“We’ve tried everything, spent a lot of money and I’m not sure it’s made a difference.”  This statement, which I hear from prospects more often than not, is usually followed by, “What can you do for us?”  Before answering, I ask prospects to share their stories, and the tales are often familiar.  You don’t need a visit from me or any other strategic marketing professional to solve this marketing mystery.  Here are the top 10 reasons your B2B marketing is not working:

You mistake “collateral” for “marketing”:  Inexperienced in-house marketers who don’t have someone to train or guide them accumulate a massive amount of print and online marketing collateral and promotional items.  And then they collect dust (actual and virtual dust).  If you have lots of “stuff” and no results, this could be at least part of your problem.

You focus on your products and services rather than your customers’ needs and wants:  Review your website or any piece of your marketing collateral.  What percentage of the copy is truly devoted to addressing your customers’ pain points versus the merits of your company?

Your marketing plan fits on one page:  If you have a bullet-pointed marketing action list disguised as a marketing plan, review The Top 10 Elements of B2B Marketing Plans for further guidance.  A solid marketing plan goes a long way towards having a successful marketing program.

Your marketing professional has never taken a marketing course or been a marketer:  This professional is surely less expensive than a marketing college graduate with experience, but isn’t it fairly obvious why your marketing doesn’t take off?  I recommend reading, “Can Any Ol’ Person Be a B2B Marketer? if you are unsure.

You think each business owner or shareholder should develop his/her own marketing plan:  Your firm likely does a lot of different, disjointed marketing activities that have no synergies, are short-term in nature and are “one and done.”

You spend more than 50% of your marketing budget on inconsistent advertising, golf and other events:  All of these efforts are relatively expensive and the value, if any, expires shortly after the activity.

You believe that marketing is just done by the marketing department:  In today’s modern era of digital marketing, marketing needs to integrate with sales and customer service to fully understand how your products and services are fitting the needs of a constantly changing marketplace.

Your website is an online brochure:  If you are chest-thumping and not sharing original, targeted, authentically helpful content, “fuhgeddaboudit.”

You have no idea what makes your firm truly unique:  And, unfortunately, your target customers won’t either.  Having a clear positioning statement in all written and verbal communications is critical.  Delivering the B2B Positioning TKO is a great read.

You don’t budget enough for marketing:  The B2B marketplace, especially in professional services, is highly competitive.  If you aren’t keeping up with other firms and investing in a cost-effective savvy marketing program, your light will grow dimmer and dimmer.

Don’t be frustrated any more by lackluster marketing programs!  Contact me ([email protected]) to help diagnose why your B2B marketing isn’t working.