As an employer, a marketing professional, or a key business decision maker, it’s important to understand the needs of your company and how business objectives should tie into the overall marketing approach.

According to the Fournaise Marketing Group, a global company that has conducted research with 1,200 CEOs and CMOs in 11 countries, across large, medium, and small firms, approximately $400 billion is spent each year on marketing and advertising worldwide across all media, with the purpose of generating more customer demand for products and services advertised, to grow a company’s revenue and sales. However, 70 percent of companies missed their revenue target last year because 75 percent of marketing campaigns under-performed and failed to generate more customer demand despite all of the buzz about creativity, marketing automation, social media, digital and inbound marketing.

To underscore this point, marketing expert Seth Godin recently stated: “more people are doing marketing badly… than any other profession I can imagine.” Whether it be a CEO whose disappointed in the performance of his CMO, or a potential consumer simply noticing a glaringly bad example of marketing, there are always going to be ways to be more effective and efficient at promoting your company’s presence in the marketplace than are currently being done.

Below follows a list of five things you can do to tighten up your current approach to marketing in the midst of the chaos and constant change occurring in the marketplace:

  1. Evaluate your in-place marketing strategy. Are you still practicing the same methods that you’ve been exercising for ages? Have you moved beyond being predictable, and most likely, boring? Are you engaging your customers as opposed to simply talking at them? If you answered “no” to the majority of questions, check out this article from SAP Vice President of Global Marketing Michael Brenner entitled “The World Has Changed. Has Your Marketing?
  • Focus on your top customers to help drive sales. There’s a group of people who hold unmatched sway over your brand. Rather than trying to persuade buyers, focus on how to motivate your existing customers to persuade and influence new buyers.
  • Hire a marketing person who thinks like a business owner. According to a recent article by Indiana University Professor Kimberly Whitler, 80% of CEOs claim they have lost trust in their marketers. A huge reason for this is based on the fact that most traditional marketers think less like a business person and more like a creative professional. Hire someone who understands your business objectives, that is able to translate complex data into meaningful results.
  • Reduce overall marketing costs. In this Chamber of Commerce article from Eric Goldman about how to effectively reduce marketing costs, he suggests dropping campaigns that don’t deliver tangible results, using automation to boost productivity, and outsourcing on an as-needed basis.
  • Remember the point of marketing. From an article entitled “Can You Explain Your Marketing to a Six-Year Old?” the author suggests that marketing is really as simple as “what you do in business when you try to convince people to want and to buy what you have to sell.” Remember not to get too distracted by shiny new objects and to focus on the overall objectives behind each and every decision you make as it relates back to your overall marketing approach.

In short, the ability to understanding your business from the 10,000 foot level can work wonders when it comes to crafting, modifying, or augmenting an existing marketing approach. Don’t be afraid to step back and look at the whole thing with an open mind: difficult decisions can quickly become no-brainers when taking into account the holistic perspective.