Nobody Cared: Your Marketing Nightmare
Like a meteor that quickly dissipated in the Earth’s atmosphere—your marketing campaign displayed flashes of brilliance but, ultimately, had no impact.
Worst feeling ever.
But your marketing strategy was perfect, wasn’t it? You identified the target audience. You set measurable goals. You even developed an integrated marketing calendar. But you got no results. No conversions. Nothing.
Why didn’t your audience care? Perhaps it’s because…
You didn’t measure
Marketing is supposed to influence behavior. So if you’re creating marketing emails, banner ads or direct response pieces, you have to be able to measure how effective they are. But where do you begin?
Start with campaign strings. These handy little codes can help you identify the impact of each campaign element. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems. Campaign strings are purely a fancy-sounding way to track your call to action links. Just caffeinate yourself, read a few articles and you’ll figure it out in no time. If you start measuring your marketing, you’ll gain insights that will help you be more effective. I promise you.
You didn’t experiment
Oh, you say you’re already tracking marketing campaigns? Awesome. Now go to the next level. Start testing your ideas against each other. Because when you compete against yourself, guess who wins? You baby. All you.
Experimenting is the best way to increase your marketing impact. So brush up on your research methods and begin conducting simple A/B tests. For example, you may find out that the orange button on your order form outperforms the green button by 10%. Or that paid search headlines that include messages of “fear and doubt” convert twice as well compared to “optimistic” ones. You don’t even need expensive software to do this! Just a little dedication.
Every marketing endeavor is different, but there’s always an opportunity to learn something that will inform your next campaign. Whose organization couldn’t use a little incremental revenue? Be the hero who unlocks it.
You quit easily
If you were about to stop reading this article, then you don’t really want to get better. You just want a quick fix. Not that there’s anything wrong with fast results. But stay with me now. You’re about to get what you need to get better.
You didn’t go to events
Wait. What do events have to do with improving your marketing impact? Everything. At events, you meet smart people like you who have faced similar challenges. Which means you can learn directly from your peers’ successes and failures. Plus, live experiences let you ask questions, deep-dive into the latest technology, build your knowledge base and get inspired to try new things. In just a few short days out of the office, a marketing conference can prepare you for the entire next year.
Not only that, but if you avoid events altogether, it’s easy to fall out of touch with what is and what isn’t working in the industry. Then your ideas may become stale—gasp! Remember, humans can be very finicky creatures, especially if you’re trying to sell them something. So make sure your marketing is always exciting and innovative. Here is a list of the biggest marketing events in 2015 built for people like you who want to increase the impact of their efforts.
Your story was boring
Hate to break it to you, but successful marketing requires way more than churning out promotional materials, blasting them everywhere and hoping people buy your product. You must give your customers something they value. An audacious claim? Nay, I say. Connect with people on a personal level and you’ll see real impact.
The concept of content marketing does just that. And it’s more than a buzz word. It is real and goes something like this: Focus on providing authentic, relevant content to your audience and build relationships. Make your brand human. As a result, your audience will become loyal advocates for your service.
Okay, that’s a slightly hasty explanation. But it’s not that far off, either. Writer and entrepreneur Adam Toren beautifully articulates how storytelling can build your brand and help deliver high impact. The point here is that long gone are the days of blasting out messages that scream, “SALE! BUY NOW!” and assuming you’ll get great results. Today’s consumers expect to be treated like royalty. And they should. Because if you don’t take care of them—someone else will.
Your call to action wasn’t clear
Your work didn’t generate results because you didn’t make it easy for your audience to take an action. Classic mistake. Your call to action may appear straightforward to you, but you are not the customer.
To inspire your marketing, take a look at some effective call to action examples. What do these guys do that you don’t? Are there opportunities to improve your landing page by reducing the number of offers?
Here’s another idea. Share your marketing website or brochure with a family member or friend for feedback—someone in your target audience who doesn’t live and breathe this stuff every day. You’d be surprised at the things a person outside your organization will notice. If they do provide any criticism of your work, just be polite and remember that you asked for their opinion.
You didn’t try helping others
Brands that stand for more than their products are becoming more and more popular. Probably because consumers respect companies that go beyond turning a profit. There are dozens of mainstream organizations that literally match each sale with a donation to someone in need.
Maybe your organization could increase the bottom line by having a social impact too. These companies are champions of marrying marketing with corporate social responsibility. And in the end, everyone wins.
Shiny objects distracted you
One last idea and then I’ll get off my soapbox. Please stop saying, “It’s an award winning idea.” Just stop it right now. There’s nothing wrong with recognizing great work. But if your primary objective is to win industry awards rather than achieving results, your marketing will struggle to make an impact. My best advice is to focus on doing great work, and the awards will win themselves.
Fortunately, you are NOT a quitter
Congratulations. The fact that you cared enough to read this entire article about increasing your marketing impact is proof that your future has tremendous promise. You aren’t satisfied with the status quo. You want to get better.
Therefore, you will.
As you know, the best-laid plans of marketers often go awry. And while you may not always get the results you are looking for, never beat yourself up over it. You will see a lasting, positive impact if you just keep trying to improve.
Wake up—your (marketing) nightmare is over.
Now get to work.