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When your marketing isn’t working it’s not a good feeling.

You’ve likely invested precious weekend hours and wads of your hard-earned income into thinking up, creating and launching Facebook ads, social media posts, emails and web pages that you were convinced would bring in new clients, only to get radio silence in return.

Now what?

Keep doing what you’re doing, hoping for a different outcome, and risk wasting more cash? Or stop, regroup and try something new (and spend even more of your money and relaxation time on marketing)?

We know it’s not easy.

Honestly, it’s not easy for us either. For every marketing campaign, you have to factor in a chance that tiny, overlooked detail could cause it to bomb (that’s why we always allow time and budget for testing, measuring, reflecting and adapting in our campaigns).

But, if you are looking for a diagnosis for why your marketing isn’t working, there are some tell-tale signs that we use with our clients to identify where the problem(s) could be.

(NB: if you are too busy to do this for yourself, we can help, we offer a Marketing Audit service. We can review your marketing, tell you why it’s not landing and deliver a prioritised action plan of improvements. If you are already thinking that this is for you, skip ALL of this writing and scroll down to the bottom or follow this link

Before we get started…

If you are going to self-diagnose (and let’s face it, being unable to visit the doctor means we are all self-diagnosing all the time in 2021!) you might want to double check that you are able to access and use Google Analytics, and the data supplied by the social media platforms you are using and your CRM system (if you have one). These tools are the marketing equivalent of the doctor’s stethoscope and blood pressure kit. They tell us a lot about the health of your marketing system.

This brilliant article by Moz.com can teach you all you need to know about configuring and using Google Analytics. 


Why your marketing isn’t working

There could be, literally, dozens of reasons why your marketing isn’t connecting you with your ideal clients. For the sake of brevity we’ve chosen to focus on six possibilities today. Ask yourself our diagnosis questions and answer honestly. Keep in mind that there might be, no scratch that, there’s probably going to be more than one area which is causing your marketing to fail.


Reason your marketing isn’t working number 1: Lack of consistency

Changing what you are doing all the darn time can cause your marketing to fail. Inconsistency shows up in a lot of ways: chopping and changing your strategy, delivering inconsistent levels of content on a fluctuating group of social media platforms, changing your messaging, focusing on different target audiences, stopping and starting and stopping again.

Why this causes problems: your audience doesn’t understand what you are offering. This damages those feelings of know, like and trust. In other words, they don’t know where they are with you.

Diagnosis questions – if you answer ‘No’ to any of the following questions, this could be your problem.

  • Have you been consistently using the same social media platforms to promote your business for at least a year?
  • Do you have a publishing schedule for your social platforms and website content? I.e. Do you show up at regular times during the week or month for your audiences, so they know when they’ll hear from you?
  • Have you consistently stuck to your schedule, delivering new content  without missing your deadlines for the last six months?
  • Do you have a clearly defined target market that you tailor your content to?

Solution: Build a content schedule and stick to it


Reason your marketing isn’t working number 2: Overstretching

Why this causes problems: If you’re busier than a bee’s wings, posting on every social media platform, building Facebook groups, a Clubhouse following, taking part in Twitter chats, blogging, vlogging, podcasting, going live, etc, etc, it’s going to be too much. No one can maintain that level of activity single-handedly. Most businesses would have a team of professional marketeers to deliver this amount of work consistently (see above). If you are a small team or solopreneur, it’s going to be impossible to do all this well and sooner or later things will fall by the wayside, leaving your audience in the dark about where you’ve gone and an open goal for your competitors. Authenticity check-in: we know this to be 100% true because we currently have a Facebook group languishing in Tumbleweed City 😩. Our bad.

Diagnosis questions – Answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions and Overstretching could be your problem.

  • Are you actively posting on more than two social media platforms?
  • Are you always following the latest trends and the first onboard with something new to add to your roster of marketing activities?
  • Do you have one (or more) Facebook groups that you never post in?
  • Has it been a while (too long) since you last took the time to email your mailing list?
  • Are you feeling wired, tired and fed up of trying to keep on top of it all?

Solution: Do yourself a favour and choose a maximum of two social media platforms and three marketing activities and do them really well instead of spreading yourself too thinly over 20 things.


Reason your marketing isn’t working number 3: Confused messages

Why this causes problems: I’m sure you’ve heard this a billion times, but you have to meet your audience where they are, in order to build know, like and trust. This means a) knowing exactly which problems the people in your universe who are MOST LIKELY TO BUY are dealing with right now, and b) responding through your messaging to those problems. If you don’t do this, your written and verbal content (we call this messaging) will fall flat and have no resonance with your audience. This will prevent them from taking action.

Diagnosis questions – if you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, this could be your problem.

  • When you explain to people what you do, are they often silent (or politely monosyllabic) in response, or clearly confused, and struggling to explain your business to a third party?
  • Are you getting zero engagement on your live appearances or written content?
  • When you talk or write about your business do you find yourself running through a huge long list of ALL the things you can do for your target customers, and problems you can solve (rather than focusing on the KEY two or three)?

Solution: Focus on your dream client, create a short list of their specific problems and build messages that respond to those issues. (Or get us to help you with this in our Marketing Audit & Action Plan service)


Reason your marketing isn’t working number 4: No marketing strategy

Why this causes problems: If you don’t have a strategy you don’t have a pathway for potential clients to follow. Your marketing communications should lead them step by step rather than plunging them straight into a pitch. Your marketing strategy is simply the activities that you undertake to move your clients gently and effectively through the process of a typical customer journey (awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, adoption and loyalty, there’s more info about what this looks like here) in order to make a sale. If you are missing any of the stages, potential clients could be falling into a vortex and eaten by a galactic space squid, never to be seen again (or just buying from someone else).

Diagnosis questions – if you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, this could be your problem.

  • Are you handling a lot of enquiries that don’t convert into clients?
  • Do you have a high number of web visitors that don’t book a discovery call?
  • Do you have many, many social media followers or email subscribers who never buy anything?

Solution: Create a pathway of ‘activities’ for your prospects to follow as they move through the customer journey – think of it like a breadcrumb trail they need to follow to find their way out of the maze and into the safe haven of being your customer. I know this sounds like a whole mouthful of jargon, it is difficult! Drop us a line (info@marketingarchitect.co.uk) if you need help here or check out this blog post.


Reason your marketing isn’t working number 5: Not enough people are seeing your stuff

Why this causes problems: This one is pretty simple. If you are saying the right things to a specific audience, but you aren’t getting enough bites, it means there just aren’t enough people seeing your stuff. The typical conversion rate for an email is 1-2%. For a webinar, it’s around 4-5%. If you work that back to the number of people you are interacting with each time you carry out one of these things, you’ll see why your client numbers are not growing fast enough.

Diagnosis questions – if you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, this could be your problem.

  • Are you getting consistently good open and click percentage rates on your emails but very few sales?
  • Are your email subscriber numbers consistently growing, but at a very slow rate?
  • Are your social media channels ‘stuck’ at the same follower numbers and with low engagement and click-through rates?

Solution: It’s a numbers game, invest in advertising, PR or sponsorships to increase the number of people in the hopper.


Reason your marketing isn’t working number 6: No Differentiation

Why this causes problems: If you seem exactly the same as your competitors, there’s no reason for clients to choose you over your competitors. If they get to know you personally and like you, you might win, but otherwise, it’s going to be really hard to compete in a busy market. You need to stand for something, in relation to the competition, and be distinctive from competitors, so that you people looking for what you stand for can buy in (literally). Simples.

Diagnosis questions – if you answer ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, this could be your problem.

  • Have you set your pricing to be in the same ballpark as your competitors?
  • Do you ever create ‘me too’ content that’s the same as what your competitors are offering?
  • Are you totally unaware of who your competitors are and how you are different from them?

Solution: You really need to spend some time here, thinking through what you are offering and how it can stand out from the crowd. Again, check out The Marketing Audit & Action Plan, because and this is exactly what that will help you with.


So, there we have it. Another blog post that turned out to be waaaay longer than planned. The takeaway here, is that if your marketing isn’t converting over a long period of time, it isn’t just bad luck. Something isn’t working for you and you’ll need to make a change.

We can help you figure out what this change should be, and we’d love to. Visit this page to find out how we do this, or drop us an email to find out more: info@marketingarchitect.co.uk

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