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  • Writer's picturePete Steege

3 Signs Your Marketing Is Broken

How is your marketing program doing?

Sometimes it's hard to tell, especially in B2B where your sales cycle can be so long and end results are so far delayed from the work you're doing today.

Even the things you can measure are unique enough to your business that it's hard to compare to other businesses.

I've found that a good sanity check for your marketing health is some foundational behaviors, things that you're doing as a team.

Here are three signs that your marketing is broken.

One-off projects

Do you work on marketing projects in an isolated way? One by one, as if they stand alone?

Have you failed to identify the linkage with other programs either before or after the project you're working on?

Have you tried several different vendors? Are their projects often "resets" or "redo's" on important projects like websites or lead generation campaigns?

All of these are signs that you are not viewing your marketing as a collective effort that builds - one program on another - across your customer's journey. Marketing that is one-off is almost wasted because it's just a blip in the consciousness of your market.

Product stories

Are the messages on your website and in your sales conversations mostly about you, or are they about your customers pain and actually giving them some some advice and solutions even before they buy your product?

Are you leading with product information in your conversations and your collateral.

These are signs that you are are not putting your customer first.

Your customer wants to know that you're good and all that. But before that they need to know that you can help them with their problem.

It's a sign of trouble if your marketing program doesn't have a first message about how you're going to help, before you talk about how good you are at helping.

Message of the month

Is your story changing a lot?

If you aren't starting with a solid understanding of who you are, whom you serve and what you do for them, it's really hard to keep a consistent message over time. You end up getting pulled this way and that by new product features or competitive moves.

When your message is changing frequently, it's a sign that you aren't anchored in a long-term truth about what you do and who you do it for.

Having that longer term message is really the only way for you to "sink in" with your clients. They don't pay enough attention to you to keep track of those changes. Those messages will cancel themselves out.

One of the biggest traps in marketing is is to move too quickly to end results.

It's so tempting to jump in on leads. "We've got to get those leads," or whatever urgent deliverable it might be.

The best marketing starts with a solid customer-focused foundation. That takes patience. It takes delayed gratification. You have to invest in getting your marketing engine built in the right way for it to then start generating the results that you need.

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