The #1 Reason Marketing Campaigns Fail

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There are a lot of excuses people give as to why their marketing isn't working. However, it really comes down to one thing.

Over the 15 years I’ve been in digital marketing, I’ve heard a lot of excuses why ecom folks are unhappy with the results from their digital marketing.

They include:

  • My marketing agency ripped me off 
  • My marketing agency didn’t understand the jewelry space
  • I don’t think we had enough budget
  • Our ads weren’t very good
  • We could have used better creative
  • Our website needs conversion optimization
  • We didn’t test enough offers
  • I didn’t really understand what I was signing up for
  • We don’t really know what we’re doing on INSERT PLATFORM (Google, Facebook, etc)
  • We didn’t have proper tracking in place

These are all valid issues, each one is capable of derailing a campaign. But they’re not the REAL reasons. They’re just symptoms.

The truth is, most marketing campaigns fail because people are too nice. They don’t like being uncomfortable. 

Clients say they want to hear the truth, but then withhold important details because they don’t want to “show their hand” during what feels like a negotiation when it should feel like a doctor’s visit.

That’s why marketing campaigns fail… because there wasn’t a sufficient audit or plan in place which digs deeply into the MANY details which are required to build and execute a campaign.

Giving surface level answers guarantees failure. Being raw and honest gets results.

These types of audits result in clarity about the goals of the campaign. In other words, what results would make the campaign a success?

The lack of clear goals agreed on by both parties and an honest, in-depth analysis of what it will take to hit those goals is why campaigns fail. Every time.

Avoiding Campaign Disaster

Doing an in-depth audit and plan takes an investment of time. It also requires a willingness to be uncomfortable with the real answers rather than simply seeing what you want to see.

  • What would clearly define success for this campaign?
  • How do you currently reach your clients?
  • How much traffic does your website currently generate?
  • What is your conversion rate from the website?
  • What is your conversion rate from the different marketing channels you use (Google, Facebook, email, etc)?
  • How are you handling web leads & what could be done differently?
  • What campaigns have worked well in the past?
  • What campaigns have NOT worked well?
  • What are the common elements?
  • What’s the average lifetime value of a client?
  • What’s your cost per lead?
  • What are your current sales numbers?
  • What is your desired increase in sales?
  • What is your current marketing budget (break down by activity)?

Using this data, you can work backwards towards a budget.

I can’t promise you’ll like the budget, but doing it this way has a MUCH higher chance of succeeding than doing it the way you’ve done it in the past.

Think of it as the opposite exercise from how people normally decide on a marketing plan which usually sounds something like this: “I’ve got this much allocated for marketing.”

Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions and listen to the answers before you spend the money. You’ll be glad you did.

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