Why Your Marketing Campaign Isn’t Working

October 9, 2014 5:08 pm Published by

You attended hours of strategy planning sessions. You worked and reworked your marketing budget. You put together a compelling PowerPoint presentation, and after a lot of back and forth you finally got approval. When your new marketing program officially launched you sighed with relief, and had a celebratory drink (or two). But, a few months into it, something’s not right. It just doesn’t seem to be working.

My first suggestion is to take a look at your marketing campaign objectives.

Don’t get “objectives” confused with “goals.” Goals are broad and more general and usually include increasing sales, growing business, and driving profit.

In contrast, objectives are much more specific and provide measurable guidelines to achieve your goals.

Some examples of objectives include:

–          “Our objective is to increase traffic to the sales page of our website by 35% by January 2016”

–          “Our objective is to grow referrals by 25% in the 2015 calendar year”

Objectives are specific, include a timeline, and should allow you to definitively answer the question “did we reach this objective?” with a “yes” or “no” answer.

These objectives should then drive the direction for your campaign.

And here is where we often see clients run into trouble.

Here I’ll use the analogy of kids on a soccer field. Someone kicks the ball and every player on the field runs after it. The ball gets kicked back and every player on the field runs the other way. The players either forgot, or more likely, never knew the strategy of the play. Center-back, don’t cross the mid-line!

Just like strategy in soccer, the players on your marketing team (or more likely the management team) can’t get distracted by opportunities if they aren’t part of your marketing strategy, and the sure way to know whether they’re the right opportunities is to check them against your objectives.

You must ask “will this action help us to achieve one or more of our objectives?” If the answer is ‘no,’ then you should not more forward.

Sometimes opportunities arise that are temping – a potential partnership, a high level event sponsorship at a good cost, an interview with the CEOs dream publication. Rather than jump right in, line the opportunity up next to your objectives. Doing this will ensure that each tactic will ultimately help you achieve campaign success.

Many marketing managers have at one time tried the “spray and pray” method of marketing, where you try a bunch of different tactics hoping at least one will produce results. While this might be a good CYA tactic (“yes, we did that”), the results rarely meet marketing goals, not to mention company goals.

If your campaign isn’t working, take the time now to understand why, and start with a good hard look at your objectives. If they’re not specific, or (gasp) don’t actually exist, fix the problem now, before it’s too late.


Jessica Sharp is Principal of Maven Communications. Follow her on Twitter @Jessicagsharp.

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