Troubleshooting Your Marketing: Why Your Marketing Strategy is Failing

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Via Robert Wan, Marketing Automation Software Designer: We just got an email from a client saying that he’s tried advertising on Facebook, Linkedin, Google Adwords, and even tried Press Releases with no success. So he came to us to see if we could design a marketing strategy that would work for him. What his company does, for the sake of discussion, may as well be what your company does because the following principle applies to everybody.

When you start marketing, you start with two assumptions. It’s those two assumptions that make you fail.

You start with the assumption that

A) You provide what your target market needs / wants

B) Your target market wants / needs what you provide

Ironically, your assumptions are 100% correct. That’s the problem.

If your assumptions proved wrong, eventually, you’d realize your marketing strategy was broken and go back to the drawing board. But since your assumptions are correct, you end up blaming everything else from your writer to your designer to your ad medium (magazine, adwords, facebook, etc).

We I was a kid, my Dad taught me that men need women and that women need men. For the purposes of marketing, that generalization is useful.

Me, being old-school asian, didn’t date until I was 27. And boy, was that a rude awakening.

I went to the hottest bars in Del Mar, Ca: Jimmy O’s, Yogi’s, Duke’s Office, etc. When I found a beautiful girl and an opportunity, I advertised to here. I even had a loss leader: A free top-shelf drink of her choice. For about a year, I went out 3 times a week and got shot down (adwords). I even dressed in Prada and Gucci (design)!

That’s like 120 rejections in a row (Which isn’t bad when compared to the average 0.4% Adwords CTR).

That’s when it happened.

I scored!

When I eventually asked my first girl friend why she started dating me, she said, “I saw you before you started hitting on me. It was across the street. You held the door for an old woman and I thought, ‘what a sweet guy, and he’s cute! (Sigh).'”

Me being able to provide a manly service and she needing my manly service is both 100% spot-on. That got me nowhere but 100+ $14 Top Shelf Cocktails in the red. The missing link was her witnessing a demonstration of HOW I provide that service.

This one is elusive. Your customer makes service provider decisions based on whether they can visualize themselves in a relationship with you. If you can’t get them to first mentally become your customer or client in vivid childhood day-dream clarity, you’re not going to get them to physically become your client.

What’s the best way to do that? Depends on what you do. In my case, Anne could see herself walking through a door I held for her. Don’t lead, don’t persuade, don’t claim. Just demonstrate. If you want to talk about how to convince your target market to become your customer, let’s talk at

Robert Wan

VP Business Strategy Development

Sparkah Strategic LLC


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