The 6 Reasons Why You’re Failing to Hit Your Marketing Goals

Nov 14, 2016

Marketing can be based on strategy, tactics or just sometimes just plain luck that you hit the spot when you launch your campaigns, however in a recent study 71% of marketers were falling short of their revenue targets by adopting the wrong strategy or not even having one in place at all. The thought of it makes me feel bit uneasy.

Marketing has changed gone are the days of interruption based marketing and this is now led by consumer choice marketing (inbound marketing) where this is more focused and strategic than guess work.

In a recent report by the SBI 6 key areas were identified that marketers were missing the mark and how to get back to the planned ways of ensuring that marketing has SMART goals that deliver.

Lets examine those in a bit more depth.

1. No marketing strategy at all

More than a quarter (26%) of marketers reported having no clear strategy at all, or at least none that they could articulate. They reported that while they might enjoy the occasional success, essentially they’re relying on luck more than anything else. I find this is the case all the time. Clients (and just as many enterprise level ones as small to midsize ones) often don’t want to pay for strategy–they want to pay for tactics, without any kind of a strategy in place.

2. Relying on tactics instead of strategies

As mentioned above, people want tactics, not an integrated marketing strategy. While a compilation of marketing tactics may occasionally produce some results, more often it’s a crap shoot. The lack of a systemized, integrated marketing strategy is likely to mean that positive outcomes are difficult to achieve and/or difficult to repeat on a consistent basis. An example of a tactic without a strategy is when someone decides they need to hire someone to “do social media” for them. There’s rarely a thought, much less a strategy in place, to develop content for use in social media channels that’s specifically tied to business goals. There’s rarely any focus on a competitive analysis or the importance of listening and monitoring and using data to drive an overall social media strategy.Another example relates to brands’ efforts at content marketing. Everybody on the planet is scrambling to create content for their corporate blogs, yet it never occurs to anyone that writing is the easy part, getting anyone to read that content is what takes skill.

3. Having the same strategy as the competition

Being just like everybody else isn’t a unique selling point. It’s certainly not a compelling reason for someone to do business with you. And when marketers rely on strategies that are the same as everyone else’s, they set themselves up for failure. When consumers are unable to differentiate products or campaigns from the competition, it means that marketers are competing on price alone. In today’s consumer-driven economy, competing on price alone is not the smartest move. Being the company with the most compelling story, the best, most responsive customer service, a great brand personality – all those things serve to make a company unique and, hopefully compelling to consumers.

4. Buyer needs not met by marketing strategies.

Marketers aren’t focusing enough on the needs of their buyers as they develop their strategies (or tactics). If the marketing team’s strategy fails to address buyer needs, frustrated customers aren’t going to wait around—they are quick to find what they need, and the service and attention they crave, elsewhere. Brands are slowly starting to get this. We are starting to see the tide shift and we’re beginning to see roles like Chief Customer Officer or Customer Experience Officer appear.

5. Marketing strategy misaligned with corporate strategy

In many instances, the marketing team is still considered a department of order takers or there’s not an integration of marketing with other key departments within the company. Research shows that companies who align marketing and sales experience greater growth and profitability. Sales teams no longer are solely responsible for finding leads and driving business–that’s something marketing plays (or should play) a huge role in. In many instances, we’re not there yet, but we’re starting to see more and more companies focus on alignment, which is a good thing. If you want to know more about how to do this, I like Hubspot’s Complete Guide to Unifying Your Sales and Marketing Efforts (registration required). It walks you through things like closed loop reporting, the things sale should be reporting to marketing on, the things marketing should be reporting to sales on, how to identify your “winning” marketing channels and much more.

6. Marketing strategy misaligned with product strategy

SBI’s research reported that it’s not at all unusual for marketing strategy to not be aligned with product strategy, which will have an impact on growth and profitability. Many times marketers know this, it’s simply not happening within their organizations. And naturally, just as it’s important to align sales and marketing within your organization, it’s equally important to align your product development and customer service operations. Your customer service team (and your sales team) are truly the front lines of your company. Your sales team is well aware of the objections to the sale they hear most often, and the most common barriers to a sale.

The SBI study also suggests a six-step process to develop a more effective marketing strategy. This is a very comprehensive study and well worth your time to explore. Some of what it covers includes:

* Segmentation – market, account and buyer.
* Planning – revenue, budget, product, campaign, data and content.
* Engagement – demand generation and lead management.
* Organization
* Execution – content, campaign, lead management, sales enablement and reporting.
* Support – operations and systems.

If you would like to learn more then you can download the full study at “How to Increase Marketing’s Contribution to 2015 Revenue” (registration required).


Overall marketers do have a tough job. Your team or individual can lack skill, knowledge or even budget and resources to make the best out of your business. Great marketers need to be on trend and keep up with the latest changes and events happening around them to ensure that they are delivering on a continual basis.

So whats your challenge?

You could have all the area’s above as issues that you need to deal with our have no marketing team at all and no strategy, luckily we have come up with a SMART goal template (with our partners at Hubspot) for you to use now and moving forward into 2017.

You can find this here.


Blurr Creative are a Hubspot Partner, we are inbound specialists and work with IT (MSP Providers ) , Recruitment Agencies and E-Commerce businesses to deliver inbound marketing services, If you would like to know more get in touch with Tom our (inbound specialist) here .

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