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10 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working

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If you’re not getting the results you’d like to see from your marketing, there could be lots of reasons why. Here are 10 common problems that I see all the time that prevent businesses from getting the results they’re looking for. If any of these seem familiar, then a simple change could transform things for you.

1. Being Reactive Not Proactive

Businesses that thrive with their marketing take control of it. Doing things on an ad hoc basis, with little or no thought behind them, is just not going to provide good results. Nor should it. A marketing plan – even a simple plan that works as a timeline for you – can make a huge difference here. Those who do consistent and persistent marketing are more likely to see good results. But you can’t do this if you don’t plan ahead and take control.

2. Having No Goal

Marketing isn’t just something you do in business. There are so many strands to marketing, that you need to be choosy about what’s going to work for you. And you can only decide what’s best by working out what you want to achieve.

If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, then you’re just doing marketing for the sake of doing marketing. But by having a target in mind and working backwards as to how you’re going to achieve it, you’ll actually get somewhere. It’s all about being proactive. So start with a goal in mind.

3. Having No Differentiation

In a busy world, where there is competition for virtually everything, you need to stand out if you want to succeed. Gone are the days when we could write a list of USPs. In the 21st Century, you need to work out what makes you different and special, and then you need to work out how to get people to remember you. If you’ve never done a brand proposition exercise, then now is the time. It could transform how you talk about your business.

4. No Big Picture

This is a problem I see all the time. Businesses get so focused on chasing leads and faffing with social media, that they lose sight of the big picture. Ultimately, how clients perceive you is what matters more than anything.

You can post 10 times a week, set up amazing keyword led content and have your website looking slick and professional. But if you misunderstand your target market, or they just don’t understand who you are and what you do, it’s all a waste of time. Worry about the big picture first. Until that’s polished, you’re always going to struggle.

5. Not Using Enough Channels

Do you spend 100% of your time doing any one thing? Of course you don’t. Nor does anyone else. But many businesses I speak to make the mistake of doing most of their marketing in one channel, such as social media, or emails, or networking. But if you’re only ever visible in one place, you’re limiting how much people will see you, as people are never just always in one place.

The best success comes from using multiple channels. It makes sense, though. The more people see you, the more they’ll remember you. So spend less time in one channel, and more time spreading word around.

6. Broken Links

Whilst having multiple channels is obviously really good, you also need to make sure that the quality of output is the same across all of the channels. I’ve seen many businesses have incredible newsletters, for example, but when people click on a link to their website, they haven’t updated it in 3 years. Or the navigation is poorly thought through. If you want people to see different parts of your marketing, then make sure none of it lets you down. Just one broken link could cost you a lead.

7. Being In the Dark

If you want to make improvements on your marketing, then you need to know exactly what state it’s in. That means you need to regularly track your marketing. From looking each month at your social media stats, your Google Analytics, your email open rates, and your lead reports (and anything else), keep a note of what the trends are. Do things work better at certain times of the month or year? Which blog resonated more with clients? By monitoring your marketing, you can do more of what’s working and stop the stuff that isn’t. It will also ensure you use your time and budgets far more wisely as well.

8. Misaligned Thinking

If you run your own business, it can be too easy to fall into the trap of doing what you like rather than doing what’s going to work for your clients. It doesn’t matter what your favourite colour is, or that you like some shapes more than others. Every image and every word has to speak in your clients’ language and has to attract their attention.

The more you do things for you over what will work best for your clients, the more you’re limiting your chances of success by your own decisions. It’s not your baby, it’s your livelihood. Better to have something you’re not so keen on that earns you millions, than a website and logo you love that people can’t seem to connect with.

9. Lack of Emotion

People buy from people. Every single time, this is true. If you want to connect with your prospective clients, then you need to have emotion in your marketing. People have told me many times that this is “fluffy nonsense”, but every business I’ve worked with that shows more emotion, gets better results. Maybe it’s not nonsense after all.

10. Impatience

This is the biggest problem of all.

Successful marketing takes time. If you want to build a thriving business, then you need sustainable growth. And you can’t do this with quick wins or by constantly chasing that low hanging fruit. You need to build a proactive plan, create some strong foundations, dig down into consistent and persistent marketing, and then wait for the hard work to pay off. This can take 6 to 12 months, or maybe even longer. Marketing professionals know and accept this, but it can be hard for a business to want to wait that long.

However, if you accept that what I say is true, and you believe that I know what I’m talking about, then you need to be more patient. Every time you chop and change and decide something doesn’t work, and every time you create a new message and start that thing again, you’re starting back at square one. And it will take another 6 to 12 months to build your foundations. Meaning you will never get anywhere.

If you accept that it takes time for real success to happen, but you never give it time, then you’ll never see that real success. And again, this is where your own actions limit your own success.

So if you’ve followed all of the other steps, and you’re in control of your marketing, then trust the process. I’ve never yet seen it fail.

Marketing isn’t about doing lots and lots of stuff. It’s about working towards your goals, connecting with your clients, and building up a brand that people can trust. It needs that big picture thinking, it needs a proactive state of mind, and it needs heart and soul.

If you’re frustrated that your marketing isn’t doing what it could be, then take a step back and see if you’re getting in your own way. Sometimes just simple changes can make a massive difference.

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