Why is your marketing strategy not working?
Have you taken the time to document your marketing strategy, but still feel unfocused or unsuccessful with your efforts?
First, kudos to you for recognizing that a business doesn’t just launch itself on a great idea. Most successful businesses spend time working on the foundation of who they are and who they serve long before they throw tactics into the market.
But if you’ve done the work and documented the elements of your strategy and still aren’t feeling the results, perhaps there are a few tweaks that can serve to improve your focus.
Do The Research
A well-crafted marketing strategy takes more than just throwing words onto paper. Your strategy is created around your knowledge of the market, your customers, and your competitors.
There is a significant amount of external research that you need to conduct in order to have a solid understanding of these key elements.
Let’s conduct a quick check of how well you researched your existing strategy:
Have you thoroughly vetted the market?
- Have you visited government and statistics Websites to gather data on your target market?
- Have you checked out clubs, memberships, organizations, Websites, classes, etc that people in your target market are frequenting?
- Have you surveyed your target market to gather more information about their business needs?
- Have you made sales projections based on size of market and potential market share?
Do you know your customers?
- Have you created a customer persona?
- Have you really defined your ideal customer? If there’s ONE person you could work with, what would that person be like?
- Do you have an existing or past client that’s been a dream to work with? Why? What can you glean from that relationship?
- Have you surveyed your past and existing customers?
How much time did you spend analyzing the competition?
- Did you read their Websites?
- Do you know their unique selling proposition and messaging strategy?
- Have you reviewed their brochures, print material, and social media pages?
- Did you call them?
- Have you used secret shoppers?
- Have you surveyed your target audience?
Put Some Elbow Grease Into It
I’m not going to sugar coat it. Creating a solid strategy takes a little bit of elbow grease, some brow sweat, and a lot of focus and motivation.
It should take you some time. And it should take you some effort to ensure that you’re defining the areas of your business that are going to drive your activity and your income for years to come.
If the answers aren’t coming to you easily, you might need to dig a little deeper, ask a few more questions, take the time to search out some answers.
You might need to make some phone calls, send some e-mails, do some networking, or create some surveys.
A successful strategy CANNOT be created in a vacuum.
create solid long-term objectives
There’s a right and a wrong way to set objectives.
- Do they meet the S.M.A.R.T. criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-sensitive)?
- Do your objectives REALLY get to the heart of your why? If you aren’t passionate about the goals you’re setting for your business, chances are you won’t be motivated to work towards them. Make sure you’re capturing the real reason you went into business for yourself.
- Are you reflecting on your long-term objectives as you create your shorter-term goals?
- Are you breaking your long-term goals into short “sprints” of small tasks that bring you closer to your goal?
Perceived progress is important to keeping you motivated. By picking smaller, easy-to-achieve goals that are still related to your longer-term objectives, you are able to visually see progress in your business and stay engaged and motivated.
have a plan for your plan
Even if you did a bang up job creating a strong, solid foundation for your business, if you’ve tucked it away in the back of a drawer or buried it in a hidden file on your computer, it’s not going to do you any good.
A bunch of forgotten words on paper are doing you no favors hidden from sight while you execute tactics and activities.
You need to keep your strategy out in the open somewhere and refer to it often — especially when it comes time to set goals, create plans, and execute tactics. All of these marketing and business activities need to somehow roll up under your strategy.
This ensures alignment, consistency and that you are tracking towards your long-term objectives.
take it seriously
Yeah, yeah. Everyone said you needed to create this thing called a strategy. So you made a check next to a box on your business launch plan.
But if you didn’t realize the value or see it’s importance at the time, you likely didn’t take it seriously enough.
Maybe you got bored, tired, distracted, or lazy during the exercise. Then your strategy is nothing but a bunch of words slapped on a piece of paper.
Consider this: If done correctly, your strategy should be the guiding principles behind your business for at least a couple of years of more.
It’s never too late to hit rewind and get your business back on track.
If you’re still having trouble figuring out how to optimize your strategy, consider calling in some outside reinforcement help to conduct an audit of your current plan.