By Molly Jacobson
It can feel pretty defeating when you’ve put your oh-so-valuable time and energy into planning and executing a marketing plan, only to barely see a difference in your bottom line. It makes you want to throw in the towel and give up on this seemingly useless time-sucking endeavor that every business publication keeps promising is your silver bullet. Well, guess what – you’re not alone.
According to a report by SBI Research, it’s estimated that as many as 71% of marketers are falling short of their revenue targets by adopting the wrong marketing strategies. That’s right, not only are you not alone, but you’re in the majority! So, let’s put our past marketing grievances aside for a moment and determine what went wrong.
1. Your strategy was nonexistent.
Sometimes you just want to go with flow and take things as they come. Who doesn’t? Who shouldn’t? A marketer with the mission of building a business! Depending on tactics without a clear strategy in place is the biggest and most common mistake I see. It’s like starting a business without a plan – a major marketing crime that will lead you down Failure Lane.
Create a clear strategy and action plan that you can stick to. It doesn’t have to be 50 pages long; begin with how you will capture new leads, determine the frequency of your email campaigns, social media posts, videos, blog posts, etc. If you’re not sure where to begin, utilizing the help of a marketing coach can go a long way to ensuring your tactics are impactful.
2. You were a copy cat.
It’s important to do your research and know what your competitors are doing, but being just like everybody else isn’t a unique selling point. It’s imperative that you set your business apart from the competition. When your target audience is unable to differentiate your products/services or campaigns from the competition, it means that you’re competing on price alone – rarely a smart move (unless you’re Walmart).
Determine what makes your company unique. Do you provide unmatched personalized care? Do you have exceptional customer service? Does your company have an interesting story behind it? Identify what makes your company special, and spread the word!
3. Your target was off.
Have you done your market research and determined who needs and benefits from what you’re selling? Are the people you’re targeting the people who actually want your product or service? Are you targeting at all? Before letting your marketing horse out of the gate, your ideal client profile needs a face.
Identify your target customers and get to know them like they’re your best friend. Where are their values? What are their biggest struggles? How do they spend their free time? Where do they shop? Where do they read/hear the news? This will help you to pinpoint where to attract their attention and the precise message you need to get across.
Molly Jacobson is the owner and founder of Jacobson Strategy, empowering small businesses to grow their brands with the strategy, support and expertise of online marketing coaching. For more information, visit www.jacobsonstrategy.com.