6 signs your marketing campaigns are failing

Portrait of John Hughes
By John Hughes

28 October 2016

If your marketing campaigns show one or more of these 6 signs, you have a problem. Act now to save your campaign from failing before it's too late.

As Viking Berserker, you’d fancy your chances in a battle. You are formidable, you have a big axe and you know those Saxons don’t like it up ’em. So you charge into battle confidently ready to win and win big!

Only a few minutes later, though, reality hits. The Saxons are many and they’ve brought their best archers. You’re bogged down in the mud, your axe handle has broken and it’s raining arrows. That feeling of despair you feel may be familiar to anyone who's ever run a marketing campaign. (Bit of a leap, but bear with me).

You charge ahead with your campaign, confident you have the right approach only to realise that you haven’t accounted for all things. You are knocked back by poor marketing planning and lack of accurate data. Not being able to detect weak points and signs of failure in your marketing campaigns is a recipe for disaster – one you can easily avoid.

If you recognise one or more of the following signs, start acting as soon as you can to save your campaign.

Objectives are broad and hazy

If you’re going to achieve any of your marketing objectives, you need to start by making sure they are data-driven and SMART; that is, that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

Your targets need to address the questions of who, what, where, when, which and why. It is also critical that you quantify their scope and are able to measure their progress.

Your marketing campaign should have goals that are realistic, attainable and have a specific time by which they should be achieved.

Do you have the competency and resources to work for these goals and what is their cut-off date? A lack of satisfactory answers to these questions renders your goals unachievable and is likely to produce bad marketing results.

Generating the wrong leads

It is easy to think that since you are building leads every day, you are well on your way to conversions and purchases. However, that’s not the case if there is a mismatch between your target clients and the ones your marketing efforts are actually attracting. What could be causing this?

You may be:

  • running promotions on platforms not used by your target customers
  • using unclear and poor customer segmentation profiles
  • using the wrong keywords on your blogs and sites that effectively fail to attract your desired customer

Conversion rates are low

Consider assessing the conversion rate of your marketing campaign. Are they much lower than expected? If so, then you have a few possible culprits that you need to analyse and fix before you end up with any more bad marketing results.

It may be that your:

  • blogs and website are not optimised - pay attention to your keywords, headings and tags to make sure they promote your communication rankings
  • copy language is not persuasive and you're not communicating your value proposition or brand the right way - make sure your text highlights your customer’s ‘problem’ and solves it for them
  • promotions and blogs lack a clear or direct call-to-action
  • target marketing is not properly defined or is too broad for your marketing campaign to address adequately

Social media marketing efforts are not bearing fruit

This may be caused by the typical syndrome of having many followers or likes but very little engagement. If your numbers are not made of the right target audience, then your marketing campaign, no matter how good, will not appeal to them.

It could also be that your social media presence leaves a lot to be desired. With today’s world becoming more digital every waking day, your marketing campaigns need to be channelled in platforms that your customers use.

For example, social media like Facebook, Twitter and others are now being used to search for companies, so if your marketing campaign is absent there, then your reach is highly compromised.

High bounce rates are killing your campaigns

Bounce rate means your site visitors are not engaging with your website or pages, instead, they leave the page far too quickly, as if running from a plague.

This may be caused by:

  • bad landing page or site design, which does not correlate with ads or texts that led visitors to it in the first place
  • usability problems that discourage further engagement
  • incorrect tracking codes and implementation of landing pages

Paid search keywords have a low-quality score

When your blogs, landing pages and website lack good keyword optimisation or do not reflect a clear connection between your ads or content and the keywords, then you are effectively flushing money down the drain.

Check all your channels and assess the reason for low scores, and then remediate the problem.

If you have noticed that your marketing campaign is delivering poor results and have identified any of the above as the culprit then now is time to revisit your strategy.

2023 update

We no longer work directly within marketing, but you can still find out about our data, analytics and SEO services.