7 Signs your Marketing Needs a Refresh
We’ve all been there – something just doesn’t feel right, your website just isn’t pulling in enough business, your sales team aren’t closing quite as many deals and your pipeline seems less solid than it has in a while. Is it a blip? Time of year? Something else?
Many Owners/ CEO’s and Marketing Leaders that we work with tell us they often get that instinctive feeling that something isn’t working, but can’t quite put their finger on it. The website feels stale or perhaps you’ve been running the same marketing activities for a while. That instinct we feel is a good indicator to give your marketing a shake-up but if you want to know for sure whether your Marketing needs a refresh have a read of our 7 common signs. If you recognise them in your own business now is the time to act, don’t wait until it’s too late.
- Sales are flat (or dropping)
You probably don’t need us to flag this one, but often a temporary drop in sales numbers can be just that – temporary. One bad week or month shouldn’t send you into a full blown marketing revolution, but flat numbers and little growth should be a red flag. Slowing sales can be an indicator that you’ve reached the peak of effectiveness for your marketing activity and now you’re being outperformed (or outsold) elsewhere. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything “wrong” with what you’re doing – simply that the market has changed and you need to adapt in return.
Our Top Marketing Tip – Run your Marketing forecast at least 3 months in advance rather than retrospective performance tracking. That way you’ll be prepared to counter any drops before they happen.
- Your competitors are stealing your traffic
Competition is the number one obstacle to growth according to Gov.uk It’s hardly surprising then that loss of traffic to competitors is a key issue for so many Business Owners and Marketing Leaders. Losing traffic can have a massive impact, regardless of whether you sell online or use digital marketing for Sales Lead Generation. Marketing and Digital teams and Agencies are critical to ensure that your traffic remains high (and growing) and good agencies will consistently be optimising your core traffic keywords with Search Engine Marketing (SEM). If you’re starting to lose traffic to your competitors it’s a sure sign that you need to refresh and quickly.
Our Top Marketing Tip – Rather than looking at traffic as a whole, break each channel down to see exactly where you’re losing traffic.
- You’ve dropped or lost search positions
Closely linked to traffic loss, Search Positions can mean the difference between 100 and Zero new customers. Unlike overall Traffic, Search Positions can be massively influenced by Paid Search (PPC). It’s a very competitive space and very quickly your top of page ad (that one that gets you so many customers) has suddenly been usurped by a new bidder. Rather than reach for the Cheque book be aware that search position and how much you have to pay to be there relies heavily on your Quality Scores and Landing page experience. Simply put an old or unloved website may be to blame if you’ve suddenly lost position.
Our Top Marketing Tip 1 – Ask your agency to look at wastage in your account, over time keywords date and behaviours change so a refresh of your wastage strategy is a good place to start.
Our Top Marketing Tip 2 – Talk to us about your website – an outdated or unloved website is the primary culprit for lost positions.
- Customers have stopped repeat buying
You’ve always been able to boast some pretty impressive repeat purchase numbers but recently you seem more and more reliant on new business – sound familiar? Before you tear up your whole customer list in frustration, think carefully about the way you position your business with existing customers. Do you actively “court” them in the same way you do with new business? Are you guilty of focusing less on repeat revenue than on that shiny new customer? If you’re struggling to achieve repeat business then you may not need to refresh your whole marketing strategy but perhaps think about implementing an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy specifically to support existing customers.
Our Top Marketing Tip – Talk to your customers! Take the time to find out what they’re doing and dedicate Sales & Marketing resources to them. If you purely sell online try implementing a nurture program to remind your customers that you really do care about them.
- Your budget won’t stretch as far any more
This is one of the most common concerns that we at Purple Penguin Marketing hear. Nothing has changed with your strategy or execution tactics but you just can’t seem to get everything done in your budget. There is no quick fix to this one, but be on the lookout for activities that don’t contribute to your overall revenue goals. All too often Marketing can get caught up in programs or activities that take up both time and money without adding any value to your bottom line.
If you’re already as efficient as you can be take a look at skills gaps within your team – often drafting in agency experience to support can save you valuable learning time (and money) – getting you out of the budget red zone and to results quicker to boot.
Our Top Marketing Tip – Identify areas that don’t add value to your objectives and bin them (yes – we really mean it!)
- Your team are complaining about lead quality.
Lack of Quality is often a forerunner to lack of results and your sales team are a great indicator of the real quality of your leads. Yes, most businesses have that person that always complains about the quality of leads, but if your team are generally less positive about lead quality then don’t dismiss it. From our experience here at Purple Penguin Marketing it often means that something has changed in your market and your Marketing hasn’t adapted or changed to reflect that.
If you purely sell online, lead quality may also mean session time or bounce rate – so if you’re starting to see drops in these engagement quality measures then don’t ignore them. Losing quality can be a sure sign that you need to refresh at least some areas of your Marketing and ignoring quality issues can lead to major revenue holes later down the line.
Our Top Tip Marketing 1 – If you’re purely e-commerce, look at the correlation between your ad messaging and online experience, typically if the two don’t match then quality will suffer.
Our Top Marketing Tip 2 – For those of you with direct sales teams look at the stages in your lead journey and where quality issues are starting to occur – are you handing leads over too early? Too late? Identifying the disconnect will help you solve the quality issue.
- You’ve lost sight of your goals
Of all of the signs that your Marketing needs a refresh, this one causes the biggest problems, yet is the easiest one to solve. If we’re not sure on our goals all of the above may just seem like business as usual because we’re not 100% focused on the end result. For example, fewer repeat customers may not feel like a problem if you’re bringing in revenue elsewhere – but if growth is on your agenda then any one of these areas could throw a spanner in your plans. Setting really clear goals across all of your key activities will keep your agency or team sharp and your business growing. If you don’t have clear goals for your marketing then you definitely need a refresh – quick smart!
Our Top Marketing Tip – Check out our handy “How to write a small business marketing plan” tool for a simple way to get your goals in check.
Refreshing your Marketing can be as simple as resetting your own expectations or bringing in a practical agency to help you identify new growth and old wastage. Wherever you are in refreshing your own Marketing, trust your instincts, don’t ignore that nagging feeling after all you know your business best, so investigate, solve and grow.
If we can help with any of your Marketing needs – we’d love to hear from you, get in touch today