Why Marketing Works For Others But Doesn’t Work For You

For months, I’ve been trying to lose weight. I’ve used running apps. I’ve dropped all soda from my diet. I’ve
even hired a personal trainer. All of these techniques have not given me the results I hoped for and dreamed about.

The question I ask myself is: “Why?”

Why did I not get the desired results of losing weight when I know these techniques have worked for many others?

I often forget that many business owners feel the same way about marketing. They have tried product subscriptions, direct mail, advertising, and more.

The question they ask themselves after all of that is: “Why?”

Why did they not get the desired results of increased sales when they understand these techniques have worked for many others?

As I see it, there are three reasons that apply to both scenarios.

1. Good Marketing – Like a Good Diet Plan – Takes Time

Overnight success does not happen overnight, unless you’re a movie star or rock star – and though those stars may become famous overnight, even they can’t lose weight quickly. Today, Apple is considered the most valuable brand in the world, but it took the company over a quarter of a century to get there, despite having broadcast the most renowned TV commercial all the way back in 1984.

Set goals, be patient, and be prepared to struggle along the way. The 1990s was a financially terrible decade for Apple, so they refocused and worked harder to regain their footing instead of admitting defeat and falling by the wayside. (They also owned up to the mistake of replacing Steve Jobs.)

2. Each Business – Like Each Person – is Unique

If your plan is based on a well-known and successful model, understand that the exact circumstances that fostered previous success cannot be duplicated exactly.

Your metabolism is different than other people, so a high protein or low carbohydrate diet may not be the best way for you to lose weight. Push-ups and sit-ups work for some people, while jogging or running works for others, merely because they enjoy (or are able to tolerate) one type of exercise program over the other. For some individuals, a hybrid combination of plans may be best.

In the business world, the marketplace and the economy and consumers’ tastes are continually changing. The sales strategies and tactics that worked in the past may not work as well today or in the future. You certainly cannot market to the Millennial generation today the same way you marketed to Baby Boomers when they were young.

Because each company is comprised of the unique individuals in it, no two companies can ever be exactly the same – or achieve the exact same level of success. The key to successful marketing is to deeply understand the current marketplace circumstances and to predict the future with as much accuracy as possible.

Let’s use Apple as the benchmark example again. Its successes of the past have been based on understanding the future wants and needs of their target audience. They stayed ahead of the curve with their devices for desktop publishing (Macintosh), portable digital music (iPod), and telecommunications (iPhone). They’ve always focused on producing the next big thing, not churning out more of the products already available from other companies.

Successful marketing is easier when you’re ahead of the curve, because you can then appeal to people’s hopes and dreams instead of their limited disposable income. Instead of asking yourself, “Why isn’t my marketing working?” perhaps you should be asking your executive team, “What is our company doing that is a step ahead of the curve and the competition?”

3. It’s Critical – in Both Cases – That You Stick with the Plan

The old saying that “Patience is a virtue.” may be cliché, but old sayings become clichés because they were, are, and will be true forevermore.

The weight you’ve gained did not mysteriously appear in one day. You’ve been watching the number on the scale in your bathroom slowly increase for months or years. Don’t expect it to take less time for that number to decrease back to your desired weight. In fact, it will take longer, because it is a lot easier to gain weight than to lose it, especially as you get older.

Likewise, if you’ve done your marketing homework and believe your strategic plan accurately reflects your strengths and weakness, along with your opportunities and competition, then stick with that plan until those determining factors are no longer true. Make appropriate adjustments along the way, based on what you learn, but don’t quickly dismiss your plan before it’s had ample time to develop roots and fully blossom.

There Will Be Rough Patches Along the Way

If you’re launching a new diet or marketing plan (or heaven forbid doing both at the same time), don’t abandon ship if you encounter stormy weather during your journey. Instead, stand firm, batten down the hatches, and set your course toward the clear skies over the horizon and your ultimate destination.

Yes, steering the ship will be harder and more stressful in a torrential downpour and choppy waters, but the only other option to reaching your port of call is drowning in your sorrow. The choice is yours to make, but the odds are that you’ll be more successful if you stick with your charted plan until you reach your goal.

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