“We just aren’t seeing results from our marketing.”
An overwhelming majority of our new clients open our very first conversation with this as the force that urged them to reach out.
Companies often ask us to evaluate underperforming marketing campaigns. It’s one of the free services we offer, and we’re usually able to deduce the problem within that first consultation. We audit their marketing strategy and never hold back solutions to their marketing limitations.
We recognize that marketing is a science, first and foremost; a blend of behavioral sciences that seeks to understand people individually and in groups. As engineers must understand physics, so marketers must understand psychology. It studies norms, deviations, probabilities. Anyone who has studied psychology beyond a few Buzzfeed articles will quickly learn:
Psychology is a data science.
Great marketers understand this, but putting into practice is difficult. Making the academic science actionable in your marketing is a developed skillset.
In our assessments, we are evaluating several essential criteria. Most assessments follow a typical evaluation format and include questions like these:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your objective?
- How is your target audience engaging?
The answers to these questions reveal breaks in clarity and specificity, and it becomes straightforward to diagnose where we’ll find gaps in the marketing process.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Common Answer: “We are targeting businesses of X size.”
What It Indicates: With this kind of generic approach, the messaging in any individual piece of marketing targets a business, not a person; a person with needs, doing research who is going to come across their content.
How To Fix It: Develop buyer personas to identify the people who need the solution you’re offering. Tailor your marketing approach to their customer’s needs, not the company they work for.
What Is Your Objective?
Common Answer: “To generate more revenue in 2020.”
What It Indicates: The objective is too vague. An indirect outcome (like “generate revenue”) is too far removed from an actual marketing plan. This ambiguity in process creates an obstacle to developing real solutions.
How To Fix It: Define the process by which a person would get from the asset (marketing) to the end goal (a purchase) and create individual conversion goals to track at each stage so they can be continuously measured and improved.
How Is Your Target Audience Engaging?
Common Answer: “We are seeing poor opens and click-throughs.”
What It Indicates: The first indicator here is what they see as the most important activity of their marketing strategy (in this case: email). It also indicates the true metric by which they measure marketing success (in this case: click-throughs and page views).
How To Fix It: Think of all metrics as part of a whole. Each individual metric has a story to tell. In this example, low open rates indicate the email subject lines aren’t clicking with the target audience. Poor click-through rates indicate that those who do open the email don’t find the content relevant and/or are missing a clear call-to-action.
When you have that kind of exposure to information, patterns emerge that will elude those who are focused on one brand at a time.