A lot of firms doing business online will find themselves doing everything right on paper but still not seeing the results they want. Worse still, a lot of companies will scratch their heads but not consider a major overhaul to their online marketing campaign.
There are plenty of reasons why companies might not want to accept what needs to be done, and let’s be honest, results can take a long time. However, since a solid marketing plan is the foundation for your company’s growth, we know it’s worth it. For your consideration, here are 5 reasons that your marketing strategy might not be working.
1. An outdated mentality
We’ve encountered a surprising number of situations where a firm stuck in a Web 1.0 mentality has no idea why its web presence is so weak. As one example, a medium-sized business was still using its blog and social media channels almost exclusively for press releases and other corporate communications. While this company enjoyed high customer satisfaction and trust, there was little reason for a prospective customer to land on their website and enter their sales funnel.
This scenario could be described as a form of inexperience that has become embedded in an organisation’s structure: the business hadn’t evolved to deal with contemporary online marketing. Often, this manifests itself as not properly prioritising digital marketing: a company might not want to invest in SEO audits or ad tests because they don’t understand the long-term benefits.
If a company does not have some kind of short-term and long-term approach to digital marketing in place, then it’s not going to happen by accident. In a blog post on how to sell marketing automation to your boss, we explained that you should focus on hard data like ROI. This is a good approach for changing a corporate culture to think of the long-term benefits of a good marketing strategy and acting accordingly in the short term.
2. Lack of quality content
Over the years, countless firms doing business online have encountered a similar roadblock. In order to maximise site visitors as quickly as possible, they optimise their online content according to the present Google algorithm. Often this will work, but when Google implements a change, those firms will see their potential prospects drop off, or worse—be hit with a penalty, and see themselves plummet down the list of search results.
The best way to ensure that visitors land on your site and stay there, and to get these results over time and through changes to Google’s search criteria, is simply to have a broad library of great content. There is ultimately no substitute for great content, and anyone trying to game the system will discover this fact sooner or later. Again, the solution is to prioritise investment in content, to become a highly credible voice that will provide solid answers to the questions that prospects are asking.
3. Expecting immediate results
In a similar vein to our last point, a lot of firms might think that their marketing efforts are failing because a long-term effort has not produced robust short-term results.
Some firms, for example, might make the decision to devote an appropriate amount of effort to their online presence. The results of this should pay off in the short term, through metrics like greater inbound traffic, increased search engine ranking, and decreased bounce rate. However, while these are good results, consistent increases in sales are a long-term goal that will take some time to pay off. If you’re seeing improved metrics like those mentioned above, that’s a good start, and you can be comfortable knowing that you’re on the right track. Don’t rush to replace sensible short-term goals because they haven’t produce long-term results yet.
4. Failure to adapt
In one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, Sherlock Holmes describes how he approaches an investigation: “It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts”. The great detective was warning about the dangers of holding on to preconceptions rather than evolving in the face of better evidence, which is a mistake that plenty of businesses make regularly.
Whether marketing based on outdated assumptions or investing in a bad strategy to rescue a sunk cost, many firms will pursue a course of action past the point at which they should have pivoted. Is your firm operating on the most reliable information about your customers? Are you sure? If your online marketing isn’t connecting, the cause could be that your customer base has shifted. It’s time, then, to re-evaluate.
5. Working without enough information
Working without sufficient information is a problem that some companies might not even know they have. For instance, why is a particular outgoing mass-email the best one? Is it being sent to customers because it was appealing and concise according to the standards of various internal departments? Or is it the best because your firm did A/B testing and this is the email that boasted the highest responsiveness rate?
These are the sorts of considerations that make a difference.
There a plenty of reasons why a firm can approach their work with an open mind and a cogent long-term vision and still find their marketing faltering. If this sounds familiar, we’re happy to help!