When a Marketing Strategy Goes Wrong
Dan and Dina own an online homeware business, but they’re not making any money from their marketing. If they don’t start monetising their products soon, their business will be in trouble.
When a marketing strategy goes wrong, it can have devastating consequences. At best you’ll lose a lot of money and at worst you could lose your business. By getting it right first time, you will save you a lot of pain and worry in the long run. So, we thought we’d play out a typical scenario of a failed marketing strategy. Let’s start by setting the scene.
"We’ve wasted thousands on marketing, so what more can we do?!”
Dan – “We’ve tried everything! We’re on every social media channel, we’ve paid for Facebook ads, and we instantly used up our Google ads budget. We need to start making a profit because at the moment we’re only just breaking even.”
With a mournful gaze, Dan turns to Dina, who’s also looking despondent and desperately fiddling with her pen.
Dina – “Yeah, Dan’s right – enough’s enough. We’ve wasted thousands on marketing, so what more can we do?!”
Marketing Guy – “Okay, so who’s your target audience? Describe them to me. We need to create a customer avatar, so you can market your products to the right audience.”
Dina turns to Dan and shrugs.
Dina – “Everyone. All sorts of people buy our products.”
Marketing Guy – “Okay, but if your marketing messages are too generic, they won’t appeal to anyone. So, let’s split your customers into different groups. Do you have any initial ideas about any purchasing patterns you’re seeing in terms of people’s demographics or behaviours? We can explore these together in a separate exercise.”
Dan and Dina look thoughtful. They both start scribbling on the pads in front of them.
Marketing Guy continues – “Have you done any competitor research and a SWOT analysis to help you identify any opportunities and threats?”
We need to show them your value; this will help us to build trust through engaging content marketing.
Dan and Dina look at other sheepishly.
Dan – “No. We haven’t. We checked out a few of our competitors and copied some of the wording from their websites and ads for our own marketing.”
Marketing Guy – “Ouch. Plagiarising other people’s content could cause Google to de-rank your website. Every business has its own personality, as well as each of your products. We need to convey all the benefits of your products to the right people using the right channels at the right time.”
Dan and Dina look worried. More pen twiddling and some anxious table tapping.
Marketing Guy – “Hey, it’s okay! Look, this is our job. You don’t have to be an expert in every area of your business, but you do need to know what makes you different to your competitors. This will help you market your products to the right audience and avoid costly mistakes. Your marketing strategy needs to have concrete goals and a plan in place to help you achieve these. We need to start building solid relationships with your customers.”
Dan and Dina start to relax. Hands are placed on the table and the pen twiddling stops.
Dan – “So, how do we do that? How can we build ongoing relationships with our customers? At the moment, we’re not sure who our repeat customers are.”
“We need to start building solid relationships with your customers.”
Marketing Guy – “We need to show them your value; this will help us to build trust through engaging content marketing that we can then align to paid ads. There’s a wealth of untapped data sitting behind your online sales platforms, so let’s start there. We need to learn more about your customers and the channels you’re currently using, so we can focus on the ones that are going to give you the return on investment you need to grow your business.”
Dan and Dina turn to each other and nod, they both smile.
Dina – “Okay, the job’s yours. Please help us produce a winning marketing strategy!”
The above conversation is only a small snapshot of what should be included in a good marketing strategy. There are many other factors to consider and without a sound strategy in place, you’re unlikely to be able to grow your business. A little investment into your marketing can go a very long way.
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