4 Reasons Why Marketers Continue Implementing Ineffective Strategies

Digital marketing is a relatively fast-paced industry. It’s continuously changing. Strategies and tactics that have worked 3-5 years ago will most likely not work today.

But there are ways to make sure everything you do today won’t go to waste tomorrow—focus on your customers. Unfortunately, that’s not what most marketers are doing.

They stick with their guns. They continue to use their old-school strategies and tactics that worked last decade, but the rest of the industry have moved on since.

Here are 4 primary reasons why marketers continue doing what they do despite knowing they are ineffective.

4 Reasons Marketers Continues Using Ineffective Tactics

1. Don’t Know Any Better

Digital marketing is a relatively new field. It is growing and constantly changing. Most marketers learn from schools and by observing other organizations.

However, the people teaching marketing in schools are used to the traditional ways of marketing. These are successful marketers in their time.

But the internet has changed the way people buy. The traditional way of marketing, which is to interrupt people, no longer works.

Yes, there is a movement for being “creative” and applying “experiential marketing,” but these are still a form of interruption. They catch people’s attention and that’s it. It’s also not sustainable.

Organizations no longer control the buying process. By the time people talk to your organization, they are already 70% done with the buying process.

The best way to approach modern marketing is to be part of that buying process organically. How?

Create content and address the different stages of the experience cycle. Use the 5 stages of awareness to come up with different content so you can target a bigger audience that those who are already familiar with you.

2. Use the Wrong Examples

One of the best attribute humans have is their ability to learn from others without experiencing/doing that same thing.

In digital marketing, this involves learning from other organizations. But, what they do does not necessarily mean it will be successful for you. Why?

Because of two primary reasons: first, that organization you’re looking up to probably also doesn’t know any better.

The other reason, and why they seem successful to you, is most of the time they are a known, bigger brand than you. That means they have immediate brand recognition and bigger budgets to execute these kinds of things.

You don’t have access to their internal data. So, you think that what they are doing is bringing in great results for them, but in reality, they are in the same boat as you — groping in the dark.

It just seems successful from your perspective because a big brand is doing it.

If you’re a small business or have limited budgets and you start thinking of doing all these grandiose things, you’ll just end up in frustration.

If you want to learn from other organizations, look at those in a similar industry and size and offering as you are. Don’t simply copy what big brands do.

3. Need to Increase Sales

Organizations that use email marketing are mostly B2C organizations. In recent years, they become mostly the eCommerce ones.

eCommerce organizations don’t have traditional sales teams. That business function is assumed by the marketing team.

So, on top of their regular “marketing” activities, they now need to meet sales quotas.

The added sales responsibilities is one of the biggest reasons why marketers only send out promotional emails disguised as newsletters in order to achieve their results.

In addition, managers in eCommerce roles do not spend time on the ground. They only want to increase revenues and don’t look at developing relationships as a viable strategy.

Developing relationships with customers is deemed as a long-term strategy only suitable for big brands with big budgets.

However, study after study have shown that taking care of your customers and nurturing a great relationship with them have great benefits — both short- and long-term.

It’s a known fact that it’s easier to get additional revenues from existing customers than from a new one. But a lot of organizations don’t spend time developing relationships with their existing customers.

Instead, they spend an enormous amount of time and money acquiring new customers yet they spend almost zero time with their existing ones. These new customers eventually leave the organization — resulting to a high customer churn rate — because they are taken for granted. According to a Bain and Company study, 60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them.

If you don’t spend time developing relationships with your customers, and continue sending promotional items, you’re only sending a signal that you don’t care about them. They’ll soon realize that all you care about is their money.

4. Don’t Know What Tools to Use

Most marketers enter their organizations and get handed down a set of usernames and passwords.

They don’t get the luxury to go-through the selection and buying process. For bigger organizations, IT (wrongly) does this for them.

This results to a lot of marketers not knowing what tools are available in the market.

If they do know, they are only familiar with the known-brands which cost an arm and a leg. They, then, remove it from their list since it is out of their budget.

But apart from the availability of tools, a bigger problem marketers face is they are not familiar with what to look for.

These features are very important to know since not all email marketing software are the same. Some offer automation while some don’t. Some have the ability to edit the code manually, while some don’t.

The only way to get through this hurdle is to stay updated with what is happening in the industry.

Over to You

Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry. The only way you can keep producing results is to always read up on what’s happening and the developments in the industry.

Also, make sure that you actually practice and test these strategies/tactics.

If you blindly implement them, you could end up wasting a lot of resources for your business or clients. Then again, as long as these are directed and focused towards end-users and customers, these strategies would most likely give you great results in the long-run.

So again, focus on your customers. Make sure you are adding value to their lives. That will ensure that whatever investments you make today will still matter tomorrow.

What strategies and tactics to you think will still work this decade? Which ones won’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Ariel Lim

Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.

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