Are You Setting Up Your  Marketing Plan To Fail?

Are You Setting Up Your  Marketing Plan To Fail?

There’s an old saying that I’m sure that you’ve heard many times before - “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” meaning don’t put all your resources, all your assets or all of your risk, where the success or failure rest on one event or action.

This can be applied to lots of different aspects of life and business. For example, don’t put all your investments in one vehicle, but develop a portfolio of investments across many different asset classes so if one fails, it doesn’t completely wipe out your savings pot. Don’t have all of your sales coming from one customer, so that if you lose that customer, you business doesn’t go bankrupt.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many businesses fail to apply this rule to their marketing and they rely on one, often historic form of marketing activity to drive new leads. Not only does this limit the potential growth of the company, but it is also extremely dangerous because if the marketing activity or channel falls out of favour with the consumer, then leads will dry up, often it’s too late to minimise the damage done by the change in response and a huge loss of income can follow.

I know of a kitchen company, for example, who obtained the majority of their new business from delivering leaflets through the letterboxes of local residents. This worked perfectly for about two to three years, providing them with plenty of leads and sales each month, but then for some reason the number of enquiries they were generating started to dwindle. Nothing had changed with the advert, with the delivery method or the targeting, so the hypothesis was that they had simply saturated the market place with the same leaflet for so long that their advertising had little impact on the recipient.

Unfortunately, it took them about 12 months to recognise the trend and this meant that they missed out on thousands of pounds in new sales. Whilst this didn’t impact the business in terms of them losing money that they already had in their bank account, it certainly hindered their growth because of the lost opportunity.

The other trap that businesses often fall into is staying well within their comfort zone and just doing the easy activities that they’re used to doing irrespective of whether or not they could potentially amplify their marketing activities by learning new skills or putting the time and effort producing new creative.

So how do you avoid falling into this trap and having the risk of your one or two marketing channels drying up?

Well, it’s a case of realising that the marketing of your own company is one of the most important tasks to aid the organisation’s growth and therefore committing the time and resources to spend on getting and keeping customers. Once you’ve made that commitment, then plan out what activities you could be doing and learn how to apply them to your business.

Now, that is easier said than done and I fully appreciate that there are so many activities that you could do and each different channel takes time to learn and to implement, but if you want to expand your marketing and protect yourself from a downturn in leads, then this is something that you’ve got to do.  

To help steer your activity, here are some of the online activities that you could be doing as well as some resources to help you learn. We recognise that there are plenty of offline activities that you could and should also be doing, but as we are a digital marketing company, we’ll keep this table focused on digital;


Learning Resources

Pay Per Click (Google AdWords)

Google AdWords help centre, Wordstream PPC 101

Search Engine Optimisation

DistilledU, Beginner’s Guide to SEO (Moz)

Facebook Advertising

Jon Loomers blog, Facebook for Business

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Examiner, Beginner’s Guide to Social Media (Moz)


Landing Pages

Content Marketing

Content Marketing Institute  Hubspot Blog

Email Marketing, Email Marketing Field Guide (Mailchimp)

Google Analytics

Google Analytics Academy

Each of these different channels take a lot of effort to master (if that’s even possible), but with just a few hours of learning, you could be in a position to implement some basic marketing campaigns. Be aware though, just performing an activity once is not going to make any difference to your results. You need sustained and regular activity to make sure that your efforts pay dividends.

Also, be very aware, that doing something poorly, can actually damage your results. For example, setting a Google AdWords campaign without monitoring the results and optimising for performance will cost you a lot of money; as will having a poorly targeted Facebook or Twitter advertising campaign. Likewise sending out lots of spam emails will damage your reputation and do you more harm than good.

So, one of the first decisions that you should make is to decide how much time you are able to dedicate to marketing, be realistic in this assessment.

If you are going to keep the activity in-house, then learn one thing at a time and learn it well.  There are so many things you could be doing, it’s really easy to get overwhelmed, so spend time focused on just the one new channel at a time and make sure that you’re optimising the results. Then once it becomes less of an effort to implement and monitor, move on to the next activity. I’d also diarise the activity so you ensure that it happens and that you don’t get bogged down in the day to day stuff that we all have to do.

However, if you recognise the importance of the marketing activity but you also recognise that it’s not realistic that you’re going to have the time, interest or inclination to be doing it in house, then the only realistic alternative to doing nothing or carrying on with the current status quo, is to outsource the the work, either to an individual or to an agency.

If you’d like to discuss your marketing plans or outsourcing your digital marketing, feel free to get in touch. Book a call with either me or another member of the digital marketing team.

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