3 Common Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working

business strategy ideal customer marketing Jan 13, 2018

It’s hard to market a business. I know this only too well, I’ve made a career of doing marketing and I’m still learning how to improve every day!

My clients commonly come to me when they’re stuck with their marketing. Even though they have a great service/product they’re having trouble finding new customers.

They’ve tried all sorts of marketing tactics but can’t get good traction.

They’re pumping so much time and money into various promotional activities but making no sales and are feeling burnt out, exhausted and demotivated.

If that sounds like you, here are the 3 most common reasons why your marketing isn’t working.


1. Scattergun marketing

This is by far the most common issue.

Many people try everything, and try to be everywhere – email marketing, events, Google Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, radio, print advertising, …. the list goes on. 

They keep guessing and putting money into different marketing methods, jumping from one to the next without any real strategy behind their approach.

Nothing sticks and they wonder why. 

Then I ask: Do you know who your ideal customer is?

“Yes”, they say, “Women aged 35 – 50 who live in Australia.”

That’s not a description of a person, that’s a huge cross section of the community! People who fit that segment can be as similar as chalk and cheese.

An ideal customer needs to be much more detailed so you can get inside their heads and know what they want to hear, what is going to solve their problem the way they want it solved.

So then I ask things like:

Do you know what they like? And what they really don’t like?

What social media platforms they hang out on? 

What are they searching for? What really matters to them? What are they trying to achieve? (These are clues as to the problem you can solve for them).

Take the time to get into the detail of what your ideal customer is really like and you’ll instantly have much more clarity about where to find them and how to engage them.

Then you can create a plan to target those customers in the right places, at the right times and with the right content!

(Want to learn about your ideal customer? Grab my free customer avatar template here and get started right now!).


2. Not using data to learn

These days everything online can be tracked and the data can give you amazing insights that you can use to your advantage.

If you don’t have your Facebook Pixel installed on your website, go and do it right now! Likewise with Google Analytics tracking code.

Once you have tracking in place you can test what messaging works, see what content what your audience are interested in, and assess the conversion rate for different call to action buttons.

Through Google you can check what search keywords people are using to find your site, see what your main landing pages are and which pages people leave your site from.

These things give you clues about how to improve your marketing, optimise your sales process, and increase conversions.

Get familiar with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and your email marketing system.

I use Active Campaign for email marketing and can track subscribers who are clicking through to my website – which gives me the ability to identify warm leads very easily. 

If you’re tracking and collecting insights on your audience and your campaigns you’ll be surprised how much you can learn and how easy it is to improve your marketing and sales results!


3. Selling up front

Many business owners think that the purpose of marketing is to sell, so their marketing campaigns are tend to focus on price and ‘buy now’ sort of messaging.

They copy the style of advertising they see from the big retail brands.

But, these businesses are NOT major brands so that style of marketing won’t work for the following reasons:

First, most buying decisions are made on trust, and trust is built over time. If your audience doesn’t already know your brand or your product, very few will respond to a price-based promotion.

Did you know that most sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact? That means you can use a sales message to a warm audience, but for a cold audience you should focus on building trust.

Second, you’re discounting. That means you are reducing your profit margins to make a sale. It devalues your product in the eyes of your audience and you’re not making decent money from that sale.

Once your customers have bought at a discounted rate, they will always want a discount – it’s a slippery slope!

Finally, people don’t like being sold to. This is why Facebook continually updates their algorithm – to prevent businesses from filling the newsfeed with sales based posts.

They want to closely monitor it by only allowing sales messages on paid advertising posts. (Yes, it does work well in their favour this way as well!)

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If you can relate to these 3 common reasons why your marketing isn’t working, it’s an indication that you need to step back and develop a strategy. Look beyond the instant sale to the vision of what you want your business to become.

Get clear on who you want to serve, define an ideal customer and then tailor your business to serve them well.

Knowing your ideal customer will clarify what methods you should use to attract them, and where to find them. 

It’s the starting point of all marketing strategies.


What do YOU think? Are there any other common reasons why people don’t see results in their marketing?