Five reasons why your marketing campaign isn’t working (and how to fix it)

Not getting the desired results from your marketing campaign? Discover five reasons it may not be working, and how to fix them.

When you run a small or startup business, you can’t always afford to outsource key parts of your business to experts. Instead you’re left fumbling through them yourself.

And, unless you have a background in skills like marketing, you can find yourself making common mistakes that lead to disappointing results and frustrating failures – with no clue as to why.

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Five reasons why your marketing campaign isn’t working (and how to fix it)

To help you understand why your marketing campaigns may not be working in the way you’d hoped, direct marketing specialists Romax explain five common reasons why your marketing campaign could be failing, and how to fix it.

1) You’re not targeting a specific market segment

It might be true that a lot of people are in the market for your product. But do they all have the same personality? Do they all respond to the same benefits? Do they all have the same problems?

In most cases, the answer is no. And this is where many SMEs fail. They don’t take the time to research and profile their target audience. As a result, they don’t realise that within the audience there are nuances.

For example, some people might be more concerned about safety. If you wanted to target them, you wouldn’t lead the campaign with a headline about value-for-money, you would lead it with a compelling statement about safety. Not targeting a specific market segment is one of the commonest stumbling blocks.

What’s the solution?

Devote some time to researching your audience. Build up a profile based on demographics and psychometrics. You could even take it a step further and develop detailed buyer personas for each segment.

Once you have a clear perception of your audience, you can then consciously tailor your marketing campaign to suit the specific characteristics of each particular segment.

Who is your ideal customer? Here are the questions you need to ask to create your avatar

2) You’re not giving yourself and your team enough time for planning and preparation

Another common pitfall is the ‘I want it done yesterday’ mentality. Many small-business owners feel under pressure to market their products or services.

So they come up with an idea at the last minute, scramble over to PeoplePerHour and then hastily tell a copywriter, “I need an email campaign written by tomorrow”. Inevitably when the campaign fails it’s the poor creative that cops the blame. This kind of rush-rush approach is a weakness for many business owners.

What’s the solution?

Get into the habit of planning well in advance. If an event is planned for the summer and it’s crucial to your business objectives, then start planning and developing the marketing campaign at least six months before.

Don’t leave it to the last minute. Advanced planning gives your creatives time to master the brief and come up with properly developed and tested ideas.

3) You’re cutting corners with your copy

Do you value copywriting as a genuine marketing skill? Or do you think anyone can write persuasive copy, so therefore you don’t need to spend much money on it? A cheap writer on Fiver will do?

Big mistake! As they say, ‘buy cheap, pay twice’. It’s true for furniture, and it’s true for marketing. Badly crafted copy could be the thing that’s ruining your campaign.

What’s the solution?

Hire a professional copywriter, one that can prove they have the talent and experience needed to get results. You may spend extra money, but the return-on-investment will be worth it.

4) You don’t know about the AIDA marketing model

When it comes to their own special expertise, small-business owners are fantastic. But when it comes to marketing, they tend to lack knowledge and experience. Which is why they don’t make use of the AIDA model.

AIDA stands for:

  • Attention.
  • Interest.
  • Desire.
  • Action.

Essentially it’s a funnel into which a prospect is drawn. You grab their attention; get them interested; and then cultivate desire so they take the all important action i.e. make a purchase.

Different stages of this funnel require different types of marketing communication. Being unaware of this tried-and-tested model could be the one thing that’s holding your campaign back.

What’s the solution?

Learn about AIDA! There are plenty of free resources online. After a few hours of research you’ll be up-to-speed quite quickly. Once you’ve learnt it, you can then use it as a framework around which to build solid marketing campaigns. In other words, you won’t be fumbling around in the dark.

Love to know more about the marketing journey your customers follow? Learn the six stages of the buying process – and how to build your marketing roadmap.

5) You stopped at the first hurdle

Defeatism is an easy trap to fall into. You’re spending time, energy and money on a campaign that’s not hitting the planned targets. It’s a natural conclusion to reach: it doesn’t work, so give up on it.

However, you could be throwing away valuable experience and data. It’s normal for campaign strategies to grow and evolve. By stopping at the first hurdle, you could very well be stunting your own marketing growth.

What’s the solution?

Don’t give up! The Japanese have a great concept known as kaizen, which means ‘continuous improvement’. The idea is that you should be always striving to improve things.

In respects to your marketing campaign, instead of giving up, analyse the situation:

  • What went wrong?
  • Are there any good points?
  • What feedback are you getting?
  • How can it be improved?
  • What does the data say?

Use this analysis to improve your campaign… and have another go!

Read more marketing advice

Want to get your marketing campaigns right? We recommend reading these articles for more tips:

For expert advice on direct mail marketing and more, visit Romax, a market leader in print and direct mail services.

Photo by Sean Patrick Murphy