In this blog I would like to address a problem that is more common than you think and one that affects businesses of all types and size. It isn’t about which social channel is the new favourite or drawn out political musings, its far simpler… Are you ready to do Marketing?
All around the world a familiar line is often muttered “We need to do some Marketing” simple right!
Indeed, it can be, you can simply reach out to a plethora of agencies all squabbling in jeans, brown shoes and blazers all too willing to talk fluffy jargon, create pretty designs and take your money. I myself could take that approach but the outcome can be poor. You will get a big invoice and have little to show for your money.
The thing is, it’s not always the agencies fault, Afterall you approached them, right? You said you needed help and were happy to spend the money.. but here you deflated, thinking all Marketers are like Dick Turpin (Click here for more info on him)
Why Does This Happen?
Be under no illusions there are good agencies and bad ones that will take your money and just deliver without taking the time to really get under the skin of things, especially if they know budget won’t be regular. I have also worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes, and they make common mistakes that can have a huge impact on the return on marketing spend which are frankly their own fault. I have addressed a few of the common ones below.
1-Are You Sure You’re Targeting the Right People?
It’s easy to get carried along by your own experience or collective opinion, but that isn’t always the best idea when it comes to deciding who you are going to market too.
You may have had success with a particular group of companies or vertical market, and whilst this may seem like a logical choice to target with your offering, sometimes it can be wrong.
I am not saying that this is wrong, and it makes sense to replicate success, but I urge and implore you to think before you instantly accept the idea as gospel.
There can be many factors influencing previous success and things may have changed. The industry may have a cycle that means its just not looking for what you offer right now. The industry may have political or economic factors impacting growth or investment. It maybe the only reason those three companies joined is because of the offer or salesman you had that year.
Take time to plan and strategise! Do a little research into your market and ask your customers why they work with you, and what is happening in their industry.
Don’t base your investment on a hunch or gut feel, make sure the people you are targeting are the right choice for your campaign and service or product.
2-Do You Actually Have the Data?
So, you have identified who it is you are looking to target but do you have data? More importantly, is the data legal and do you have a right to have it. Don’t be fooled by thinking that because you have the right company in your email database that it is the right contact. Spending Money marketing to an info@ email address probably isn’t the best use of your money. Ensure you have personal email addresses for the Decision makers and/or influencers within your target organisation.
In addition, data can be a minefield. If your database came from that memory stick, George the salesman had 2 years ago, destroy it until nothing survives. (unless you have a legitimate business argument to keep it)
With GDPR, an error can see the Information Commissioner Office asking questions about where and how you obtained data and consent. Ensure you have data from reputable sources and check whether you or the data supplier will be legally obligated. One that always stands out for me and this is pre GDPR is Flybe who were fine £70K for sending emails to people who had unsubscribed. Its that easy and the penalties are even greater now.
3-Does Your Sales and Marketing Function Work Well Together?
One of the biggest hurdles between failure and success is the misalignment of Marketing and Sales processes and expectations. Mistakes are often made on both sides of the fence; Marketing failing to engage the sales team and consult over following up leads (presumption plays a big part) and sales apathy around leads they were not expecting, or those that may not hit the sales teams sweet spot. No offence sales guys but you can be lazy!
Once you have spent money on generating leads, if these are not effectively followed in the right timescale they will go cold and quickly – who is responsible then? Is it marketing for not delivering a ROI or your sales team for not closing qualified leads?
This scenario starts the blame game and finger pointing and like a vote on the future of the EU, battle lines can be dawn.
Take the time to ensure that both the sales and marketing teams are engaged at the planning stage and that both agree on the plan and understand timeframes and expectations. This removes the squabbling and increases the success of the campaign.