Marketing can be so simple. You put your message out there, knowing that it will be seen, heard, and consumed.
Marketing can be so difficult. No matter how much you work to optimize your message, you don't get the tangible results you need to grow your business.
Both statements are (or at least can be) equally true. They also lead to a significant problems that sooner or later, every business will have to face: why isn’t my marketing growing my business?
Answering that question can quickly become complex. From budget to business culture, the answer tends to be multi-faceted. Still, more often than not, it comes down to a few key variables. These are the 3 main reasons you're not meeting your marketing goals.
1) You're Not Telling Your Brand Story
This is a big one. Marketing is, at its core, storytelling. It has to be, considering the fact that we innately react more to emotional stories than we would to raw facts and data. If you can't turn your brand's value proposition, benefits, and core truth into a compelling story, you have a serious problem on your hands.
Part of the problem might be that you simply haven't articulated your brand's position. You might know internally what your business and its product or service stands for. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean your audience gets it.
Your brand's position also has to match your specific business goals. A nonprofit will tell its story very differently than a growth-focused tech firm.
Know your goals, and articulate them for both internal and external audiences in a way that makes sense for them. Only then can you begin to build a compelling story. And only when you build a compelling story can you actually meet your marketing goals.
Think about it from your audience's perspective. They're crowded with thousands of ads every day. Which messages stick out depends not on their explicit benefits, but their ability to grab attention immediately and effectively. When, through multiple ads and messages, a story begins to emerge that matches your company's mission and aspirations, chances are you'll get many of them hooked to want more.
2) You're Focusing on Tactics, Without a Strategy
Marketing, at its core, cannot be a bottom-up approach. If you simply focus on individual channels or messages, you might never reach those larger, business-focused objectives. It's tough to meet your marketing goals if you pay attention to individual tactics at the expense of a larger strategy.
That strategy needs to include a written document, goals, processes, and audience research. Why? Consider these insights from CoSchedule's latest State of Marketing Strategy report. Compared to those that don't focus on strategy,
Marketers who document their strategy explicitly are 538 percent more likely to be successful.
Marketers who document their individual processes are 466 percent more likely to be successful.
Marketers who set goals are 429 percent more likely to be successful. More than 80 percent of them achieve these goals.
Successful marketers are 242 percent more likely to conduct regular audience research.
These benefits are not theoretical. They highlight exactly the point we're trying to make: with a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan in place, you will become more likely to thrive, meet your marketing goals, and grow your business.
Of course, just building a strategy but keeping it separate from the rest of your marketing effort means little. Done right, it informs every tactic you undertake within your larger marketing effort. For the insider, a post on your Facebook page should be as easily connected to your marketing strategy as a whitepaper or other type of lead magnet.
This is where emphasizing strategy blends in with the brand story element discussed above. One naturally leads to the other, and neither could exist without the other.
To be effective, your brand story has to be not just compelling, but also consistent over time. That consistency is impossible to achieve if you don't have a guiding business strategy in place. Only then can you build, grow, and expand your marketing storytelling and individual channels to add up to a larger whole.
3) You're Not Measuring the Right KPIs
Finally, let's focus for a moment on everyone's favorite topic: marketing data and metrics. Yes, you need to be measuring your efforts. Chances are you already know that. But do you know whether or not you're actually paying attention to the right key performance indicators?
That answer is not always easy, and complicated by a recent crusade on so-called vanity metrics. It's true that not all KPIs are created equal. Some are simply more valuable than others. Still, depending on your business goals, understanding which metrics matter most helps you better measure whether you're on the right track in meeting these goals. Consider:
Reach and impressions, which are crucial for building brand awareness.
Clicks to your website, essential when you're just looking to get seen in a crowded market place.
Time on site, which can help you discern whether your audience cares enough about your brand to immerse itself in your story.
Lead conversions, important especially for B2B marketers with longer sales cycles.
Cost per click or conversions, crucial to optimize paid campaigns on a tight budget.
Ideally, these metrics are directly connected to the larger business and marketing goals within your strategy. That allows you to not just track your marketing success but also focus on ROI. The metrics then become benchmarks designed to track your channel and strategy-specific efforts and help you make adjustments over time.
How Can You Adjust Your Marketing To Grow Your Business?
The fact that marketing is both an art and a science might be a cliche, but that doesn't make it less true. Yes, there are best practices to follow as you set up your marketing. But ultimately, every company and situation is different. You have to make sure that you set up your campaign in a way that allows for both immediate success and improvements over time.
That's easier said than done. Knowing how to tell your story, where to focus your energy, how to drive your team forward with tactics that actually get you and your business where you want to be is most important. We can help you with that. Contact us to see how we can help give you the strategy, guidance and coaching to truly unlock your potential and grow your business.