If we had a fiver for every prospect who told us that that they had tried marketing once and it didn’t work, Debbi and I would be driving around in Porsche Boxsters! But this will resonate with lots of businesses, but the trouble is, how can you tell if your marketing’s missing the mark and what can you do to make your marketing strategy more effective?
Here are the five key signs your marketing needs help.
1. Targeting – Your marketing isn’t targeted at the correct audience
If your marketing is conceived without a specific audience in mind, it won’t appeal to your customers because it just won’t grab them. Furthermore, it may not communicate in a language they understand or show any understanding of their problems.
We try and refocus our clients to think about the customer pain, and less about what they are actually selling. If you don’t communicate to the audience’s needs and emotions, it’s a waste of your marketing investment and your potential customers will perceive it as a waste of their time too.
2. On Message – your Marketing is in Marketing-Speak or Industry BS
If your marketing doesn’t sound like it has any relevance to a real people, you are removing any personality and it will miss the mark by a mile. How often do you see advertising or receive literature telling how wonderful the brand is or exceptional the product is featured – but in a secret language that means nothing to you?
By removing any personality or empathy from your marketing messages, it will bore or worse irritate its intended readership. To work, and this means to stimulate some action by the target audience, your marketing message must be lively and understandable.
We use the SO WHAT test here. If you underestimate the human aspect of your message, your readers won’t be able to relate to it. Check out our paper on Effective Product Positioning for some pointers
3. Niche Marketing – your offering is too broad.
If you want to really get your marketing to cut through, your message needs to be specific. Its very easy and appealing to believe that if you say you can offer every service in your competitive field, you will get loads of business. However, the danger here is that if you position your product or services like this, the thing that you are really good at is missed, and you become known as a jack of all trades and master of none.
Far better to be know to be an expert in a niche or two and then up-sell and cross sell to other areas of expertise.
4. Be interesting – you are selling solely on features
You can have the most useful and awesome product in the world but if your marketing is boring, your target audience won’t give it another look.
And people respond to visual stimulus more than any other. Packaging your marketing in paragraphs of text with no photographs or great graphics, is unlikely to get the response you need, to convert prospects into customers.
5. Promoting Value – your marketing is a constant stream of price promotions.
This is the fastest way of killing a business ever devised by mankind. Especially if you are email marketing. Your prospect list will diminish faster than my pension value, and if you only promote on price – that will be the only type of customer you will recruit ….cheapskates.
And they will only be as loyal as your last great deal.
Written by Matthew Simmons