Bad marketing can be more powerful than good marketing. Bad marketing can hurt your brand and your reputation. It can turn off your best potential customers. Or it might do none of those things – at least not in ways you can see. And because you can’t see it, you don’t know what you’re missing. You don’t know what marketing changes to make because you can’t see that changes are needed.

But hold on a minute here! Who does bad marketing?

You’re absolutely right. What we’re really dealing with here is marketing that isn’t what it could be. The fact is, most marketers get some kind of response to their efforts – opens, clicks, maybe some good leads or increased traffic. Whatever response they’re getting is the benchmark. Getting some results is good enough.

But… what if those marketers are only getting a fraction of the response they COULD be getting? What if the “good enough” marketing is actually turning away potential customers, would-be buyers, and people who would really benefit by getting to know their business?

It’s hard to prove a negative, yes. And this post is meant to point out some ways in which marketers could change their results for the better – establish a new benchmark, a new reality. What if changing a few things up could result in more clicks (remember, the money is in the click) and lead to more sales?

Evaluate these marketing changes

What does your marketing look like? Do you have room for more engagement and more sales? Could you build stronger relationships with the people on your email list? Evaluate the following questions and see what you could change today to make a difference in the success of your business – no matter the size or focus of your company.Marketing Changes

#1 – Is your blog, if you have one, all about you? Are you using it primarily as a place to make announcements and pronouncements, or are you using it to provide value to your reader? Are you writing conversationally, or are you simply dryly presenting information? Are you speaking in the words of your perfect potential customers, or in the lingo that’s only used within your industry or market segment?

If you were your perfect potential customer, unpolluted with insider knowledge about your company, would you find your own blog engaging and valuable?

If the answer to that last question is “no,” it’s time to change it up. What do your perfect potential customers really care about? What moves them to make a decision to buy a product or service like what you sell? What motivates them? What problem, challenge, need, or opportunity do THEY have that you can address?Re-focus your blog on the people you want to buy from you, and you’ll be building relationships with them, building your trust factor with them, and letting them get to know you. Remember, people buy from people they know, like, and trust.

#2 – Along those lines, are you hitting on their WHY? Why should they care about what you have to say? Why will whatever you’re selling make a difference to them? Why are you or your company the right place to look for a particular product or solution?

The WIIFM factor – “what’s in it for me” is at levels we’ve never seen before, due to the ease of online researching and shopping. What still holds true is that people, given no other choice, will buy on price, not value. You build value by understanding the needs of your perfect potential customers and expressing that understanding through the content you offer and the emails you send. In a contest between a simple product announcement and a product announcement that also covers the WIIFM factor, the one with the WIIFM factor will win every time. In other words, no matter how truly excellent your product or service might be, if a person doesn’t see the value, they’ll buy from someone else who shows them the value and the WIIFM.

#3 – How are you distributing your content? If you’re doing regular email marketing, what’s in those emails? I just got an email from someone that was a book (lots of content) and at the bottom was a “set up a meeting” call to action. I don’t want to set up a meeting, so I’m not clicking on that email. It’s a bottom-of-the-funnel email, and I am nowhere near the bottom of that company’s funnel. I am not a qualified lead; I’m not ready to engage with sales. (To be honest, I’m not even a perfect potential customer – so I know they’re just batching and asking and hoping to find some low-hanging fruit. Not good.)

Most of the time, emails don’t need to be very long to be successful. You want the click. So keep your emails short and link to your blog post or your landing page. Get the click. Move people one step closer to making a decision.Side note: if you’re depending on people to come to your site and read your blog without you sending it out, re-think that. Your perfect potential customers are not going to seek out your site unless they’re ready to buy something you sell. Use your content to move them toward wanting to buy something you sell. Use it to keep you top-of-mind, so when they’re ready to buy, they’re thinking of you first. People are too busy to check in on a blog every now and again, unless you’re famous.

#4 – Are you segmenting the people on your list into different “buckets” depending on their interests? Or are you mostly sending the same emails to everyone? If you’re not segmenting, you’re missing a huge opportunity to build relationships and engage the people on your list – and you could be turning off a big portion of your list by sending them emails that they don’t care about.

With the right marketing platform, you can easily track what people are interested in and move them into different “buckets,” so you can then send them information they’re truly interested in receiving. We’ve talked about segmentation before, so check out this recent blog post for more on that topic: Lead Segmentation Doesn’t Work Like That.

Could you accidentally be doing bad marketing, or less-than-good marketing? It takes an honest evaluation of your current practices. Could you be engaging more with the people who are on your email list, understanding them better, guiding them down the path to becoming your customer? Or are you accidentally, without even knowing it, losing people – people who could be your customers, people who would benefit from being your customer, but people who just aren’t seeing your value? Are you getting tuned out?

In a recent post, I talked about measuring marketing’s ROI, and I noted that the value of well-done marketing is most easily measured in its absence. That’s a fact. But the impact of less-than-good marketing is difficult to measure. As Aslan put it so well, we don’t get to know what could have been.  What we DO get to do is benchmark what is happening right now, make some marketing changes, and create a new reality. No more “good enough” marketing.

Got a comment or question? Go ahead and type it right in below. I’ll be watching.