Updated: Aug 22, 2019
The difference between success and failure in marketing often comes down to the roadblocks we set up or encounter, and the way we overcome them. Even with a million dollar budget, marketing campaigns can and do fail. There is value in failure if we learn from our mistakes. Thankfully we can also learn from the mistakes of others, and remove potential roadblocks that could prevent our success and frustrate our efforts.
When you see a roadblock or challenge as an opportunity, it is amazing how you are already halfway there. - Francis Hesselbein
Roadblock: Marketing To Everyone Above Age Zero
Solution: Trying to be everything to everyone dilutes your marketing message and diminishes the impact it will have on your audience. Instead determine who your ideal customers are and gear your marketing message and activities towards attracting and converting more of these people.
Roadblock: Ambiguous or Non-existent Set Goals
Solution: If we don’t set goals, we can’t know whether we’re achieving them or not. Setting specific goals gives us a clear direction and helps us to adopt tactics and strategies to achieve them. Some common marketing goals include: increase brand awareness, increase sales, generate more leads, increase customer loyalty, reduce cost per customer acquisition etc. From here, get even more specific with your goals so that you can almost see what success will look like. Eg. If you want to increase sales as your overall goal, your specific goal could be to increase average order size and/or reduce cart abandonment.
Roadblock: No Idea What Success Will Look Like
Solution: With a specific goal in mind now you can set realistic targets that are measurable and attainable and determine what will be your key performance indicators (these will let you know whether you are moving towards and achieving your goals). Eg. Using the example above let's say you want to reduce cart abandonment. First note what your current cart abandonment rate is. Let's say for every 10 shoppers, 6 abandon their cart. We want to reduce that 6 to a 3 to start. So our target here is to reduce cart abandonment by 50% and our KPI will be to track how many people begin to checkout and how many people complete checkout.
Roadblock: Developing Biases Towards Tools
Solution: Marketing tools help us communicate with, stimulate and motivate consumers to take action. These tools can fall under 4 main categories:
Digital Media eg. SEO, Email and mobile
Traditional Media eg. TV, radio and print
Social Media eg. Blogging, and posting on social networks like Facebook
Promotional Materials eg. brochures and business cards
Choosing the right tools is essential to marketing success. However, sometimes we can unknowingly build up a bias to certain tools and opt to use the ones we’re more familiar with, even though they aren’t the ones that will help us achieve our goals. We have to be open to try different tools, especially when they have the potential to yield a high return on investment.
Solution: One of the biggest roadblocks can be simply implementing your marketing plans and recommendations. It’s not because you don’t want to or don’t see the value in it, sometimes it’s a matter of having the right staff to do it. Because it’s not always possible to have full time staff dedicated to implementing various aspects of marketing, savvy businesses opt to outsource certain tasks to agencies and freelancers. In fact, research on small business owners conducted by Street Fight, found that of those business owners who either do their own marketing, delegate to an internal team or outsource to an agency, the ones most satisfied with their results were those who outsourced. Don’t be afraid to use this option.
Roadblock: No money or spreading yourself too thin
Solution: This roadblock starts with the “If only I had more …” mindset. The truth is that even when you have a limited budget your marketing can still be successful, but you will have to let go of trying to be all things to all people. Identify your niche market(s) and focus all of your budget on one market at a time.
It’s okay to not be everywhere, especially when trying to do so will cause you to lose impact and spread yourself too thin to gain traction. Rather than try to use too many channels for your budget at once eg. running one off ads here and there in various publications, focus on a few key channels that you can commit to on a consistent basis. Consistency on the right channel(s) is much more likely to help you gain traction and achieve your goals.
Roadblocks don’t have to mean failure. Most of the time they are there to prompt us to look for better ways to achieve the results we want. What’s your experience been like? Have you encountered any of these roadblocks? Let me know in the comments below or feel free drop me a line via email.