Success or Failure?
*That Depends on You.

When you spend time, staff, and money on marketing initiatives, you want to know that they’re meeting expectations.  It’s clear that some of those who have budget line and revenue responsibilities have an impression that their marketing isn’t as effective as it should be.  And they might be right.

Here’s what I find are some leading causes for marketing bloopers.  This isn’t exhaustive. But what follows are some main problems, and offers a good way to start re-thinking your approaches.

Your expectations aren’t realistic. 

Prospecting emails don’t get a 60% conversion rate, and they won’t get a 60% open rate.  If you directly contact 1,000 people, then you haven’t made a notable impression to boost your brand on 1,000 people.  Not even close.  If you’re a marketer and you’re not setting proper expectations, then you’re setting your projects up for failure, and your company or client for disappointment.   If you’re a business owner or leader who’s expecting consistently unrealistic returns, you’re doing just the same.

It’s not integrated with other initiatives.  

You see this in larger companies, or companies with multiple divisions.  The left hand and the right are out of sync due to different operational leadership, or bad communications.  This kind of poor organization leads to market confusion and depressed performance from all marketing initiatives.

You're on the road to success.
The Road to Success.

There’s no engagement.

Good marketing is like a good novel.  It draws you in so you want to move to the next page and onwards towards the next chapter.  That’s the pull of engagement.  If your marketing is only talking about you, your product, or your service, that’s not engagement.  That’s what bad marketing does.  Position your messages toward what’s important to your prospects.  Give them a reason to care, and then you’ll begin to see better results.

It’s a one-off.

Multiple touches to the marketplace are essential.  We marketers wish that prospects pay more attention to our communications.  But wishing doesn’t make things so, right?  Rigorous planning and a smart level of repetition make things so.

There’s no way to determine the effectiveness of your outbound marketing. 

The red flag goes up, way up, if there’s no way to determine how your marketing push will live up to expectations.  Why will there be no metrics?  Change the game by changing the rules.  No metrics, no investment.

There’s no pull.

Pushing messages out is one thing.  But then what?  If your inbound initiatives – your pull marketing — don’t match your outbound, then you won’t convert enough prospects to customers.  A strong content marketing portfolio is a must today.  Without it, your competitors will be eating your lunch.

The only metrics that matter are tied to overall objectives.  Most times I couldn’t care less about open rates on email campaigns.  That’s typically not the overall objective.  The objective is what happens next, the action that takes place.  The objective is to create a lead, or make a sale.  Don’t get distracted by a lot of numbers and percentages.  Keep your eyes on the prize, and prizes are given when marketing contributes to the sales process.

Are there more things that might need fixing?  You bet.  But when you take an unfiltered look at all that you’re doing wrong with your marketing, then you’ll be able to move towards a more effective program, and better results.

*Photo:  Todd Ehlers