Why isn’t our marketing working? I don’t know if our marketing is working? We’re on social media, we have an email list, and we’re paying for advertising, but I just don’t know if any of them are worth it?
These are the top questions I hear when working with new clients. They know they need to market their businesses so they have committed to several tactics over the years, but they don’t feel like any of it is working. Or, something is working, but they don’t know what.
Marketing can feel like a mystical, magical secret that doesn’t have a rhyme or reason, and this is what many marketing companies want you to believe – never mind the man behind the curtain.
The truth is, marketing is part art and part science. You can study the science behind your efforts to uncover patterns and make calculated adjustments based on a few, simple metrics.
Here are a few steps to uncover the secrets of your business’s marketing efforts.
Conduct a Marketing Audit
A marketing audit is the first step to answering the question “why isn’t my marketing working?” It allows you to take your bearings and look objectively at how well your marketing efforts are 1. Connected to your business goals and 2. How effective each one is at supporting those goals.
A Marketing Audit is often the first project I start with new clients. Diving in with an outside perspective allows me to evaluate a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and discover new opportunities for growth.
The audit allows me to understand what assets the company is already working with, prioritize marketing tactics based on their overall goals, and create straight forward next steps to help them set off on a forward path.
When to Bring in an Expert
If you’ve been in business for more than two years and you’ve never taken a hard look at your marketing tactics, it’s in your best interest to hire a marketing expert to conduct a full audit. This is important for several reasons.
- Bringing in someone outside your organization can uncover any blind spots you may have for your business.
- An outside expert brings a fresh perspective they can use to give you a complete evaluation.
- A thorough audit will realign your marketing efforts with your business goals and give you actionable steps to move forward.
When to Conduct a Self Assessment.
If your business is new, you’re still gathering data on what is working and what isn’t working. A self-assessment can help give you a clear and objective picture of where your time and money is actually being spent and how to create more focus. You can find plenty of marketing audit templates online. Here’s what to look out for:
- Look for a full marketing audit, not just a digital, social media, or content audit. You want to understand the whole picture behind your business.
- Pay attention to the time you or your employees are investing in each tactic. If something is taking too much time and not bringing in sales, you need to either change it or give it up and direct the time and money into a tactic that does.
- Don’t forget consistency. The key to sustainable growth marketing is being consistent for a long time. At least 90 days. If your marketing strategy includes a lot of tactics but your team doesn’t have time to invest in all of them, none of them will be effective.
When in doubt, invest in a marketing strategist to take a look. You may only need a few tweaks and suggestions to keep you going, and the investment will be well worth it. It’s the difference between trying to troubleshoot your car problems yourself or taking them to a good mechanic.
Talk to Your Customers
Marketing strategies often fail when you’re planning at the whiteboard. It’s easier to think about what our customers want, but we won’t know for certain until we ask them. There are several ways to connect with your clients and customers for insight.
Use a Survey
Surveys are the easiest option for finding out what your clients need and what they are thinking. There are endless ways to ask your audience what they need. Here are just a few ideas:
- Include a survey in your client off boarding practices or after they purchase a product.
- Send out a survey to your email list.
- Use the question box or polls on Instagram stories to ask for feedback.
- Survey your customer facing team members to gain insights on what customers and clients are saying.
While surveys can be an effective way to gain information, there are some drawbacks. People can opt out of surveys, so you may be missing out on important information. They may also misinterpret questions or not answer truthfully.
When you want to know something, sometimes it’s best to go straight to the source. Interview past clients about how they found out about you, their experience working with you, and what they wished they knew about working with you before they started. Here are some tips:
- Don’t only ask your best clients, ask some who struggled too.
- Make sure you keep your interview short 15 to 20 minutes.
- Be humble, let them know you want to improve your communication and would love their help.
- Be sure to send a follow up thank you note.
Interviews can take a while to conduct and the feedback can sometimes be difficult to quantify. Look for trends in answers instead of holding on to one interview when it may not be the norm.
Other ideas to answer “Why isn’t my marketing working?”
Marketing isn’t an exact science because we’re dealing with humans, and humans aren’t always predictable. If your business isn’t having success with marketing, start with your customers and make sure you really understand them – their needs and motivations. Marketing is nuanced and constantly changing, taking a good look at your marketing program yearly or even quarterly is an important part of your business success.
If your business is stuck in a rut, and you’re unsure of your next step forward. It’s time for a talk with a marketing strategist. I’m happy to talk through some of the problems you’re seeing and help you make a plan to move forward. Schedule an initial call below.
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