Signs Your Marketing Is Underperforming & How To Fix It
The retail pioneer John Wanamaker may have said it best “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Clearly business and marketing leaders have far better insight into marketing performance today. Even so there are times when it feels like the marketing machine isn’t revving up, or worse slowing down. In those moments, it is important to look for signs that an essential piece of the marketing mix isn’t working the way it should.
Here are a few key signs and insights that may indicate when marketing programs may be losing steam. If you’re experiencing any of these, it may be time to reassess your strategies, partners and program tactics and adjust accordingly.
Decreasing Engagement Rates
“Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.” – Michael Hyatt
One of the most obvious signs that your marketing program is becoming less impactful is a decrease in engagement rates. This can include lower engagements, comments, shares, and click-through rates on your social media posts, emails, or other campaigns. If your audience is no longer responding to your content in the same way, it’s time to consider why and make changes.
Lack Of Awareness
“The biggest mistake in digital marketing is thinking that it’s all about the technology, not the people.” – Rand Fishkin
If your target audience is no longer aware of your brand or what you offer, it may be a sign that your marketing program is losing impact. This could be due to a change in the market, a shift in consumer behavior, or simply a lack of exposure to your brand. To overcome this, consider increasing your advertising spend or trying a new type of campaign. Our media expert, Beth Harper Gray shares expert insights on awareness marketing in her blog Awareness Marketing; When You Know Better, You Do Better
Another key indicator of a marketing program that’s losing its impact is stagnant or decreasing sales. If your campaigns aren’t driving the desired results, it may be time to try a new approach. Consider changing up your messaging, reevaluating your audience segments, using a new marketing channel, and a different mix of channels.
Low Conversion Rates
“A website without conversion is like a car without fuel – it may look nice, but it won’t get you anywhere.” – Unknown
Low conversion rates are a sign that your campaigns aren’t effectively guiding your audience towards the desired outcome. Digital Amplification will help you develop ways to optimize your website for conversions and consider offering incentives for conversions.
Decreased Brand Loyalty
When your marketing program is no longer resonating with your audience, you may also see a decrease in brand loyalty. If customers are no longer coming back to your brand, it’s a clear sign that something is off. To fix this, consider conducting customer research to better understand your audience and their needs, and then adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
Declining Social Media Reach
“Marketing may have a large reach, but if it doesn’t have a purpose, it won’t get the results.” – Jay Baer
If you’re noticing a decrease in your social media reach, it could be a sign that your content isn’t as relevant or engaging as it once was. Try to mix up your content and consider partnering with influencers to reach a wider audience. The Digital Amplification team are big believers in test, learn, scale.
High Ad Costs
If you find that your ad costs are increasing while your conversion rates remain the same, it’s a clear sign that your optimization strategies are losing their impact.
Low Return On Investment
“Digital marketing that lacks a strategic approach is like throwing money into a black hole.” – Ryan Deiss.
If you’re not seeing a return on your marketing spend, it may be time to reassess your strategies. Consider investing in tactics that have a proven track record of success and make sure you’re targeting the right audience.
Falling Behind The Competition
“The competition will drive you to become better.” – Kobe Bryant
If your competition is outpacing you, it may be time to reassess your approach. Consider incorporating new technology, tactics that they’re using to stay ahead,or consider leapfrogging their approach.
Another sign of a struggling marketing program is missing out on key marketing opportunities. This can be anything from not participating in events, not leveraging social media platforms, or not capitalizing on current trends. Stay on top of industry news and events to ensure you’re not missing out on any opportunities to engage with your audience.
Declining Website Traffic
“Digital marketing that is not based on solid research and a clear understanding of your target audience will fail.” – Neil Patel
A slow in website traffic can be a sign that your SEO tactics need to be refined. Make sure your website is optimized for search engines and consider incorporating long-tail keywords into your content strategy.
Campaigns Aren’t Driving Leads & Sales
If your campaigns aren’t driving leads and sales, it may be time to reassess your approach. Consider incorporating tactics such as lead magnets, landing pages and time sensitive promotions to help drive conversions.
Lack Of Creativity
“People don’t buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” – Seth Godin
If your marketing campaigns feel repetitive and uninspired, it’s a clear sign that your marketing programs are stale and losing impact. Your audience wants to see fresh, innovative ideas, so it’s important to keep things creative and exciting.
Poor Customer Feedback
If your customer insights contain negative feedback about your marketing programs, reassessing is necessary. Take the time to listen to what your customers have to say and make the necessary adjustments to improve their experience.
Poor Content Quality
“Advertising is a business of words, and the success of advertising depends upon the words we use.” – B.C. Forbes
If your content is not high-quality or relevant, it will not hold your audience’s attention. Make sure your content is well-researched, engaging, and relevant to your target audience to keep them engaged with your brand.
Unclear Brand Identity
If your brand identity is unclear or inconsistent, your marketing programs will suffer. Make sure your brand voice and messaging are consistent across all marketing channels to ensure a clear and recognizable brand identity.
Lack of Integration
“The arts are a way of expressing truth, while science is a way of discovering truth.” – David Foster Wallace
If your marketing programs are not integrated, it will make it difficult for your audience to understand your message. Integrating your marketing channels will ensure a cohesive and consistent message, making it easier for your audience to understand and engage with your brand.
Lack Of Analytics
If you’re not using analytics to track the impact of your marketing programs, it will be difficult to determine if they are successful and what aspects of your programs are performing best. Analytics will help you track the performance of your marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions to improve them.
“In the world of digital marketing, the real measurement of success is not clicks or impressions, but actual impact on the bottom line.” – Mark Schaefer
If you don’t have clear and measurable goals for your marketing programs, it will be difficult to determine if they are successful or not. Setting measurable goals will help you track the impact of your marketing programs and make the necessary adjustments to improve them.
Declining Email Open & Click-through Rates
If your email open and click-through rates are declining, it may be time to reevaluate your email marketing strategy. Consider segmenting your email list, testing subject lines and utilizing dynamic content to personalize your messages to increase engagement.
It’s important to regularly evaluate and reassess your marketing programs to ensure they’re still effective. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate your approach. This could mean changing your messaging, adjusting your targeting, or exploring new partners and platforms.
Remember, marketing is an ever-evolving field and what works today may not work tomorrow. Stay ahead of the curve by continuously testing and refining your strategies to ensure they remain effective.
As leaders, recognizing the signs that marketing programs are losing effectiveness is crucial to the success of your business. By being proactive and making adjustments as needed, you can continue to reach and engage with your target audience in meaningful and impactful ways.
Cheers to your marketing success!
An AI writer drafted this article, it was fact-checked and curated by Digital Amplification’s team of marketing experts. It’s written for marketers and business leaders looking for ways to improve the performance of their marketing investment.
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