Marketing is not easy, especially not in an age where the playing field is nearly equal for most competitors. Companies often have to work above and beyond to stay at a competitive advantage, or at the very least stay relevant in a rapidly changing world with customers evolving day by day.
That said, it is not uncommon for companies to find that their marketing plans are not working—or at least not working as well as they want them to. Either way, there is always a reason behind it, as well as a corresponding solution to fix the underlying problem.
If your marketing plan is not working, here are the possible reasons and what you can do to solve them.
1. You are not getting the help you need
Businesses with underperforming marketing strategies may not have the skills and talent in-house to support their marketing goals. If your business is in the same boat, hiring outside help may be the next best move for you. For instance, if you have a private equity company, marketing may not be as easy, which is why you likely need the help of a third-party private equity marketing service to help you come up with new strategies and solve difficult problems.
2. You are copying the competition
Copying what others are doing is not necessarily a bad thing, but your competitors’ marketing strategies may not align well with your products, services, brand image, and company as a whole. Originality can get you far and even beyond where your competitors are, so as much as possible, conceptualize original unique selling propositions (USP), even if they operate on the same ideas that your competitors have.
3. You are not listening to your customers
Customer feedback is a crucial factor in marketing. Listening to what your customers are saying can help you create products, services, and strategies that they want and need. Hence, if you want your marketing plan to work, treat customer feedback—both positive and negative—as a higher priority, even higher than what the competitors are doing.
4. Your marketing people are not working together
The success of your marketing plan largely depends on how well your marketing department works—or more specifically, how well they are working together. A team can only achieve so much with limited harmony within its ranks. That said, if your marketing department is not communicating effectively or finds it hard to agree with each other, it may be time to restructure the team.
Restructuring does not necessarily mean taking people out of the team. Rather, it could mean adopting new management strategies and policies that promote better communication, and therefore, better harmony within the team. You can also consider hiring more people to reduce the workload on existing employees, which can help them work more efficiently and focus on producing better ideas for your marketing plan.
But sometimes, restructuring may also mean taking out people that don’t fit well into the equation. It may be difficult to let go of employees, but if they are doing more harm than good, it is a small price to pay for a better work environment that can let great ideas thrive.
5. You are not leveraging automation
Business automation is a godsend for companies. When marketing employees can focus on more important tasks instead of repetitive marketing functions like sending out emails or posting on social media, they are better able to use more of their brainpower on conceptualization, implementation, and strategy.
Examples of marketing tasks that you can automate include email marketing, social media management, marketing funnels, analytics, and A/B testing, among many others. Luckily, automating these functions is often affordable and easy, which means there is no excuse to skip out on this effective tactic.
6. You are being too aggressive
Customers want to know more about your products and services, but they do not want to be bombarded by information or be “yelled at” or pressured by your marketing strategies. Aggressive forms of marketing may be effective for some, but they can do more harm than good for your company, especially if you have little idea of what you’re doing. If you think your marketing strategies are too aggressive to be effective, find ways on how to tone them down or erase them from the drawing board completely.
Even if you have the best products and services in the industry, you won’t achieve results without a good marketing plan in place. That said, addressing marketing problems at the root is key to success, starting by realizing that your existing marketing plan is not working in the first place.