In business, often the reasons for success and failure can be considered very complex. But when you break down marketing successes and failures, there are really just two reasons why a service-based business is not having desired success.
1) You have the wrong strategy; or
2) You have the wrong people implementing the strategy.
More often than not, we are trying to fix the wrong problem.
It seems pretty obvious, but many firms can begin to solve their marketing issues by first determining which reason is causing the issue and then fixing the right problem. For instance, if you do a lot of public seminars but are not seeing corresponding sales results, you may want to just stop doing them. I received a call from a financial advisor early last month with a “strategy” issue about the public workshops he was hosting. He had people attending his workshop, he received high evaluations on the seminar presentation, and 75% said they would like more information or a meeting. However, very few every turned into an appointment or a sale. He was convinced that the wrong people were attending the seminar for the topic he was presenting on. Crazy enough, after talking with his staff, the reason was right in front of him. His two staff people responsible for scheduling appointments after a workshop were swamped with their day-to-day work and didn’t begin calling to schedule appointments until almost one week after the event. By that time there is no doubt that the interest had waned. Conclusion: People problem.
In another case, an advisor was sending out a regular email newsletter. It went out like clockwork executed by his staff. The content was well written and provided to him through a reputable service he subscribed to. But he felt like nothing was happening since he started sending out the email newsletter six months earlier – no comments, calls, appointments, etc. After he took a hard look at the analytics on who was opening his email newsletter, however, it became clear that very few people were even opening his newsletter called “Retirement Talk.” Maybe because a majority of his email list was comprised of business owners and executives. It was determined that this target group was not seeing themselves in retirement yet and so they weren’t even opening his email. He then selected a different email newsletter from his provider that he called “Financial Smarts… for Entrepreneurs and Professionals” and his open rate doubled and continues to go up. Conclusions: Strategy problem.
You may be thinking that these issues are so simple and obvious. And they are. Almost rudimentary. But they happen ALL THE TIME! So, try thinking about marketing in a less complex way as the answer is often right there in front of you.