Have you ever had a marketing campaign fail? I have many times, and it sucks. All that invested time and money goes up in smoke.
There are dozens of reasons campaigns don’t work, and I could write an article on things like the offer, media choice, etc., but I don’t think that’ll be super helpful. Instead, I want to focus more on you, your business, and what is happening internally that could cause your campaigns to fail. My hope is that this will be a new way for you to evaluate campaign successes and failures.
Do You Know Why Your Marketing Failed?
A dentist called us recently and told us a direct-mail campaign we were doing for their office wasn’t working. I asked why, and they didn’t know. So I asked for permission to mystery call his office.
A few hours later, I grabbed the phone and called the office, and I got their voicemail. I hung up, waited two minutes, and tried again. On the fourth call, someone finally answered, and when I asked for an appointment as a new patient, she couldn’t get me in for three weeks. No wonder the marketing wasn’t working — they were understaffed at the front desk, and the receptionist was poorly trained.
Most businesses live and die by the phones, but do nearly zero training for phone skills. They also typically don’t pay the people who answer the phones very well, which is one of the reasons they don’t get employees with good phone skills. That’s a huge mistake.
You must have scripting for your phones.
If you make appointments or sales, you need to pay those people a good wage or commission and give them training, not just throw them to the wolves on day one. Ask yourself if your training follows these five rules. If it doesn’t, you know you have some room for improvement.
What Are Your Goals?
The next issue I see on a regular basis is that people are not clear about the goals for their campaigns. Let me use a newsletter example for this point. If you want more referrals, simply sending a newsletter will get the vast majority of businesses more referrals. Newsletters give you top-of-mind awareness and have pass-around value. But if you want 25 more referrals per month, simply sending a newsletter won’t do the trick. You need to promote referrals in the newsletter and ask for them when you’re talking to customers.
Best-case scenario, you should have a referral promo or contest. If you can’t do that, you have to create a referral culture and offer valuable information to help get more referrals. Unless you’re clear on the goals you want (and for the record, “I want more customers,” is not clear), how can anyone help you achieve these goals? Check out this method for setting business goals you can measure and accomplish.
Don’t Assume It’ll Be Easy
Most people vastly underestimate how difficult it is to grow. It’s hard to get a new customer today, and it’s expensive. All of this new media actually makes it more expensive and difficult for the vast majority of businesses. Far too many people get their business going, start marketing, find some success, and then expect to get customers for the same amount of money and effort they have been spending— and that simply isn’t reality.
As you scale, you have to spend more money to continue getting the same results.
It’s like picking fruit from a tree.It’s easy at first, but eventually you have to grab a ladder and start climbing if you want to get more fruit. You have to do the same thing with marketing. Today you may be able to get 10 new customers for $100 each, but if you want to get 20 new customers, you may have to spend $135 for each customer from 11–15, and $157 each for customers 16–20.
For those first 10 customers, you may be able to close all of them via the internet and email, but for the next 10, you’ll have to get on the phone. It gets more difficult as you attempt to get more customers. This difficulty curve is why so many companies settle and stop trying to grow. As this article from Forbes clarifies, the first step to scaling your business is committing to growth.
Now It’s Up To You
I know it’s unlikely that what I just told you is what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. And right now, these three areas hold many people back from achieving their dreams. Are these areas going to hold you back? Are you willing to do the work and make changes to how you run your business? Will you stop blaming marketing for all the failures and instead look at internal issues that may be causing them? Only time will tell.