17 July 2013

When good marketing goes bad….

Let’s be honest if you have been in business for any amount of time, you are bound to have had a few marketing disasters. These are campaigns that simply haven’t worked and in many ways we can remain a little emotionally scarred by these past failures.

There can be lots of reasons why the marketing didn’t work, but my point here is we have to get past these failures and keep marketing.

If you did a print advertisement in a local paper that didn’t work, rather than make a blanket statement like “print advertising doesn’t work” perhaps it would be better to have a closer look at your advertisement itself. Was it a good advertisement, did it stand out on the page, was it clear, was there an obvious and urgent call to action? From my experience advertising works, but advertisements often don’t.

Likewise we may have planned an event of some kind and not had the response we wanted. We can make blanket statements like “people don’t come to these kinds of things anymore” and never try them again, or we can be a little more constructive and try to work out why this particular event didn’t work.

Having coached many businesses over the years, I have encountered this marketing blockage many times. Whilst I understand where it comes from, I have to say it can end up doing the business a lot of damage because the business owners eventually run out of marketing ideas (because in their mind everything failed) and they start to say things like “marketing is a waste of time and money”.

In the highly competitive modern world where we all do business, nothing can be further from the truth. Sure, some marketing works better for certain types of businesses than others, but there is no doubt in my mind that every single business has to be very proactive when it comes to marketing.

Further to this, marketing is a complicated field. There are no real guarantees but I do know  that if you are making mistakes you shouldn’t beat yourself up. It means that you are trying new ideas and actively marketing and that is a very positive step in the right direction. This is especially when considering how marketing tools and resources have changed dramatically in a few very short years.

We all make mistakes with marketing but hopefully we are learning every time we do and this will ultimately lead to marketing success.

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