Your Marketing Sucks
Throughout the years, every marketing agency experiences the sort of client whose marketing strategies are so poorly put together it makes us want to cry. 10 minutes into our initial meetings our eyes begin to water and a slight eyelid tick progresses... which results in an outburst... "For the love of all that is holy please let us take over your marketing!" Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but here we go:
Top 5 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks.
- Small Business Emotions – It's to be assumed that after 10 years of blood, sweat and tears your small business is your golden child who cannot do anything wrong. The same goes for your marketing. Sadly this causes tunnel vision for most business owners whose emotional attachment to past success doesn't let them evolve their business into a polished brand. It's important to be able to identify your personal tastes and emotional reasoning behind your marketing decisions. If you fail to do this you end up marketing to yourself rather than your target market. Not everyone appreciates or understands why all of your marketing includes your dog, Fluffy, an inside joke or cute grandchild.
- Incoherent Budget – Your budget dictates a variety of things when it comes to your business success. Many small businesses don't even have a budget - but it is a necessity for running effective marketing or working with an agency. If you have a budget an agency can tell you, "X amount of dollars will get you Y amount of exposure and produce A,B and C return on your investment." Walking into your office and jumping on the latest marketing trend you hear on the radio isn't coherent to your audience and certainly doesn't allow you to track your investments. The bottom line is that you need to set aside a budgeted amount which can be tracked and analyzed relative to your sales.
- Poor Advice From Uncle Bob – "My friend who works in appliance sales told me this logo is great!" or "My uncle who owns a concrete company made this brochure for my cupcake business." Your Uncle can create a great looking side walk but probably not so great business cards. Take advice from people that actually have experience in marketing. Otherwise what you end up with is a cupcake company image that sells concrete flavored cupcakes. Take it from the professionals who live and breathe marketing - just trust us.
- Cost vs. Quality – We are firm believers that quality always supersedes cost. If you have an option, always go with quality. Free business cards from Vista Print scream cheap especially when the back is tagged with Vista Print's logo. Your audience, whether conscious or subconscious, is aware of the quality of your marketing. It can set the tone, image and mood of your message. Cost is important but bargain basement pricing never turns out well for the business owner primarily because the quality is so poor the investment does more damage than good. So spend some time looking for quality reasonably priced services. Never choose the cheapest but don't get gouged by the most expensive option, because the scale can tip the other way also. Rule of thumb... "You most certainly get what you pay for."
- Failure to Launch – "Great idea bro, tell it again..." Have you ever met someone with tons of "good" ideas but none of them ever see the light of day? We call this "failure to launch." It makes sense that business owners are entrepreneurs and idea makers... and for most their one idea to start a business was their last. They set goals but have too much going on to actually reach them. They sit down with marketing professionals to form a plan and layout ideas but never really make it through the entire marketing campaign because they are on to the next idea. This creates disjointed marketing which in turn muddies your brand. It is highly important and productive to keep focused, make a plan, and execute that one plan then move on to the next. Otherwise you end up frustrated, your agency ends up more frustrated and your wheels are worn down from spinning.
Hopefully these 5 points helped identify why your marketing may suck. If it did, great! There's hope for your business. If not, then all I can offer you is a little "Bob Ross - God bless..."