“I am not getting enough leads anymore!”
Are you familiar with this phrase? You might have uttered it yourself. Why? Because regardless of the marketing strategies you try, you are not experiencing new growth in your business.
It is as if your business has hit a brick wall.
Fortunately, you are not alone.
Having worked with a range of clients over the past few years we have identified that just as products go through a lifecycle, so does marketing.
Whether you are a small business or multinational company, there will be times where marketing just doesn’t seem to produce the same results as it has done before.
For those companies who take action to get through this wall, they can move on increasing their marketing knowledge and refining their marketing activity to take them to the next level.
However, for those who don’t, marketing impetus can be lost and the success of earlier marketing activity can be eroded.
The marketing life-cycle outlines that no matter how long you have been actively promoting your organization, the marketing wall can happen at any time. The key to success is realizing that you need to increase knowledge or activity and work your way through it to take you to the next level.
Knowing when your marketing needs a kick or a push to either get you over or through the wall is vitally important. It can come in many forms; here are just a few red flags that need urgent attention.
- Reduction in sales leads
- Reduced marketing effort due to company workload
- Reduced recognition of the brand
- Competitors raising their head above the parapet
- Increased marketing costs for a decreased return
- Tried and tested marketing activities not yielding the same results
- No consistency of marketing materials throughout the organization
- Your brand is not communicating what you do now
- You have new products/services which have not been promoted
- You have grown – employees have different ideas of what your organization does
It is important that you realize when you need to increase or change your marketing efforts and not give reasons and excuses for what is happening. You need to get results and this can only be achieved by rising up to the challenge.
However, it is important that before you take action you discover where action needs to be taken and where to focus. You need to properly map out your plans to avoid wasting time and energy on something that isn’t important.
Where are you?
We have developed the following matrix to help you to plot where you currently are with your marketing.
Your marketing activity levels are high and you have been keeping up-to-date with current marketing trends and knowledge. You should be action orientated and have the impetus and capabilities to break through the marketing walls you meet.
It will be important to review your marketing strategies and diversify the campaigns regularly to ensure the action you are taking is getting the results you need. You cannot afford to be complacent. Just because you have achieved your goal today, doesn’t mean it will be the same tomorrow.
You know what you need to do in theory, as you have a good knowledge of marketing and what it can do for your organization.
However, activity is low, either because you can’t make decisions on the most appropriate marketing activities to undertake, or you put off action because there are other things to do.
If you are in this sector, then taking no action will have consequences. Take time to review what you want to achieve and make sure that you gain some marketing impetus that will give you the results you need to break through the marketing wall. Share ideas with your colleagues or employees if you’re unsure and conduct research on how you could properly execute your marketing plans.
Busy doing nothing
In reality, you are probably doing very little marketing activity and your knowledge of what marketing can do for your organization is low.
This may have happened because you were very busy delivering work, or perhaps you are a start-up company who needs to achieve marketing momentum but doesn’t know where to start.
Find out what you want to achieve through marketing and put a plan in place to achieve it. If you’re thinking of hiring an agency - make sure you let them know what your goals are so your expectations are set if they are able to deliver the results you are after. If not, move on to the next reputable agency.
You will need to gain some marketing knowledge to be on top of every marketing strategy. As a business owner, you will need to provide guidance and work with your people or your chosen agency towards marketing success.
Point of no returns
This is when you have lots of marketing activity with either little or no direction and your knowledge of what marketing can really do for your organization is low. You have so many campaigns going on but you don’t know which one generates the best results because you’re often starting new campaigns without finishing those you have already executed.
You will be very busy sending out marketing campaigns, but the efforts will often yield little or no results, i.e. very little return for your efforts.
You need to stop and review what you are doing; put yourselves in your prospective clients’ shoes. What would you think if you were on the receiving end of your marketing efforts?
Take some time to gain knowledge, help, and assistance to get your marketing back on track.
No matter where you think you are with your marketing, always take the time to regularly review what is happening and where you can make improvements. Gaining knowledge of what marketing can do for your organization and be keeping up with the latest marketing methodologies is vital.
What worked last year, may not work now and it is important to realize that you need real marketing strength, power and focus on breaking through those marketing walls.
Cameron Francis is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of ETRAFFIC, Melbourne's #1 Creative Agency and Digital Marketing Company. He is passionate about helping businesses of all sizes improve their online visibility.