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Morning Roast: Why Most Marketing Strategies Fail

Posted by Patrick Sitkins on Apr 21, 2015 7:30:00 AM
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marketing strategyWithout an integrated marketing strategy, your investment is the equivalent of decaf coffee. It’s activity without providing you with the kick.

Imagine a first time coffee drinker (we’ll call him Joe). Joe has heard about the wonderful effects of coffee early in the morning. He’s seen pictures of coffee, smelled coffee and even been around his friends while they were drinking coffee. Joe finally decides that coffee is not a fad, and he determines that he should start drinking it to jump start his day.

Joe walks into a well-known local shop that his friends recommended to him. He is immediately overwhelmed by the choices on the board. He thinks to himself, isn’t coffee just coffee?  I had no idea it would be this complicated!  He scans all of the options and decides to go with the smallest and cheapest option. He nervously walks up to the counter and orders a small decaf coffee. The barista smiles, pours him a cup, hands it to him and wishes him a good day. Joe, now with coffee in hand, walks right past the extras (sugar, cream, stirrers, etc) and takes a seat outside. He slowly sips his way through the entire cup even though the taste isn’t too appealing.

Thirty minutes go by and Joe begins to realize something - nothing is happening.Where is the energy rush?  Where is that 'take on the day' feeling?  What a waste of time and money!  In that moment, Joe swears off coffee and vows to never be tricked like this again. He can’t understand why his friends like it, and more importantly, how coffee shops feel good about charging for this junk.

The situation above happens everyday in our world. We hear business owners complain about their lack of success with social media, their website and marketing in general. Just as “Joe” didn’t get satisfaction from his cup of coffee, many business owners feel the same disgust with digital marketing.

Let’s examine the cast of characters from the story about Joe.


Joe is typical of the executives that we speak with on a regular basis. They can’t ignore digital marketing and social media. They are inundated with news, messages and peer interactions touting the importance of a good digital marketing strategy.


Joe knows that he could always improve and somewhat believes that a digital presence could help inject some life into his business, but he is still skeptical. The concept seems solid, but he doesn’t even know where to begin.


As Joe walked into the coffee shop, he was immediately overwhelmed. This happens with executives as well. There are thousands of social media sites, apps, software, consultants, and other 'bright and shinys' that they could utilize.


This happens far too often. Instead of fully committing to the decision to ‘do inbound’ or ‘do social media’, executives tend to dip their toe in the water and start small. Their buying decision is typically based solely on price, and they want as little investment (time, energy, dollars, and emotion) as possible.


A good consultant would understand Joe’s needs first. In our story, the barista could have noticed Joe’s reservation to order and could have asked a few questions to ensure that he got the result he was looking for.


A lot of times, we see organizations that have the foundation in place. They have a Facebook page, LinkedIn presence, and a decent website. What they are overlooking are the enhancements that would make this all work for them. Things like an outsourced marketing company, HubSpot, Hootsuite, or a myriad of Wordpress plugins would make their results come faster and bigger! Like Joe, it would make the taste that much more appealing.


There are so many organizations that have tried a few things (like social media), gotten nowhere, and decided to never go down that path again. It is truly unfortunate. We produce results for ourselves as well as our clients, and there are so many stats that prove that these digital strategies work. Organizations that have tried the decaf version of marketing, gotten little to no results and have eventually given up, sell themselves short.

The underlying issue in all of this is focus. Is your organization looking to marketing to support sales and growth?  If so, then your inbound marketing and digital strategy need to focus on results. A lot of organizations (and even consultants and marketing firms) focus on activities. If your current goals include ‘getting more Facebook likes’ or ‘increasing your twitter followers’ there is nothing wrong with that. Just realize that you won’t get much ROI from this from a sales perspective. If you want your marketing to infuse life into your organization like a bold cup of coffee, then go all in and focus your plan on generating results.



Topics: inbound marketing, Strategic marketing