An under-performing marketing program can be a barrier to success. When marketing isn’t helping to increase brand awareness, build relationships with prospects, enhance expert positioning and generate meaningful results for a business, companies often reallocate resources to other, higher value activities. Before making the decision to reallocate resources, it is important to dig deep and uncover the root cause of non-performance – what is stopping your marketing from working effectively? Let’s take a look at some of the common barriers that impede the performance of marketing campaigns.
Your brand is the foundation of your marketing program. Much like a house, if the foundation isn’t strong, the structure built upon it will not be strong either. If you are not presenting a unified brand image across all of your marketing channels, it is challenging to market your business or nonprofit effectively. When your image and messaging aren’t consistent, stakeholders become confused. And, when prospective clients, in particular, aren’t perfectly clear about who you are, what you do, who you serve and why it matters, lead generation suffers and marketing problems begin to morph into sales problems. Worried you may have some consistency gaps across your marketing channels? Download our brand consistency checklist today.
Your website needs to be responsive
It’s been more than two years since Google announced search penalties for websites that weren’t mobile responsive and yet, many companies are continuing to market themselves through outdated websites. Responsive design isn’t just a best practice – it is a business imperative. Forty-five percent (45%) of smartphone owners are searching for B2B products and services on their devices and if your website is challenging to navigate via a mobile device, you risk losing business to your competition. For more information on the importance of responsive web design, click here.
You need to reach the right audience
It doesn’t matter how brilliant, witty and compelling your marketing messages are if they aren’t reaching the right audiences. While it can be tempting to become an early adopter of the latest marketing platform, it is important to take a step back and assess if the channel will effectively reach your target audiences and if the content you are generating is well suited to be distributed via that medium. There are a host of organizations that monitor and report on user demographics for various social media platforms. When it comes to proprietary data, something as simple as deploying a three-to-five question electronic survey to your customer database can provide meaningful insights.
You need a mechanism for driving traffic and cultivating new audiences
Effective marketing in 2017 isn’t “build it and they will come.” Organizations need to have detailed plans in place for both getting their content in front of the right audiences and driving new, qualified audiences to their content.
We live in a world where the human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish, and people are bombarded with marketing messages at an aggressive and overwhelming pace. Clarity, creativity and consistency play important roles in effectively separating oneself from the pack in this environment.
Every piece of content you create – whitepaper, blog post, infographic, etc. – warrants its own distribution plan. Given the high volume of content being created and disseminated around you, sharing things more than once (but with unique packaging, of course) is encouraged.
A well-orchestrated marketing program can play an integral role in helping organizations to achieve their strategic goals and nicely complement existing sales efforts. However, when a strong foundation and clear roadmap are not in place, achieving marketing success can be a challenge. If you are going to invest in an ongoing marketing program, take the time to assess whether barriers to success such as inconsistent branding, a non-responsive website, misalignment between marketing channels and target audiences, and/or the absence of a strong content distribution plan are standing in the way of your success. With a strong foundation in place – and a clear path ahead – marketing can become an invaluable part of your organization’s growth strategy and a key driver for continued success.