Sometimes businesses just seem to get off track. No matter what marketing efforts you try, you don’t get the results you want.
You may need to ask yourself if you really have a marketing problem—or a business problem.
If you have a product or service that nobody is interested in, that’s a business problem, and no amount of marketing is going to change that. Do you have unhappy or unsatisfied customers? That’s a business problem. It indicates that there’s a problem with your product or your customer service—and the best marketing team in the world won’t turn that around.
On the other hand, what if you have happy, satisfied clients—but these clients aren’t giving you glowing reviews? Or maybe you have wonderful testimonials from satisfied customers—but nobody is reading them and nobody knows about you? Then you’ve got a marketing problem.
What if you have a group of happy, intelligent, energetic employees with good ideas—but those never make it out the doors of your business? That’s a marketing problem as well.
Some people think that marketing is more or less putting lipstick on a pig. But no amount of lipstick is going to make a pig beautiful. The problem isn’t with the lipstick—it’s with the pig! Marketing isn’t about trying to make something undesirable look good.
In the same way, marketing isn’t about trying to convince people to buy something they don’t want or need. That’s bad business and bad marketing. Marketing is about matching a good product with the right audience. If you have a good product or service, the job of marketing is to make sure that the right audience knows about it and understands how that product or service can make their life better.
That’s really the essence of inbound marketing, whether you engage with customers through your website, via direct mail, by email, blogging, or social media (and ideally, you should be doing some degree of all of those things). One key to inbound marketing is clearly identifying the persona of your ideal customer and then providing him or her with clear, helpful, useful information. Then it’s a matter of building and nurturing the relationship you establish with those people.
Even great marketing strategy and execution can’t compensate for basic business problems. If people aren’t responding to your marketing efforts, you first need to ask yourself if you have a marketing problem or a business problem. If you have a poor product or service—or if you’re trying to sell something that nobody wants—spending more time and money on marketing won’t help.
But if you’ve got a good product or service and you need help clarifying your message and getting that message to the right people.