Troubleshooting 5 Common Marketing Fails

Written by: Marissa Bruette & Kija Chronister

Having a well-thought-out marketing communications strategy is the first step in setting your organization up for success. However, there are bound to be roadblocks during your strategy execution. To help you overcome those challenges, we compiled the 5 most common marketing missteps and outlined solutions to get your strategy back on track.

1. Employee Retention

Every industry, and even every company, has had an issue with employee retention at some point. When you lose an employee, no matter the reason, your marketing strategy can be thrown off the tracks. Maybe the employee who left was in charge of blog writing or working on a press release you simply can’t find anywhere. Items will most likely be lost in account transition, but there are ways to fill the gap between onboarding and getting your strategy back on track:

  • Repurpose old content by tapping into your evergreen content strategy. Find ways to make old content new and relatable. Consider promoting an old case study with a new infographic on social media. 
  • Lean into your team. Most likely, someone else has been a part of the process and will be willing to help fill the gaps. Even better, offer incentives to employees who do help with this. 
  • Outsource. When your team is unable to fill all the gaps, outsource some of the work! Freelancers are a great way to ensure work is still being done while you look for the perfect candidate to fill a position. 

2. Reverting to Old Ways

With any new marketing communications strategy, there are process changes that need to occur to ensure a successful year. If you find your team reverting to “doing it how it’s always been done”, despite the efforts you have put in to make it better, here are some solutions:

  • With any new marketing communications strategy, there are process changes that need to occur to ensure a successful year. If you find your team reverting to “doing it how it’s always been done”, despite the efforts you have put in to make it better, here are some solutions:
  • Make a rollout plan a part of your strategy! Do you need to connect your marketing department with your HR department to carry out your employer brand strategy? Do you need to have an internal with sales to go over marketing materials? Whatever your “next steps” are, define them and make it part of the strategy. 
  • Quality assurance. We’re all human and can sometimes go on auto-pilot with tasks we’ve done a million times. Sometimes things slip through the cracks but if we have a plan in place to communicate errors or when things fall to the wayside, we can ensure everyone is comfortable with the new process. 
  • Don’t just shelve your strategy! Put quarterly reviews into place to ensure all goals are on track and the next part of the strategy is ready to go. Sometimes things need to be workshopped or maybe a new process has some issues, but you need to talk about it collectively to know what’s going on. So take it off that shelf and put those review meetings on your calendar! 

3. Delayed Launches

Unfortunately, delays are all too common in any organization. Whether it’s due to the technology or product not being ready, a global pandemic, or a piece of content just not producing the results you thought it would, delays are going to happen. To overcome delayed launches and fill in campaign gaps, here are quick and easy solutions:

  • Open your strategy and calendar. This sounds repetitive, but too often we see companies invest in a marketing strategy only to go over it once and then never look again. Don’t let this be you! 
  • Repurpose / Revisit the development of your content. If you had to move the launch of a new ebook because you don’t have all the interviews from your SMEs yet, repurpose old content! You don’t want to do nothing, so refocus on taking your current messaging and find interesting ways to repurpose it. You can even revisit older content pieces that may have never been published or just need fine-tuning to match the times. But again, don’t do nothing.
    • Tip: Consider you’ve already written a blog about Instagram’s new algorithm and you find it’s a trending conversation on Twitter – plug that blog! Find little ways to social “newsjack” or put out older pieces of content that haven’t gotten attention in a while but are still relevant to your industry. 

4. Fear of Change

Change is scary for anyone, especially when it comes to adopting new marketing tactics that you might be unfamiliar with. Here’s a reminder: marketing is all about learning. Every day marketers are testing new messaging and tactics to learn about their audiences and see what does and does not resonate with them. To overcome the fear of a new marketing strategy here are solutions to calm those jitters:

  • Start small! When you feel overwhelmed, turn the strategy into bite-sized pieces that will still move the needle for you and give you insights into the whole plan. Not sure where to start? Create a start, stop, and continue chart that analyzes the previous year’s efforts. What are items you want to start this year? What are things you want to stop? What are things that worked well and you want to continue? Once this is complete, pick an item from the start category and get going! 
  • Rely on the data! If you are worried something may not work, go back to the data and let the numbers provide you with the assurance you need. You’ve most likely put the research into place- you’ve completed a competitor audit to see how your industry and its peers are positioning themselves, your data has told you what is and isn’t working and you’ve tailored your strategy around that. If you are fearful- let the data ease your worries. 
  • Get a mentor. Find someone you can workshop these thoughts and ideas with. Find organizations with mentorship programs, like Social Media Day PHL and their Co-Mentor Connect program. 

5. Crisis Arises

When faced with a crisis it’s all hands on deck across the organization depending on the issues. We have many resources on how to create a crisis communications plan – even a downloadable worksheet. But to keep it simple and avoid any missteps, here is what you must do when run into a crisis communications situation:

  • Develop categories that clearly define levels of crisis. This way, you know which plan to refer to. For example, a comment on social media may be a level one crisis, but your organization named in the news is a level 4. Each level should have its own response plan. 
  • Assign roles. When you activate your crisis plan, be sure everyone knows what they are in charge of communicating or creating. You don’t want to wait until something happens to fill the team. 
  • Outline the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Clearly outline what each role is responsible for including who to flag the issues to in your leadership team and when! 

Contact our team of experts to see how we can support and grow your marketing communications strategy or help you with creating a crisis plan. We would love to take your company’s marketing to the next level!

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