According to research from Microsoft, the human attention span has significantly decreased in the last 15 years. In 2000, it was 12 seconds. Today, it’s shrunk to less than 8.25 seconds.
Whether you believe attention span has an impact on marketing effectiveness or not doesn’t pertain to today’s blog post. Nonetheless, it poses an interesting question– why are marketers growing increasingly frustrated in their efforts to reach the average consumer?
Is it their attention span? Can it be a lack of balance between quantity and quality? Maybe emerging technologies have an impact?
Our take on the matter– businesses aren’t investing enough time, energy, or finances into their marketing efforts. Plain and simple.
Here are 5 reasons your marketing efforts aren’t working and how you might be able to address the problem:
1. You Don’t Have A Plan
“Nearly half of marketers have active digital marketing programs, but no defined strategy at all. The other half is divided between those who have a stand-alone digital strategy (17%), and those who have integrated it into a more general marketing plan (34%). This is the way it should be, for more advanced marketers, for whom digital marketing has become ‘business as usual’.”
– Jeff Bullas, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author
Nobody said marketing was easy- it’s quite complicated if you think about it. But without a strategy in place to keep yourself in check, you’ll quickly realize that your opportunities are limited.
Set yourself up for success and develop a solid marketing strategy. That means (at the very least) understanding your business vision, value proposition, and target customer. Kickstarting your marketing efforts without a baseline understanding of these three elements is a recipe for disaster.
2. You Aren’t Targeting the Right Audience
So, let’s say you have a plan in place, and you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s– but you’re not getting the results you hoped for. Chances are that you’re missing key information from your audience.
Take Walmart for example– they aren’t marketing to luxury customers. If they did, they would lose business. Their slogan “Save money. Live better.” is a clear identifier that they know their target audience.
Take the time to define your audience and potential customers for your product or service. What are their unique demographic characteristics? Why should they do business with you? Why do you want to business with them? Answering these kinds of questions will help set yourself apart from the competition.
3. You’re Trying to Take the Easy Route
There’s no such thing as cutting corners in marketing. Sure, there’s a little bit of luck involved but for the most part, it’s a calculated effort. Marketers need to take conscious steps to connect with consumers, not deceive them.
Take Subway’s “$5 Footlong” promotion (and controversy) as an example of a company that cut corners. If you’re going to market a footlong sandwich to consumers, it better live up to those expectations– the ENTIRE 12 inches– not 8, not 10, and especially not 11.75 inches.
Consumers want their expectations to be met and as a business, it is your responsibility to meet and exceed those expectations. If you’re going to market a product with a promised list of features, follow through with your promise.
4. You Aren’t Investing Enough Money
Money doesn’t always solve your marketing efforts, but it can support it. Simply put, you get what you pay for. If you want real results, you need to spend enough money to make a difference.
According to WebStrategies.com, businesses spend between 6-14% of their total revenue on marketing efforts. Surprising right? It shouldn’t be. Marketing is a necessity for your business, whether you agree with it or not.
Now, does simply throwing more money at content generate results? Not necessarily. Consider spending more on a good content marketer than on content marketing tactics. A well-versed marketer will know how and where to spend your money to maximize your return on investment.
5. You Expect Results Instantly
Marketing takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. People need time to digest what you’re marketing to them before they are ready to business with you. The problem is your impatient¬– you think it should come easy because X company did the same thing as you.
In 1885, Thomas Smith released “Successful Advertising,” a book that covered the best marketing tactics at the time. Smith coined “The Rule of 20” framework which says that consumers must experience your marketing attempts at least 20 times before they’re ready to buy a product or service from you. This framework is as follows:
“The 1st time people look at ad, they don’t see it.
The 2nd time, they don’t notice it.
The 3rd time, they are aware that it is there.
The 4th time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it before.
The 5th time, they actually read the ad.
The 6th time, they thumb their nose at it.
The 7th time, they get a little irritated with it.
The 8th time, they think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The 9th time, they wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The 10th time, they ask their friends or neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The 11th time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The 12th time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The 13th time, they start to feel the product has value.
The 14th time, they start to feel like they’ve wanted a product like this for a long time.
The 15th time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The 16th time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The 17th time, they make a commitment to buy the product.
The 18th time, they curse their poverty because they can’t buy this terrific product.
The 19th time, they count their money very carefully.
The 20th time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.”
If you’re marketing efforts aren’t working, that’s okay! Not all hope is lost. However, your business is going to be put in a vulnerable position. The key is recognizing the ugly truth of marketing– it doesn’t come easy. Identifying the problem is the first step to finding a solution, so you’re on the right track if you read this far!
Need help marketing your business? Prophase Marketing offers a one-stop-shop for all of your digital and printed advertising & marketing needs. Click here to get in contact with us. We look forward to hearing from you!