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Why Your Marketing Strategy Failed

By Eric Goldman | Small Business

Why Your Marketing Strategy Failed image Why Your Marketing Strategy FailedWhy Your Marketing Strategy Failed

As any honest, seasoned marketer will admit, we’ve all participated in campaigns which fizzled – campaigns that didn’t produce results to match our expectations and expenditures of time and money.

The question one has to ask oneself at these times is what do you do about it?

Before I give you my answer, let me illustrate it with a story. I’ve launched and marketed five companies during my career: four were successful and one was a spectacular failure. It consumed more dollars in startup capital than the other four combined, ran at a loss for its entire life, and kept me awake every night for the five years of its existence. But here’s the thing: that one company taught me more about marketing than the other 4 put together simply because it was a failure. When you guess correctly that something will work and it does, you don’t really understand why it did, you simply enjoy the result. When it doesn’t work and you agonize over why it didn’t, you learn something even if it’s just what doesn’t work.

When a campaign doesn’t work, when it fails to do what you need or want it to do, your choices as a marketer are to:

  1. Try the same campaign again and hope that it didn’t work due to an external cause which has since changed, been removed or had its impact reduced. You’d be amazed how many folks actually do this on a regular basis, simply because it’s the easiest approach.
  • Try something completely different based on intuition, a prayer or the advice of someone who may know the answer. Perhaps you hire an expert who asks a few questions, makes a number of assumptions and then suggests a new campaign strategy.
  • Examine the data, apply logic and science to understand why it failed, and then think about how to change the outcome by remedying the main cause of failure.

The sad truth is that in the more than 30 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve found that the above list is the actual order in which most people deal with marketing failures. And part of this is because, until recently, marketers did not have much data to analyze in the manner I’m suggesting. We’re the folks, after all, who’ve been known to say half of my marketing budget is wasted; I just don’t know which half, right? But with Inbound Marketing and Automation systems able to provide priceless insight for free, there’s no excuse today for not using data to pinpoint marketing failures.

Perhaps it’s because marketers just don’t know that today’s Marketing Automation systems accumulate data which reveals:

· the actual page of your website where the prospect lost interest and left

· which online (and yes, even print) ads engage people and which turn them off

· the calls to action which prompted the right actions versus those which failed to convert visitors to prospects.

With today’s Marketing Automation systems you can (and should) calculate the Return on Marketing Investment of every campaign. You can (and should) do a post mortem of every campaign to establish why it worked (if it did), or why it didn’t work (if it didn’t). You should not guess, or pray, and you certainly should not hire an expensive expert who will also guess or pray. You really should use real data on your very own prospect’s behavior to create campaigns that really work.

Today’s marketing automation systems can be had from as little as $200 a month so please don’t tell me it’s too expensive to try. If you’re not using data to drive your marketing process towards ever improving results, what are you waiting for?

One thing is certain: in today’s competitive environment and with marketing spend under a closer and more exacting scrutiny; if you don’t start using science instead of intuition, you’re not going to compete effectively for much longer. So I’ll ask again: what are you waiting for?

Good luck with it all.

Image via Shutterstock

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