about when hearing a name or seeing a logo.
A strong brand boasts a unique set of distinctions that make a positive and noteworthy difference in the lives of customers, channel partners and employees (For example, think about why an auto mechanic would buy Snap-On Tools versus Ace Hardware tools.)
Marketing is the tactical application of promoting a brand through a variety of communication channels.
Simply stated, if a company is pouring dollars into marketing a brand that is not adequately differentiated, is soft, or looks and sounds too similar to a competitor (or competitors), marketing will produce tepid results.
Look at it this way – with a compelling brand, a company won’t need to spend quite as much on marketing because it really is about quality over quantity. (This plays into improving marketing ROI.)
Contact us if you would like help building a stronger brand for your company.
Third, and you knew this was coming – not having a strategy.
You’ve heard the phrase many times – those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Without a sound industrial marketing strategy, ad hoc decisions are made based on the mood of the moment and there is rarely any consistency. It’s the “Let’s try (fill in the blank) for a while and see what happens.” Or a very convincing someone tells you that email campaigns are the holy grail while another may tell you a strong brand message on a business card will do the trick at networking events. Nearly everyone will convincingly push their opinions on you mostly based on gut feelings, versus facts and evidence.
However, with a well thought out strategy based on a healthy amount of research and data, no time will be wasted thinking of “what to do next” while mitigating analysis paralysis. Most importantly, a good play-by-play industrial marketing strategy eliminates decision-after-decision by committee. Decisions will be based on solid metrics – not hunches, gut feelings or little devils and angels sitting on your shoulder.
If you need assistance building a marketing strategy for your company, contact us.
Fourth, failing to create well-rounded buyer personas.
While most companies have a good understanding of who their customers are, a fair amount have never dedicated the time to define their different profiles specific to their needs, wants and behaviors, in detail.
The more you understand your buyers, the more effective your marketing will be, and the less you will spend targeting the wrong people. So, when thinking about building your buyer personas, start here…
- What is their educational background?
- How do they learn about the products and services you provide?
- What associations and networks do they participate in?
- What publications and blogs do they read?
- What size of companies do they work for?
- What are their pain points?
- How does their employer measure their performance?
- What do they worry about?
- What are the emotions they feel when they need what you sell?
- What apprehensions may they have about buying what you sell?
- How do they make decisions?
- Where would their personalities fall on a DiSC profile?
- Keep going with your own ideas
Fifth, marketing people not collaborating with salespeople.
Unfortunately, we hear this much too often. The sole purpose of marketing is to drive sales – the lifeblood of any company. However, healthy growth will not occur if sales and marketing live on two islands without a bridge to connect them.
(Sadly, marketing versus sales is often a battle of egos – a battle that cannot be won because the enemy is the battle itself.)
Marketing professionals view themselves as experts in their field, and rightfully so. Marketing is growing more complex by the day and the game is always changing. But, it’s the salespeople who are in the field talking to customers, listening to their needs and meeting them at networking events, conferences, trade shows, etc.
So, it’s understandable why salespeople become frustrated when marketing doesn’t collaborate with them to create an accurate industrial marketing strategy. But then again, salespeople aren’t always aware of the latest marketing trends and tools. But then again…but then again… You can see how this never ends.
The fact is, for marketing to be effective, salespeople and marketing professionals must communicate often and play well with each other.
Sixth, only focusing on new customer acquisition marketing.
It’s easy for companies to feel secure about their relationships with existing customers – some being more loyal than others. But it’s equally easy for companies to forget that their customers are still being targeted and courted by competitors with their own branding and marketing tactics.
My point: Just because a company has a customer today doesn’t guarantee the customer will be there tomorrow.
So, make sure you keep your customers on your mailing list. Make sure they are part of your email marketing campaigns. Encourage them to follow you on LinkedIn and other social media channels. Yes – keep marketing to them as if they weren’t your customers to ensure they still view you as their best option.
I hope this article sparked you to think about how you can improve your marketing plan and strategy. As the saying goes, the biggest room in the house is the room for improvement.
If you need help with your marketing, contact us by completing the form below. It’s what we do, and we would welcome the opportunity.