If you’re in business, you know you need a strategic marketing plan of action to grow your business. But how do you know if your marketing strategy is working or not?
Marketing strategies are comprehensive outlines, designed using data sourced from customer and market research. They’re then used to direct all advertising and marketing efforts that will be invested in building a brand.
After investing hours in developing and executing a marketing strategy, it would be rather disappointing to not reach (or even come close to) your targeted ROI. Right?
Rather than giving up, or worse yet, pouring more resources into a strategy that could be a sinkhole. The best course of action would be to take a step back, reevaluate, and restrategize. Let’s be smart about this…
When reevaluating, the most important step is to certify that there is a problem with your marketing strategy. Uncovering the weak spots in your marketing strategy should be done before making any attempts to restrategize.
Let’s take a look at how to identify what’s working and what’s not, so you can get to the fun stuff – reevaluating and restrategizing.
How Do You Know When Your Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working?
1. Your company’s growth does not match the industry’s
Reports show that revenue in your industry has been growing consistently but your company’s revenue hasn’t experienced comparable growth. Not that you should be comparing your business growth to industry standards. But if you have not been experiencing any steady growth, then there is a problem.
2. You haven’t gotten any new clients
How many new clients came to you as a result of your marketing strategies?
One of the purposes of using a marketing strategy is to increase your reach and promote organic growth. If new clients are not finding you organically, your marketing strategy isn’t serving its purpose. It’s time to reevaluate how you’re attracting clients.
3. You’re losing customers
Not only are you finding it hard to get new customers, your old ones are leaving.
This could be a big sign that there’s something about your marketing strategy that is a disconnect between expectation and delivery, that they would rather change brands. It could also mean that your marketing efforts are not strong enough and in recent times, has had little to no impact on them.
Marketing continues to evolve and change as technology changes. If you’re still using marketing strategies from 2006, you’re missing out on your true growth potential.
4. There’s no interaction on your social media pages or blog posts
When you have a product that solves a need and you promote it to the right audience, a percentage of those people will have questions for you, or feedback after trying out the product. No interaction whatsoever on any of your platforms is a sign that your marketing strategy concerning online social interaction has failed.
It’s not that the social platforms don’t work – it’s that you haven’t found the right way to work the platforms to connect with your target audience.
5. You’re investing more money than you’re making
For every marketing strategy you implement, there’s an expected ROI which should cover the initial investment, and bring in profit. If all you’re doing is investing money and not seeing any of it again, it means that a part of or your whole marketing strategy needs reevaluation.
Pretty straightforward right? If you’re spending more than you’re making – there’s a problem. It’s time for a different plan of action.
6. Your plan isn’t evolving
It’s not expected that you use the same model for a marketing strategy over a long period of time. As your business grows, your model should change with it. If you’re still at the same point you started with, it means that your business hasn’t grown enough to require any level of change.
It kind of goes back to point #3… with new technologies comes change. And if you’re not adapting your marketing strategies to fit the changes, your business will not evolve and grow.
Why your Marketing Strategy isn’t working
Now that you know how to identify the clear signs that a marketing strategy isn’t working, let’s look at some of the reasons why this can occur:
1. You built your marketing strategy on assumptions
Too many people make this mistake. When creating a marketing strategy, you need to work with data that clearly shows how your strategy will resonate with your target customers. You can’t be completely sure of this with an assumption or a hunch.
If you have an assumption you want to work with, do some research on it first. Find out if your customers have a similar opinion, or if they like the idea. The reason is, you might have a fantastic idea you’re sure your customers would love, but once it gets to them, it makes little to no impact. To avoid situations like this, stick to the facts.
Real data, trumps a hunch. Do your due diligence, to create a strategic marketing plan you can work with.
2. You’re not trying to adapt
The market changes constantly, and so does consumer behaviour. You need to evolve along with them or you’ll be left behind.
This is why brands experience a situation where a marketing strategy works great at the beginning but seems almost ineffective a few months later. To stay up-to-date with market changes, consistent research and analysis should be carried out.
Are you catching the theme here?
- You need to review and track your actions.
- Measure your marketing campaigns – measurement is key (set up and use Google Analytics)
- Make small tweaks as you learn and grow
- Become adaptable
3. Your efforts are not targeted
Marketing is not just about putting out the right content. It’s far more strategic than that.
You need to be putting the right content in front of the right people, at the right time.
As a brand, you should be able to identify your target market and understand the best ways to reach them through market research. And then deliver your content based on your research.
4. You’re totally ignoring your competition
If your business is still on a small scale, you might think it’s unnecessary to pay attention to what your competitors are doing. Meanwhile, they might be applying strategies that are pulling potential clientele away from your business.
We’re not advising that you focus on your competitors completely.
But you need to take note of these things:
- Consumer reception to their marketing efforts
- Growth reported in the industry
- Resources being applied in their marketing efforts
- Marketing strategies that did not resonate with the target customers, and were quickly discarded.
Some companies periodically share reports and analysis containing some of this information. The rest can be obtained through observation, which your marketing team should be doing. You can also get this type of information from industry reports.
5. Your sales and marketing team are not in sync
Regardless of how different the duties of the sales and marketing team are, they need to work together.
If a potential buyer is convinced of one thing during the marketing stage and is presented with something totally different when making the purchase, it might drive them away from the brand entirely. Your marketing strategy might be working but because there’s no alignment, sales are not happening.
Marketing and sales teams should keep each other informed of their actions so they can stay in sync while working independently.
6. You’re not using social media marketing effectively
If you don’t have a detailed social media marketing plan included in your strategies, implementing one will prove difficult.
Social media is one of the cheapest ways to reach your target audience and every single person you want visiting your business is on at least one social media network.
A good marketing strategy will outline the methods that will be implemented in reaching potential buyers using social media.
Let’s Wrap It Up…
After identifying the missing parts in your marketing strategy, it’s time to gather your marketing team to re-strategize.
Listen, if you’re not happy with your current marketing strategy, you may want to seriously consider implementing a new one. And if you’re not sure where to start, why not enlist the help of an expert?
An outside look at your business’ marketing strategy is a win in my books. Often as business owners, we’re too close to our own subject matter to see things differently, and an unbiased opinion can do just that.
If you’re ready to talk strategy – we’re here to help. Take the next step – Connect with us for a free one-to-one conversation on how to build a strategic marketing plan that works for your business. We’ll tell it to you straight, so you can make better business decisions to grow your business.