3 Reasons Why Most Marketing Isn’t Successful

There are 3 key reasons as to why most small business marketing is unsuccessful.  If business owners can incorporate these 3 concepts into their marketing plans, they are likely to start to experience some success.

Successful Marketing Produces Sales

1.  No target market.  The first reason most marketing is not successful is because it doesn’t speak to anyone specific.  When you target anyone and everyone, you appeal to no one.  No one wants to work with a business that positions itself as an expert in everything.  We all want to work with the people we believe understand our problem the best and that’s typically the business that has helped others resolve the same problem.  Identify your target market and be specific and put that information in all your marketing materials.  Write case studies that describe the type of clients you work with and what problem or frustration you helped them solve.

2.  No mention of the benefits of working with that business.  The second reason most marketing is not successful is because the materials don’t discuss the benefits of doing business with company.  Most marketing materials that you get say I’m so and so, I’ve been in business for 12 years, here’s where I’m located, come on down and buy from me.  Most business don’t give you any reason as to why you should buy from them.  Without understanding the benefits of using one company over another, the only thing to evaluate on is price, and that’s just what they’ll do.  They’ll call you and the first thing they’ll ask is “how much?”.   When you discuss the results a client can expect, then the prospect can make a better assessment as to how the business can help solve their problem.

3.  No understanding of the buying cycle.  Most business owners don’t understand the buying cycle, and, as a result, go into sell mode right away.  And, unfortunately, there’s nothing that turns prospects off faster.  In order for most of us to be comfortable buying, we need to have some details on the business, an opportunity to get to know them, and see if they have any credibility.  John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing, says there are 7 steps to the buying cycle:  know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer.  It seems, most business owners try to go from know to buy and refer, and it just doesn’t work that way.  Businesses need to take the time to nurture prospects and to engage with them and build trust.  Not all prospects are ready to buy when we want them to be, so we have to continue to engage and educate them about our industry.  Establishing on-going communication channels at each stage in the buying cycle gives you a very high probability of getting the sale when they are ready to buy.

Make your marketing efforts successful, by taking some time to determine who your ideal clients are.   Once you’ve figured that out, work on developing marketing materials that educate prospects about the benefits of working with you.  Then use the buying cycle to help you understand what kind of information is required at each step in the cycle. 

Good luck and I’d love to hear about your results.


  • This was good advise for me. I’ve found educating people about my product or (getting awareness) to be just as important as getting a sell. Knowing my target market ensures quicker understanding of me, my goal and my product. When “target market” and “educating them” are in play, it’s “curtains”. I know they are either going to buy now or later and/or “share”. Win Win.

  • Totally agree. I like to suggest people think about marketing as building trust. If the information you put out there isn’t helping you build trust, you might want to reconsider and adjust it. And identifying your target market helps you spend more time on the right kinds of prospects so you don’t waste time. I like your term “curtains”. Thanks for your comments Hiram!

  • Thanks Jen. Appreciate you dropping by and your comments.

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