Is your marketing struggling? Not getting the lift you need to survive? Leaving money on the table. There’s a fix for that and we’ve got you covered in this post. So, read on!
In any business, marketing is always going to be a major way in which you need to try and keep things afloat, and the truth is that if you don’t have the necessary means to improve your marketing, your business could really struggle for a long time. One of the most important tasks that you are likely to have ahead of you here is to make sure that you are keeping your marketing in place, and that might actually be harder than you think at first. However, it’s vital if you want to make sure that your business is going to succeed.
In this post, we are going to take you through some of the potential reasons for your marketing struggles and possible ways to fix the problems you face. If you are able to address these in your own marketing, you will find that it invariably leads to a much more successful business, so it’s really worth being aware of the following as best as you can be.
Is your marketing struggling?
First of all, let’s remember that you might not even be aware that your marketing is not operating as well as it could, so you should make sure that you are looking into this and that you are doing all you can to be aware of some of those indicators. That’s especially true if you don’t build dashboards containing the right KPIs (key performance indicators) or access metrics on a regular basis (once a day is good). Without this data, the first indication of a marketing problem may come too late for a fix to save your business, especially for young or small businesses.
Metrics to follow to discover your marketing struggling
Every business is a little different, so there’s no magical list of metrics that show whether marketing struggling is real or just a temporary slowdown. The key is to focus on those metrics that have a strong correlation with your performance, especially those related to your performance in the short run. That means you can’t rely solely on end goals like sales because the reason why your marketing struggle is real involves the entire conversion funnel from awareness to conversion to actions taken after conversion, especially reviewing and recommending your brand.
That’s why I love this infographic published on Occam’s Razon, a website run by Avinash Kaushik, an evangelist for Google Analytics. This focuses on measuring online activity so you may need to develop similar metrics to assess your offline marketing efforts to determine if your marketing is struggling or experiencing normal downturns. Metrics like follower counts are called vanity metrics because there’s at most a weak correlation between these metrics and the performance metrics that count. However, metrics like the engagement of your followers or follower growth over time do have some meaning when it comes to assessing your marketing performance.
The SEE metrics relate to awareness, which is the first step toward conversion. If consumers aren’t aware of your products, the problems they solve, their features and benefits, and how to buy your products you have no hope of converting them. Included in this list is amplification, which happens when users engage with your content so it gets shared on their platforms to reach new users. Focusing on this stage in the funnel is critical to your overall success.
Also, measure the success of your social media using metrics like:
- visits from social
- using tags to identify underperforming (or overperforming) content
- contribution of social visits to conversion using multi-channel attribution modeling
THINK represents the consideration stage of the conversion funnel common in marketing texts. At this stage, the potential buyer is focused on gathering information and processing that information to make a purchase decision. In addition to the metrics shown here that mostly consider website activities, consider other information sources used by prospective customers such as online reviews, recommendations which you can find as brand mentions and share of voice on social media using software designed for this, and leads generated, such as subscribing to your email marketing program.
The DO stage is where conversion occurs. In marketing, we add a stage before this called the intention stage. Interfering elements in the intentions stage are things that keep consumers from buying such as:
- forcing them to create an account or sign in to make a purchase
- limited ways to pay
- unaffordable products
- not offering financing options
- surprise costs such as adding shipping at the end of the process
- a shopping cart process that’s too long or confusing
- even little things like getting busy can interfere. That’s why remarketing is really helpful for reminding visitors of their intention to buy or doing lead nurturing using email marketing to inform prospective buyers of sales or new products similar to the ones they were thinking about buying
Also, monitor the metrics mentioned in the infographic, especially cart abandonment as indicators of marketing struggling to reach its goals. I also suggest monitoring AOV (average order value) as increasing the size of the average order is as important as making the sale. I call this the “do you want fries with that” strategy.
Normal fluctuations don’t really indicate your marketing is struggling and some businesses face normal seasonality changes on performance. Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate a normal fluctuation from a problem, that’s why it’s important to monitor these metrics every day. Consistent monitoring helps determine when a fluctuation requires some strategy to redress a problem.
It’s also important to monitor outside factors to understand when a marketing struggling to work and when outside factors mean you need to reassess your marketing strategy. For instance, new competition will cut into your sales and you need to adjust your marketing message to show how your products are superior to the new competitor. Or, economic changes may mean lowering your prices, offering financing options, or developing less expensive products to augment your product line.
Often overlooked is the CARE stage of the process. Customers are important so you should monitor their satisfaction, repeat purchase intentions, and ensure they love your brand moving forward. Another aspect to assess is customer lifetime value (CLV), which reflects how long customers remain loyal to your brand and whether they make future purchases from your brand using the graphic above to assess them. Spending more effort on those with the highest CLV results in higher returns for your brand. For instance, offer high CLV buyers little extras occasionally or send personalized thank you notes when you send products. Or, recognize anniversaries (such as identifying how long they’ve been a loyal customer) or sending birthday greetings is another way to show your appreciation to these important customers.
Is your marketing struggling; fixing the problems
This discussion so far told you what to assess, but not how to fix the problems you identified. So, here are some fixes for common problems leading to poor market performance.
Poor web traffic
These days, web traffic is one of the most important measures when it comes to marketing as a whole. You need to make sure that you are bringing in as many people as possible to your website, because so many of those will convert into sales, and you’ll likely be amazed at how much this can help you out. So it’s essential that you are doing all you can to improve this, and as it happens there are a lot of methods for bringing your web traffic up to healthier numbers.
One thing you might want to do here is to bring in a web traffic expert like Matt Colletta to fix the problem. Hiring an expert can result in a much healthier figure when it comes to your web traffic, and often a lot quicker than struggling to make the changes yourself. It’s amazing how much this can help, and it’s the kind of thing that you are definitely going to want to consider, especially since it’s probably not as expensive as you might think. With the right help, you can turn your web traffic around and therefore improve your marketing as a whole.
Sometimes you are in a position where you are getting the attention, or your website is getting the necessary traffic, but you are still not able to actually get any sales because visitors aren’t converting into actual sales from customers. Low conversions are a sign that there is something wrong with your convincing technique, or that your product is not quite as good as it could be. That is a sign that you need to go back to the drawing board to try and change things around, otherwise, you may struggle with actually being able to improve your business’ health generally.
If you think you should get higher conversions ie. your conversion rate is low, then it might be time to take a look more broadly at what you are offering people. It’s no use blaming the marketing if the product is simply unattractive, after all, and that is something that you will really want to bear in mind here. If your product seems to meet customer needs as reflected by good reviews and repeat purchases, then it’s time to look at your landing pages for the following problems then fix the problem:
- Landing pages are too busy and aren’t appealing. You can detect this problem by assessing “time on page” for all your landing pages.
- Your messaging isn’t convincing buyers to click on links. To assess this, look at the click ratio for the page, called the click-through rate (CTR). If visitors take the time to scan the page but don’t click, maybe you’re not convincing them you can solve their problems better than competitors.
- Another reason you’re not getting the CTR you expect is that the button isn’t easy to find or the wording isn’t motivating clicks. Try changing the position, color, or wording on buttons to figure out the best combination using experiments that automate rotation and combinations of these elements to determine which version has the highest CTR.
- You may not share pricing on the landing page, which leaves visitors unsure about whether to click or not. Or, your price is too high (or low) so they aren’t interested. Learn more about how pricing impacts sales in this post.
Poor audience understanding
But perhaps the single most common reason why marketing fails is a lack of understanding of who your audience is and how you should try to communicate with them. That’s why whenever you are in doubt about your marketing, it’s usually helpful to spend some time trying to get to a closer and fuller understanding of your customer, who they are and what they are all about. That is often a really helpful way to make sure that you are improving things.
I hope you found this post and can now assess whether your marketing struggling is real or a normal fluctuation and can use one of the fixes I identified to improve market performance.
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