6 Reasons Why Marketing Fails and How to Prevent It
When it comes to marketing, there are no guarantees. A great marketing idea that is poorly implemented or incorrectly presented can have less than desirable results. You might spend hours of development time and a ton of money, so pay heed to the advice to ensure top results.
There are many factors that dictate the success or failure of any marketing campaign. Let’s discuss what they are and how to prevent the disasters from happening—or at best, keep them to a minimum.
First: Not Having or Following Protocol
No campaign should be without a protocol or plan of how to implement, disseminate, follow up on and measure any marketing effort. Not having one is just foolish. This critical step often is missed or not followed even when one is in place. We get busy and complacent and decide subconsciously that we can skip that portion this time, but this time is the start of a downward spiral to mediocrity that then becomes a habit—not good!
Recently I developed a very simple, yet effective award-winning marketing campaign for iPROMOTEu. I was curious why some distributors were having tremendous success while others were faltering. I interviewed several affiliates but one stuck out in my head. I asked him what he attributed the success of the campaign to, and he responded, “Cliff, I trusted and followed your outlined protocol to the T, and it works.” Many of the affiliates have seen a more than 80 percent appointment rate setting with this piece. Having a sound protocol, following that plan and believing in that plan ensures greater success than leaving it to hope and chance.
Second: Wrong Targeted List or Contact
Preparation is yet another essential key to a successful campaign. The shotgun approach or mass blast marketing efforts is a thing of the past, as it is ineffective and very costly. Marketing today must be laser focused with the right message and targeted specifically to the right individual. With advancements in technology, marketing messages easily can be pushed out to the market. This is why your message must be concise, targeted, focused and hit an emotional trigger with that target buyer. Developing the right target audience means doing ample research and segmenting the list both laterally and vertically; and then honing those lists with various criteria that narrow the focus down to a manageable group. Lastly, send the piece to a person not a title. Otherwise it will be perceived as junk mail.
Third: Failure to Follow Through Timely
Your marketing message, if done correctly, will have a call to action. Remember your client or prospect is being bombarded with information, and if you fail to follow up or be available when you when you say you will be, you will lose momentum and derail your effort. The suggestion is to market in small chunks, say three to five pieces at a time, follow up, track the responses, tweak where needed and repeat. The size of your business will dictate the amount you send out at any given time—always err on the notion that less is more. Make sure your marketing campaign is not time sensitive. If it is, you’ll need to rethink your distribution methodology.
Fourth: Lack of Sales Skills or Ability to Close the Sale
You need to constantly look at ways to increase your knowledge base and hone your sales skills. Some of the best marketing campaigns die on the vine because the individual lacks the skills of questioning, listening and following through with the client or prospect. Find a mentor, someone who can give you positive feedback on ways you can better craft your elevator speech and your company’s message. Too often salespeople will develop these amazing campaigns that speak to creativity and helping clients gain market share only to go in, throw a catalog on their desk and lead with product. If you do this, you have just managed to disassemble your entire message. Taking an introspective look at your sales skills is not a weakness, it’s strength. It takes guts and insight to look inward and not point the finger out.
If you launch a campaign in the height of a busy season like tax time or around the holidays, it can have horrible results. This is why preparation is so critical. If a client is looking to do a custom order offshore in China quickly, we certainly would want to avoid the month of February given that the factories in China are closed for a month during Chinese New Year. By doing adequate research and asking great questions, you will avoid the pitfall of bad timing.
Sixth: Lack of Desire or Need on the Part of the Client
At some level you can’t control this, however, you will have a greater return if you understand the need and the pain of the audience before you market to them. I always follow one strict rule: Identify the pain point and market a solution to that pain. You will find that you will have a greater response rate by getting into the mind of the client or prospect rather than making assumptions about what cute item they may like.
So when it comes to marketing, there are no guarantees. Marketing opens doors, and hopefully your sales acumen and knowledge will close the deal. Work hard at honing these skills and avoiding the pitfalls that make great marketing not so great.
Until next month, continued good selling.