Why isn’t my marketing working?

A Facebook follower recently asked, “What can I do when an advertising or marketing campaign isn’t working?” There are several reasons a marketing campaign might fail. Here are several common ones:

  • You aren’t marketing to the right customers. The first step of any successful marketing campaign is to accurately identify the people who will buy your product or service. For instance, a private elementary school may teach children, but it shouldn’t advertise to children. Parents are the decision-makers.
  • Place – You aren’t marketing to customers where they go for information about your product or service. Think like a customer. Where do they go to learn about your product or to buy it? No one is going to buy life insurance from a mall kiosk, no matter how many thousands of people walk past each day. Even if 50% of the passersby are in the market for life insurance, you just don’t buy it at the mall.
  • Timing – You aren’t marketing to customers at the right time. This could be the time of day, day of the week or season of the year. Imagine a florist marketing Valentine’s bouquets in March. It would be ridiculous – no one wants to buy them after Valentine’s Day.
  • Message – Your marketing message isn’t meaningful to your customers. Many marketers make the mistake of developing messages that appeal to their company instead of to the customer. Your message should address what is important to your customer. Why do customers want to buy from you?

Your next question might be, “How do I know which reason to address?” To learn the reason your marketing isn’t working, look at the results of your marketing efforts, such as calls, clicks or impressions. If you don’t have any results at all, you probably have a problem of marketing in the wrong place. If you are getting some results, but not closing sales, you might be marketing to the wrong customers.

To determine if your timing or message is off, you need to think like a customer – when are they looking? what messages are meaningful to them? If you can, ask some existing customers what they think. Most of the time, customers are glad to share their opinions to help you out. Ask them how and when they heard about you and what they like about your products or services. Use this information to craft messages that would appeal to them and potential customers like them.

It can certainly be tricky to determine why your marketing isn’t working and how to fix it. I find these problems very interesting and would be glad to talk to you about your marketing. Just call or email me: Amanda Cullen, 513.833.4203, amanda@zooinajungle.com

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