You have spent hours, weeks, and months marketing your service business. Is there a new business? What’s wrong? It’s not working. You feel discouraged and unsure of what to do next. Marketers are often frustrated by the inability to get results. Now is the time to take a step back, evaluate your marketing efforts, and learn from them. These are some suggestions for how to assess what you have been doing.
1. What other non-revenue benefits have your marketing efforts brought you?
Even though you may not have seen the expected influx of clients, what other benefits has your marketing brought you? This could include increasing brand awareness among your target market. Are you positioning your business to be “top of mind” in your target market so that they remember you when they need your services? Are you able to improve your search engine rankings or show up in search results when someone searches for your name on the Internet? Published articles have you established yourself as an authority in your field? How have your efforts paid off?
2. Do you expect unrealistically short-term results from long-term activities?
Marketing activities can take a long time and are not likely to yield immediate results. We are like a child who is impatient to grab the seed before it sprouts. We are either too busy or have financial issues to justify marketing. If we don’t see immediate revenue and business growth, then we should abandon the marketing effort. It is essential to set realistic expectations and view your marketing activities as a necessary, consistent activity.
3. Take a look at your target market to determine if you can change, retarget or re-invent it.
Your choice of target market could be the problem. Are you able to target the right call? Is there a pressing need in your market for your services? Is your marketable to afford your services? Are you able to differentiate your business sufficiently so that your target market can see why you are better than others? Are you able to identify your target market sufficiently well? What can you do to make your target market more ready, willing and able to buy your products?
4. Are your marketing materials able to convert interested prospects into buyers?
If you don’t have suitable marketing materials, you shouldn’t be rushing to launch complex marketing campaigns. Brochures that are too light don’t give enough information to help prospects understand your business. Candidates won’t be converted by bland platitudes about the quality of your service or marketing phrases that “say nothing”. Do not invest in marketing materials that do not convert prospects. Your target market should be able to understand what they want to buy. Show them that you have the solution. Ensure that your marketing materials are up-to-date in order to close deals when you get involved in marketing activities.
5. Are there things you aren’t doing that you feel you should?
Marketing activities are often avoided because we feel we “should” do them. Let’s take a look at these activities. What is it that makes them so difficult to resist? Do you find these activities unpleasant? Are you more comfortable spending your money and time elsewhere? To pursue these goals, would you need to improve your public speaking skills? Is there something that makes you feel like you should do them? Are they something you think is right? Try to reach a consensus about these issues. If you think that this is the best course of action, you can go ahead with them. If they don’t, you can let them go.
It is a normal reaction to marketing efforts that produce uneasy feelings, especially when there seem to be no results. This is an excellent time to take a step back and evaluate what you have been doing. You can assess your marketing efforts and find ways to improve them. Make adjustments to your marketing strategy and get back into the game.