A time for pause, a time for reflection.  It’s rare we get the chance, but the pandemic has forced people to stop and rethink. Marketing has become more urgent, more focused and more relevant.  When the Going Gets Tough – The Tough Get Marketing!

Marketing, Finance, Operations and People; are the 4 ingredients that need to work to make a successful business, and when one of these starts to fail, the cracks start to show. Here are the signs your marketing needs urgent attention.

You don’t know where your next customer is coming from

Having a clear sales pipeline is your lifeblood. There are some business models that are founded on regular, predictable and sustainable income – e.g. monthly subscriptions – for others it’s not so easy.  Either way, it is vital to have a clear strategy for sales generation.  This means having a strong grasp on prospect identification and targeting, lead times, budget cycles, seasonal trends and so on.  Just relying on luck is not a strategy and neither is assuming your customer base will stay loyal.  It is equally important to ensure client retention and to build in some contingency for drop offs in your cashflow forecasts.

You haven’t reviewed your goals in months

It’s not uncommon for businesses to take a broad-brush approach to marketing. This might mean having a website, posting on social media from time to time, maybe doing some advertising.  The risks here are that there is no clear evidence base or strategy underpinned by goals.  There might be nothing in place to help you understand what’s working and what is, and the reasons why.  If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it as Peter Drucker famously said.

Marketing 101 is having goals, a ring fenced budget and a strategy that you regularly review. If you are starting from a zero base you will come unstuck pretty quickly.

You are not sure of your sales breakdowns
One of the key questions we ask clients is ‘which products/services are your most profitable’?  Sometimes we are surprised by the answer.  Sales data is like gold dust. It tells a story about your business, about trends, customer buying habits, and demand.  This information should all be fed back into your business.  If you are not sure which types of customers are buying what, when and how, then you have a dangerous blind spot.  It makes it next to impossible to carry out good marketing from this position.

Your price point doesn’t match your target audience
Creating a customer profile will help paint a picture of the person you are selling toThings to include are demographics, behaviours, what they like to read/watch on TV, etc.  If you find this a struggle it could be a sign you haven’t got a clear idea of your target audience in the first place.  If you don’t know who you are selling to, you can’t set the right price or positioning for your product or service. This is absolutely fundamental and could be killing your business.

You feel like you have tried everything
Have you been in business for a few years now and feel that ‘something isn’t working’?  Generally speaking, most businesses see growth after 2 – 3 years and things become more settled.  The proof of concept is clear.  If you still feel that things are a struggle it could well be a problem with your marketing. Alongside this you may need to consider making some changes to your offer.  The failure rate in the first 5 years of business can be very high, so don’t bury your head in the sand. Start fixing your marketing.

If this sounds familiar, book a 15-minute clarity call today