How to Not Succeed With Your Marketing Strategy


What not to do in your marketing strategy? Failing to identify your target market.

You’re sitting down to play a game of Battleship with your precocious nine-year-old niece. You know it’s going to be brutal on her if you win (and besides, your ego can’t really take it if you lose while actually trying), so you shove all of your boats in one corner and then refuse to see any pattern in the hits you make on your niece’s ships. She wins handily, and you remain her favorite, for now. It’s a solid plan for losing Battleship, so why are you surprised when the same approach tanks your marketing strategy?

When it comes to your marketing strategy, the boats shoved in a corner are your marketing dollars, all shoved toward social media, without any evidence that it’s working. Your randomized attacks are like broadcasting a brand message, but to no one in particular. It’s not a good game strategy, and it’s terrible for cultivating growth in your company.

Take a look at five ways to win the game with your marketing strategy:

Talking to Everyone at Once: If your messaging is designed for everyone, it’s powerful to exactly no one. You need to identify your target audience by determining who would be most likely to want or need your product or service. Then narrow your focus further by developing clear buyer personas with extensive information about their gender, age, occupation and hobbies. Once you can “see” your buyer persona, design your messaging to talk directly to them.

Following the Crowd: It’s healthy to be aware of what your competitors are doing, but if your activities look the same, there’s no reason for your target audience to distinguish how awesome you are. Instead, develop your own messaging, formats and channels based on analytics for your target audience. If everyone in your industry is posting informational content on LinkedIn, find out whether that’s really where your target audience hangs out. If so, that’s fine, but you may want to use some humor or engage your audience with a heartfelt video to help your brand stand out in all the seriosity (making up words may also be a dangerous marketing tactic).

Getting Stuck: Yes, you spent a lot of time creating that marketing strategy and you may not want to look at it for a while because it reminds you of stale coffee and late-night cold Chinese food. The problem is, your marketing strategy should be a continually-refined, living document that undergoes change after change as you learn more about the most effective techniques to generate leads and convert sales.

Failing to Set Goals: Before you engage in any marketing activity, you should have a clear purpose in mind. Are you creating a Facebook poll asking followers what their favorite Thanksgiving food is because you want to up your engagement, or because you’re hoping that they’ll find it so charming that they’ll then visit your site. Have a goal in mind and then make sure to follow-up and determine whether you met that goal.

Not Paying for Expertise: Yes, anybody can create a social media ad, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be effective. If you’re investing in paid advertising on social media, you’re likely to get better results with someone that has some expertise in the area. Those big companies that are killing it with paid Facebook ads … they have dedicated social media marketing specialists. You can, too, without bringing them in-house.

We know it’s exhausting, keeping up with of all the things you shouldn’t do in your marketing strategy, let alone the things you should! Stop sweating it and let our team at SJC Marketing help you. We can’t wait to start creating some great ideas to grow your business.