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Failed marketing strategies: Why yours isn't bringing home the bacon

Oh my goodness. All those hours, emails, dollars and reams of paper getting your marketing strategy locked down. And now, it’s... let’s see… Not delivering the punch you’d hoped for? Not feeling as relevant as it did a few months ago? Feeling a little lacklustre?

Yep, you’ve got a clear case strategy fatigue. Here are the 7 most likely reasons your strategy is on its way to becoming an unsuccesful marketing campaign:

Your strategy doc lives in a drawer:

Many organisations expect a marketing strategy to last them a year, or sometimes even longer. The thing is, things change (as they should in any healthy environment): your company changes, the market changes, the competition changes. Your business objectives might even have had an about-face since you last put your strategic pen to paper. The best marketing strategies are like a living, growing beast (like those dreadful friendship cakes you used to get in the eighties): changing all the time.

Too much detail:

Take another look at your marketing strategy. Have you specified each minute detail of every campaign? Hang on - how did you know what your strategy was going to need when it came to delivery o’clock? Of course you didn’t – there’s no way you could have: leave your campaigns air to breathe and room to grow and watch them spring into life.

You lost sight of your business objectives:

Just like Dorothy and the Tin Man, you always need to have a clear view of where you’re trying to get to. If your strategy isn’t 100% aligned to your business objectives (or you got so caught up in the campaign fun that you lost sight of them somewhere along the way), then they’re not going to do what you want them to do.

It’s all about the document:

Now, we love a good marketing strategy (geek me up, baby!) but we never lose sight of the fact that it’s just a means to an end, not an end in itself. If it ain’t working, change it! The most effective strategies are those that receive the most abuse: it should be curled up at the edges, scribbled on, ripped up and started again on a regular basis.

The execution let it down:

It’s easy to blame the strategy, but before you do, look at your execution: is it in line with the business objectives and plans outlined in the strategy? (Even after the 12th round of changes?)

It lacks focus:

My favourite creative director’s favourite expression used to be ‘You can’t please all the people all of the time’ and he was right. Make your target smaller, do your homework, and get more bang for your buck, every time.

It was never written in the first place:

You went straight to ‘execution’ without stopping at ‘strategy’ (Stay behind after class, young’un!).

If you haven't already invested in one, a marketing automation platform will help you organise and implement your strategy. Our 10-step guide will help you pick the right system for your business. Download and have a read.

10-step guide to choosing the right marketing automation platform

Brand chemistry is a b2b marketing agency focused on delivering quality leads and measurable results for our clients. Take a look at our client case studies to find out more.

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