Why Marketing Sucks

Yup, you read that right. We’re the first to admit that marketing doesn’t always go according to plan… but it doesn’t have to be this way. 

So let’s start at the beginning by unpacking why it often does suck, and what we can do to fix this.  

The first stumbling block is likely to be one or both of these two things:

  1. A shaky foundation
  2. Misalignment of values and/ or expectations between an agency and a client 

In mid-2021 I wrote a blog post titled Why marketing does not equal sales – which explains how marketing, advertising and sales work together but aren’t interchangeable. Today I’d like to take this conversation one step further, and add branding into the mix.

So often we are briefed to build a website or be a strategic marketing partner to a client that hasn’t invested in their brand. I’m not just talking about a pretty logo here – but rather being intentional about how your company is perceived by your target audience. This definition included in an article explains it well: 

An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. 

So what I’m getting at is that creating and implementing a marketing strategy without a clearly defined brand is like building a house without a rock solid foundation. It’s a terrible investment as it’s going to fall flat in no time at all. 

When it comes to alignment – around both values and expectations – we’ve learnt how important it is to get this right upfront too. We’ve even built a client matrix, to assess whether a client or project is a good fit for Yellow Door, and aren’t shy to say when it’s not. From there, we do our best to map out the process, timeline and scope so that all parties are on the same page throughout the project or partnership… which reminds me of the 5Ps of succecss – proper planning prevents poor performance. Incorporating that into our way of working has been a game changer, and something I have to work hard at as it doesn’t always come naturally to me. 

So here are three ways to make sure your marketing efforts have the best chance to succeed:

  1. Define what success looks like.

What are you working towards and why? Do you have a clear north star that you can articulate and share with your team? What does your business look like in three years, one year, and three months? Do you have tasks aligned to these goals? This may seem like a daunting exercise, but if you reverse engineer it right down to what you can do today to move the needle it’s a lot less scary, and easy to action. But you also don’t have to do it alone – take a look at our Discovery Workshop offering if you’d like some strategic input from our team. 

  1. Build a brand 

For both yourself as a founder, and for your business. This is something we have done successfully for many clients over the years, and this feedback is testimony to the value of it:

Building a brand can easily feel like being caught at sea in a storm – but for the Yellow Door team it’s like wind in their sails! Their energy, wisdom and flexibility to create not only our online identity, but also give life to our brand has been foundational. Thanks to the whole team. – Jacquis Tolsma, OPEN 

  1. Assemble an A team

Or assign a lead agency to do this for you.  We don’t offer this as a stand alone service (but maybe we should… more on that next time) – however it’s part of our marketing partner package offering, designed to support your in-house marketing person. 

Marketing is not just about driving traffic or generating leads. It is about building a brand that people can relate to and making sure that you are working with the right people to achieve your brand and company goals. Are you ready to create that foundation for your business? Get in touch!

Please fill in your details and we will contact you to book your workshop.


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