The ONLY 4 Reasons Your Marketing is Not Working
Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Do you feel your marketing efforts simply aren't getting the results you had hoped for, either in generating leads, or building your brand? Did you have visions of going toe-to-toe with the big boys by now, but in reality it's been 2 years of treading water?
After many years working at Exec level in international agencies, and C-Suite level in brands, we have distilled it down to four possible reasons. 1. Inefficient Marketing Systems & Processes a) Big Agencies - as much as it pains us to say it, the big agency model is incredibly inefficient for small-medium sized clients. For you as a client to brief in a small job to an Account Manager, who then briefs it in to their Traffic Department, who schedules it into a Creative for 3 days time, who takes half a day to do the work, before sending it to the Creative Director, who may or may not make changes that the Creative needs to do, before it goes back to Traffic, back to the Account Manger and back to you...is painstaking at best! Woe betide you if you need to send it back through that for more changes! Rather go with a small nimble agency. b) Internal Personnel - as more and more brands are moving from agency to in-house we see a lot of hybrid-hires, in an attempt to save on hires, but also because of a lack of understanding about the skills required. We've lost count of how many times a brand has hired a young enthusiastic Marketing Manager tasked with doing the marketing strategy, managing the marketing, running the social media accounts, and in really scary instances, writing the copy and designing in Power Point! All this achieves is a massive inefficiency both in time and quality of output. In short, that Marketing Manager, or Consultant should be managing experts on a demand basis to deliver excellent work, quickly, not doing it all themselves, slowly and badly! c) Systems - Chase, Kanbanize, Trello, Slack, Asana, Dropbox, MailChimp, Google Suite - there are now literally 100's of tools available that help marketing departments run more efficiently. Sometimes we see the good old brown envelope job bags being used, but often there is barely a system in place for receiving briefs, processing them, having them approved, and going live. Excel, bits of paper, or frantic Whatsapp messages don't cut it. All these inefficiencies boil down to one thing for any small-medium sized business - opportunity cost. All those opportunities and proactive ideas that have been missed or just "haven't been got to yet" because the boat with holes in it is busy being constantly bailed out.
2. Ineffective Marketing Strategy "We should advertising in You, my wife reads it" "I don't even know who that singer is" "It uses 1 amp less electricity than anyone else, that is why people should buy it" Variations of these comments are a clear sign that the marketing strategy is, shall we say, lacking. Brand owners are incredibly close to their product/service, they know everything about it, strengths & weaknesses, its history, how it's made, and why it's the 'best'. They also profess to know the buying habits and social influences on their immediate circle of friends. They glue these things together and decide what to say, to who, and where to say it. The result is a brand talking about itself, in its language, to it's friends - not a great formula for winning over new customers! It is crucial to psychologically remove yourself from your position, or hire an external expert, to look analytically and rationally at your industry landscape, your product, the competition, buying behaviour and trends that are influencing your target market, to draw up an effective strategy that will win new customers by talking to them in a language that resonates with them, about what they want, on platforms they use. 3. Ordinary Creative Work It is tough when we see well-run systems coupled with effective strategies falling at the final hurdle by producing vanilla creative work. We've discussed in a previous blog how the emergency of digital platforms has contributed to a general decline in impactful creative work, but more often than not it is the brand owners lacking an understanding of the role of the work, or a bit of bravery. In todays' world where the average person sees 1000 brand messages each and every day, it is more crucial than ever to produce work that is impactful. I think brand owners feel that the amount of resource (people and money), strategic thinking, and time that goes into creating a campaign, must therefore result in a detailed complex series of ads. The truth is the total opposite, all that time and energy should be spend distilling the core idea into the most simple & impactful visual message possible. A previous blog goes into detail about this.
So important is this, that I once said in a talk I was giving that if you stumble across an idea for a piece of work that people will fall in love with, but is not absolutely aligned with your strategy...DO IT! We're humans, we're emotional, we make decisions with our heart, not our head.
4. You aren't spending enough Even if you have a well-run system, smart strategy, and producing great work, if you aren't spending the right amount for a business your size, you won't move the dial, and you wont grow. And the bad news is, the bigger you get the more you should be spending! You need to reach people, and you need to reach them frequently, and unfortunately neither reach nor frequency is cheap! The general rule of thumb is that you should be investing 6-10% of your turnover into marketing, but we go into more specifics in a previous blog. The good news is that we see brands that do get their efficiencies, effectiveness, and impact right, and how the ROI in marketing spend is so correlated that they are looking to spend more and more knowing they get out what they put in - then the pain of the spending is no longer an issue. If you're struggling to find efficiencies in your workflows, effectiveness in your strategy, or impact in the work, reach out to us at Synergist, we'd love to help. _________________________________________________________________________
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