THE BLOG
09/09/2014 03:34 pm ET Updated Nov 09, 2014

Why Most Marketing Doesn't Work

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"Your marketing sucks!"

Now that I've got your attention, let's look into whether your marketing really does sucks.

Having worked with thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs, I have seen a lot of bad cases of 'very ineffective marketing'.

Thomas, a highly skilled chiropractor just spent thousands of dollars on an advertisement in a newspaper. The return? A big fat donut. So he decided to spend money on Google Adwords instead. And again, he got a very low return on his investment.

It's not that these marketing channels don't work, they do, the problem is that Thomas doesn't have a very strategic approach to marketing and he just throws money at whatever comes his way. He has no plan and no clear direction.

A few weeks ago I went to a friend's wedding in Alaska (it was amazing!) I was lucky enough to see her husband Cim train his husky dogs for the dog sled races in winter. At first the sixteen dogs jumped in all different directions because they were so excited to run. Pretty quickly Cim managed to get them all in alignment and off they sped successfully.

It's the same in marketing. A lot of entrepreneurs have their dogs going everywhere like crazy. They get too excited or maybe they just don't have clarity of direction yet. On the other hand business owners that do have an overall plan and get all their strategies pulling the same way, are thriving.

I see so many entrepreneurs spending (I mean wasting) money on stuff that doesn't work for them. And even worse, most times they don't even know that it's not working! One day they are speaking to a Facebook expert, the next they are signing a check for a PR agency. And they are doing all this without a plan.

Here are my top five tips to avoid a scattered approach to marketing which can save you thousands of dollars and increase your results.

  1. Understand marketing and have plan in place:
  2. As a business owner you must understand the basics of marketing and create a plan for your business. This is something I will elaborate a lot more in the future!

    You really must understand your overall approach and where you are headed before outsourcing anything. It really hurts to see so many people putting their money everywhere without getting results. Outsourcing is a good thing, but you must understand where you are going.

  3. Outsource the stuff you are not good at:
  4. Once you have an overall marketing plan, look at all the things you are not so good at and find someone who is better than you. This could be writing articles or setting up Google Adwords campaigns or creating a more functional website.

    I'm known for being a big outsourcer!

  5. Invest in good systems and processes to automate parts of your marketing:
  6. Make sure you have great systems in place for your business to be more effective. This is something I am really passionate about and will be writing a lot more about too. Start with a really good marketing automation and database management system such as Ontraport or Infusionsoft.

  7. Use a multi-channel approach:
  8. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing. Make sure you use different strategies in case some of them don't work for your business.

  9. Look at what's working and what's not:
  10. You have to constantly monitor your marketing efforts and check on what's working for your business. Is there anything that needs to be adjusted or removed?

    Always know where and how you are spending your dollars and reassess to be smart about your marketing decisions.

    How about Thomas the chiropractor? Instead of throwing money left and right, he finally decided to understand marketing and created an overall marketing plan for his business. He then outsourced what he didn't want to implement himself, started using a marketing automation system and is now measuring his strategies to know what's working for his business.

The bottom line is clever marketing does work and is needed for your business to thrive. Marketing is the oxygen of your business so take a deep breath, follow the simple steps above and ensure your efforts are not wasted.