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If it IS Broken, Fix It: Red Flags Your Marketing Strategy Ain’t Workin’

Amy Chan

Posted on July 04 2014

One of the worst things a small business can do is waste its limited marketing budget on tactics that are not working.  You can’t afford to run a bad campaign and wait it out until the next cycle.  You need to act fast and confidently.  But one of the hardest things for any business person to do is to objectively step back from their campaign and assess its efficacy.  You need to know what to look for to reassess your marketing strategy.  Keep an eye out for these Red Flags and if you see them, make the necessary changes ASAP.

1. What are your long term goals for your business?  Do you have a one-year and a five-year plan?  Are these goals mapped out and made clear for all to understand and do you have a complete and all-encompassing handle on the ins and outs of what you want?  If you don’t, how can you have a marketing strategy that addresses these goals.  Before you go any further, you must develop 1-year and 5-year plans.


2. Branding is one of the simplest yet most over looked aspects of marketing.  You need your brand to be consistent across your online presence, print media, and anywhere else your business appears.  It’s the simplest thing to do, but if you don’t do it, you are missing out big time on the recognition and visual advantages of a tightly branded product.  You see the McDonald’s arches from a mile away and you know exactly what you’re approaching.

3. If someone asks you who your ideal target audience is, can you answer quickly and in detail?  If you can’t, then how will you know where to direct your marketing dollars?  You need to define who your audience is, the outlets they use to look for products like yours (TV, newspaper, online and where online?) and hit those avenues hard.  If you are targeting an older generation and you only use Facebook, you are likely making a huge mistake.  If you are targeting the younger generation and you only use Facebook, you’re also doing something wrong since the teens have also abandoned Facebook.

4. If you find that every post on Facebook or Twitter is advertising something – a new product, an event, a promotion, you are missing out on the opportunity to engage with your potential customers.  No one wants to hear only about you – think about a conversation with a friend.  If they only say things about themselves, you’ll be bored.  You want to be engaged with.  Similarly, your customers and clients want the same, and in the generation we’re in, access to this type of engagement is at an all time high.

5. If you find yourself seeing a rival’s ad campaign and wishing you’d come up with it, the last thing you would want to do is mimic it.  What you need to do is set the new bar – make your competitor think the same exact thing.  You have to lead not follow in the area of marketing.  Don’t do as others do – do as others wish they did!



If you see a Red Flag in your marketing strategy, act fast to remedy it.  Don’t waste time that need not be wasted.