Why marketing doesn’t work – Part One
Gasp! Did a marketing consultancy really say that marketing doesn’t work?
Yes, we did…
But before you close the page, thinking that’s why you’ve wasted money on marketing without success, let’s explore why it doesn’t work…
We know – you’re thinking how can you have wrong customers? Surely any customer is good?
Well, actually, no! Chasing customers who are not right for the business is a mistake – they might be expensive to service, they might not want the services you sell so you have to adapt, they might only want a very small part so you struggle to demonstrate value. Trying to attract customers who aren’t a good fit is a waste of your marketing budget and time.
When asked who are your customers – you shouldn’t be saying everyone. Even large retail stores like Marks and Spencer are very clear about their target customer profile, and their messaging, images and what they offer is all very targeted to that group of people.
There is a difference between showing up where ever your customers are, and just being everywhere. Advertising in the trade magazine because you read it, doesn’t mean your customers do. Having a poster at the bus shelter is pointless if your customers don’t use buses. Sponsoring a hole at the golf club is a waste of money if your customers don’t play golf. These things are all a waste of precious marketing budget – because they aren’t focused.
If you know who your customers are, you know where they are, how they prefer to look for things, what resonates with them.
Brand Recognition or Marketing
Whilst brand recognition is part of marketing, it is only a very small part. If you are lucky enough to have a marketing budget similar to Apple or Coca Cola, then focusing on brand recognition is a great idea.
These guys literally spend millions on establishing themselves as the brand of choice in their sector – TV ads, radio, magazines, events, online etc – you name it and they either do it now, or have done it.
But, that’s just it… It does cost a shed load of money – and it’s so hard to measure the return on that investment.
Please don’t waste time on that Holy Grail… because it just isn’t worth it.
If we had a tenner for every time a client said they had advertised in the past and got no response, we’d be able to buy you lunch at the Four Seasons more than once!
Do you find yourself thinking – marketing doesn’t seem to be happening effectively, so let’s just do something? A couple of days later the Marketing Director tells you they have been offered a great “deal” on last minute space in a publication you haven’t heard of. The salesman does a good job and the marketing team decide it’s worth doing so they can tick the marketing box.
Aggh! No – don’t do it!
Knee jerk reaction to trying to tick the marketing box, or panicking about not having enough sales leads is not the way to make marketing effective. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed to do the opposite.
Granted, there are no guarantees in marketing – and don’t let anybody tell you there are – but believe us, having a targeted plan is likely to be much more successful.
Similar to trying to be everywhere – trying every tool is a common practice. Following the shiny, shiny… The latest fad, or advice from a marketing “guru”.
Being talked into having twenty plus plates spinning – doing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, billboards, email, pop up boxes on your website, events, presentations, webinars, speaking, exhibitions….
We feel exhausted just reading that list. You don’t need to do it all and nor should you.
We will explore some further mistakes in our next post, but in the meantime…