Mediocre Marketing is an Expense – but Great Marketing is An Investment

In an earlier post we talked about how tactical marketing mistakes (like an ad with the wrong phone number or 25,000 misprinted postcards) can be costly, but not nearly as costly in the long run as business marketing strategy misfires. Similar thinking can be applied when comparing mediocre marketing to marketing that’s thoughtfully and strategically executed.

Mediocre marketing tactics may take less time to develop and execute, but they usually result in a sluggish return for resources invested. Strategic marketing requires more brainpower and may cost a little bit more money up front. But at the end of the day, strategic marketing is an investment in your business that can pay off for years. Mediocre marketing, on the other hand, will never be anything but an operational expense.

Signs and Symptoms of Mediocre Marketing

Lack of results
Or more accurately, lack of accountability and analysis. It seems like a no-brainer to conclude that flat sales or customer attrition are signs that your marketing is totally missing the mark. But before you make that call, step back and ask yourself if you’re truly measuring your marketing outcomes. It may be that your marketing strategy is actually sound, but your tactics need adjustment. You might need more frequent execution, fine tuning of your marketing channels, or a stronger focus on a particular customer group. Without regular evaluation of outcomes, it’s difficult to know what’s working and what isn’t.

You’re running out of legal pads
Many marketers find themselves working in an endless “checklist” mode. They’re constantly executing marketing tactics with a focus on getting something crossed off a list – and not on strategy: “I’ve sent this week’s e-blast, updated that website page the boss asked me about, and added more money to the pay-per-click account. Looks like I’m all caught up.” If you’re going through three or four legal pads a month because your marketing to-do list is so voluminous, it can be easy to convince yourself that your “busyness” is a sign that your company is engaging in higher-level marketing. But if you’re executing these tactics with no thought to strategy or evaluation, it’s more likely that your marketing will only see mediocre results.

You’re marketing to Everyone.
No matter how awesome your business is, “Everyone” is not your customer. MindEcology team members tend to sound like broken records on this subject, but that’s only because marketing to “Everyone” is such a common (and sometimes deadly) mistake for thousands of businesses. If your company is rolling out marketing tactics without any understanding of best customer profiling, or if you’re failing to apply any targeting to your marketing, you’ll likely find that your company will remain stuck on a hamster wheel of time and money spent that only realized lackluster results.

Want to know more about rescuing your marketing from the realm of the mediocre? Let’s talk.