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    08/25/2023 |

    Why Hit-or-Miss Marketing Is Sucking Your Current Marketing Efforts

    We talk about hit-or-miss marketing frequently, and it resonates with so many people that I can only image what it feels like to be running hit-or-miss marketing activities at your companies.

    I understand the underlying reasons behind this type of marketing. So many tactical options are available and so many channels could be activated today.

    Layer in the general lack of resources allocated to marketing and you have so much to do, so little time to do it and not enough help to get it done. The result is hit-or-miss marketing activities and generally weak results.

    If this sounds like your company, you should know there are alternatives.

    I’m the kind of person who asks a lot of questions before I come to any significant decisions or conclusions. When we first started to see this kind of marketing deployed at companies, I wanted to know what was causing this situation so we could help people avoid it.

    I think it’s important to know why hit-or-miss marketing doesn’t work so that you can proactively invest in removing it from your company to realize the business growth you’ve always expected.

    Here’s why hit-or-miss marketing doesn’t work and what you can do about it right now.

    Marketing Needs a Single Story Told Through Multiple Channels

    The only way any marketing is going to work effectively is if it can share and tell a single, easy-to-digest, compelling and/or disruptive story to the people you want to hear it and do so through a variety of channels.

    Hit-or-miss marketing is completely the opposite of what’s needed to produce results, which is why it rarely produces any significant lift in leads or sales. 

    One set of ads on one channel isn’t going to work. An example, running Google pay-per-click ads and nothing else isn’t likely to work well. Running an email marketing campaign with nothing else isn’t likely to produce any significant results.

    Doing one for 30 days, then stopping it and starting something new because the first tactic didn’t work is the definition of hit-or-miss marketing, and you already know the results not much.

    The alternative is a highly orchestrated, omnichannel, personalized campaign effort that is rooted in the company’s overall marketing strategy.

    You create a single, compelling, emotional and/or disruptive message that gets distributed via a variety of channels and tactics, simultaneously and over a reasonable amount of time.

    This is the only way you’ll cut through the clutter and produce anything that might resonate with your target prospects, encourage them to consume your content and then get them to engage with your sales team.

    It’s a monumental effort to get someone’s attention today, and it takes a monumental strategy, plan, campaigns, tactics and supporting effort that includes financial and human resources.

    Marketing Needs Tight Alignment With Sales

    Another symptom of hit-or-miss marketing is when sales is doing and saying one thing while marketing is doing and saying something else.

    No gray areas should exist between these two groups. Marketing and sales have to be saying the same things to prospects.

    It’s extremely confusing for prospects to have one experience on your website and an entirely different experience when they start working with sales.

    Not only is it confusing but it’s scary, and scared is the opposite of how you want your prospects to feel. It’s the fast track to losing deals and missing your sales goals.

    The solution to this is a strategically designed single-stream prospect experience. This experience should be married with data to show how effective the process is at moving prospects through it and to close.

    This approach can’t be done with hit-or-miss marketing. It can only be done with a strategic approach and a revenue generation system.

    Marketing Needs Patience and Persistence

    This is going to be hard for a lot of CEOs and business owners. Typically (and I know I’m generalizing) these people suffer from short-term thinking when it comes to marketing. If they spend $1,000, they expect $10,000 in sales in just 10 days.

    Unfortunately, that’s not how marketing works, and honestly, it’s not how business works. Most businesses take at least two to three years to reach maturity and profitability. Most marketing should be looked at in terms of months, not days or even weeks.

    If after months results are slow to come, don’t trash the entire effort and start again with a major business pivot. That’s only going to start the clock back at zero. Instead, make small adjustments along the way to dial in the marketing.

    While this ongoing optimization is tough to do and requires a very specific skill set, you will be rewarded by giving your marketing the time it needs to get traction. Your team will have the time needed to make optimization adjustments and learn from what worked well, what didn’t work so well and what didn’t work at all.

    Marketing Needs Data To Optimize Performance Over Time

    Hit-or-miss marketing is almost always accompanied by a significant lack of data on the current performance of any marketing. I ask all our prospects some basic questions:

    • How many people are coming to your website every month?
    • How many leads are you getting from your website?
    • What is your close rate?
    • How many new customers come from current marketing efforts?
    Usually, the answers are “we don’t know” or “I can get you that.” But we rarely see it in any of the follow-up.

    You can’t (nor should you) do any marketing if you’re not going to track it. This means the data has to be available, accurate and on a platform that allows additional data and analysis to be done.

    Once you start looking at data, making data-driven decisions and applying ongoing optimization efforts, you’ll be surprised at how quickly hit-or-miss marketing is eliminated for good.

    Marketing Needs a Strategy That Is Aligned With Both Investment and Expected Results

    Finally, one of the major causes of hit-or-miss marketing is unrealistic expectations around what can be done and what investments are required to drive results at a certain level.

    No matter what business you’re in, it’s going to be challenging to produce 1,000 leads a month with a $100 monthly investment in marketing. I know this is an extreme example, but I’m hoping to make a point.

    At least one of these numbers has to change for there to be alignment. Either the expected number of leads must be reduced dramatically, or the investment must be increased dramatically.

    I think the real issue here is most people are afraid to speak truth to power when it comes to these difficult conversations.

    No matter how much someone kicks and screams, no matter how much they want to invest as little as possible in marketing and no matter what experiences they might have at other companies, there is a direct relationship between what you invest and what results you get.

    That relationship is so quantitatively aligned that I can tell you, for any company, exactly what you’ll have to invest to get what level of results.

    For you to eliminate hit-or-miss marketing, this conversation must be had to achieve agreement on investment levels, timing and expected results. Everyone has to agree on all three elements timing, investment and expected results.

    Once you have that, hit-or-miss marketing can be eliminated once and for all. 

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist headshot
    CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

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