When Your Marketing Tactics Just Aren’t Working

DIAL Diagnostic Analysis Process

Wastage has always been a pet peeve of mine, it annoys and upsets me, especially when it’s unnecessary. So, it follows that it irks me when I see just how much opportunity and time is wasted in businesses and organisations … let alone money!

If you’ve trialled various methods of marketing communications and you have seen them fail, you’re certainly not alone.

All too often, and too regularly, I witness the frustration in businesses of all sizes – blowing their budgets and  wasting time on tactics they hope will bring a good return.

These are clever and capable individuals or teams trying to figure out what their business needs. They understand that they must do ‘something’, however ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ and therein lies the problem.

You might have heard about how ‘digital marketing is the way to go’, or read about telemarketing, Pay Per Click or any of the other tactics and methods available to businesses and decided it was the way to go. Maybe you retained professional help, only to be disappointed and deeply frustrated when you don’t get the results you need or hoped to get.

So, what do you do? More often than not you simply stop your activity and decide that just doesn’t work for your particular business.

It is possible that you could be right. However, what if you were using the right methods or tactics but they didn’t succeed because you don’t have your vital foundations right?

Let me give you a real example.

Recently, I met with the Directors of two different medium sized companies a week apart. The first told me of all the money they’d spent on a telemarketing campaign and poured into Google Ads, all to no avail. They simply didn’t get anywhere near enough of a return to justify the spend.

The second business spent a small fortune on a new website that looks great  – but doesn’t do much for them. Does this sound familiar?

Now, Google Ads, telemarketing and websites (and loads of other strategies too) clearly do work, there’s plenty of evidence to support that, so why didn’t they work for these companies?

By exploring further, asking questions and challenging preconceived notions, it was clear that, in both cases, it was what I find to be a common challenge. There was a vital step missed before diving into their unsuccessful marketing campaigns.

The brief version is that in all these tactical methods they failed to…

  • Differentiate themselves from their competitors effectively
  • Adequately articulate the benefits of buying from them clearly.
  • Engage properly with those they contacted.
  • Target their prospects clearly and to an agreed profile.
  • Sell not tell – they talked all about themselves and what they could offer.

…and that’s just the start!

Don’t think I’m being rude to them, I’m not,  because here’s the thing; they are both good businesses, excellent at what they do, they each do a superb job at an appropriate price … but they just don’t know how to effectively promote themselves against their competitors – and why would they?

With no strategy involved, the methods they chose to use were simply guess work. They chose what they saw others do and what was recommended by the companies selling those services.

Make no mistake, all of these things work. There are some excellent specialists out there; social media, digital, SEO, sales trainers, graphic designers, copywriters, bloggers, advertising specialists and so on, who can absolutely help you grow your business. I partner with several different specialists for my clients’ strategies – but only after we’ve completed our DIAL Diagnostic Analysis Process to identify and map exactly what should be done to improve results and leverage the ROI from marketing and sales functions. Having that information is critical to the success of any business.

Information is key, so is measurement. If you don’t measure it you can’t manage it. You need to analyse your marketing communications and sales processes to understand what’s working and what isn’t. When you can identify where your opportunities are, where you have wastage. focus on how to leverage growth and you’ll have greater control in your market place. Whatever process you use to understand your metrics is almost irrelevant, just get the information. That’s important.

Leaping straight into any kind of marketing or sales process methods without first completing your foundation work – understanding how to stand out and differentiate your business from your competitors, the language to use and so on, and only then identifying the most likely effective methods – is like Russian roulette; you may be very lucky, but the odds are stacked against you. Why take that risk? Take the time to break your business down into four key areas, as below, it’ll be easier establish what is needed before involving the tactical stuff.

  • Your foundational information.
  • Lead generation
  • Your Enquiry to sale processes for conversion
  • Client retention for lifetime value.

I recommend you don’t implement any marketing or communications strategy without first completing some kind of diagnostic analysis of your business to identify what’s needed, where and why. Only then can fully informed decisions be made. The ‘how’ then becomes more apparent.

One note of caution though … don’t just stop what you’re already doing, unless you’re positive it’s not working for you because it’s likely that 100% of what you’re getting is coming from current activity.

Strategy is your key. Taking a strategic approach, analysing what your business needs and wants, exploring things in detail then, and only then, testing to prove or disprove your identified methods.

Once proven, they can become part of your ongoing strategy.