Why Your Marketing Strategy is Falling Short: Common Pitfalls in Execution

Why Your Marketing Strategy is Falling Short: Common Pitfalls in Execution

by yorCMO
sales and marketing

Marketing comes down to more than just knowing the best way to go about things. It’s also all about how those things get done. 

It’s why you could understand the fundamentals of volleyball but not be able to land a single spike if your on-the-court execution falls short.  

In this blog, we’ll look at common pitfalls organizations like yours might experience as you roll out your marketing strategy, and we’ll cover some ways to deal with them.

Pitfall 1: Sales and Marketing Aren’t Aligned

When sales and marketing are working in harmony, companies are 67% more effective at closing deals and 58% better at retaining customers. It’s a big deal—but often, both sides play the blame game when it comes to executing a strategy.

Often, the two sides struggle to get aligned on goals, have differences of opinion on what customers actually want, and tend to not understand how the other side gets work done. You can learn more about what causes this divide here.

Here’s the big picture: No matter how good you think your marketing strategy is, your sales team needs to understand the goals they’re trying to hit, the way they should use the marketing materials given to them, and how the strategy will speak to the customers they’re reaching. 

Solving this pitfall is its own topic, but you can make great strides by implementing a strong marketing leader to act as a liaison between both halves, so everyone works in tandem—not just side by side. We’ll cover marketing leadership in a later section. 

Related: Who Should Be Held Accountable for Reaching Business Goals: Sales or Marketing?

Pitfall 2: Not Making Sense of Data Analytics

Data is the new gold in marketing. Ignoring analytics is like flying blind—you might get somewhere, but it won’t be where you want.  

You’ll want to track different data depending on the awareness stage your customer is in. For example, if your customer is just getting familiar with your company, things like impressions, clicks, and engagement rates will be top priorities for you. The further down the sales funnel they go, you’ll want to examine click-through rates, conversion rates, purchase rates, and more.  

So, even if you think you’re familiar with your marketing data, you may not be seeing the progress you’re hoping for if you’re not looking at the right data at the right time. It’s not just a numbers game—timing matters, too. 

Related: From Impressions To Conversions: How To Track Your Marketing Effectiveness and ROI

Pitfall 3: Not Keeping an Eye on the Competition

Watching out for your competitors isn’t just about keeping track of the products or services they’re producing. It’s also a matter of keeping a close eye on how they’re marketing those products or services—and more importantly, how successful those activities are. 

Is your competition getting stellar engagement on social media? If so, what are they doing that’s working? What kind of content are they producing, and are people engaging with that content? Have they abandoned PDFs in favor of short-form videos, infographics, or something entirely new?  

Even if your marketing strategy is solid, it’s easy for those tactics to get lost when the competition is more nimble, more creative, and more experimental. If you’ve been relying on tried-and-true methods that used to serve you, it might be time to get inspired by what others are doing in the field.

Pitfall 4: Not Having a Distinct Voice 

Like we mentioned in the last section, even good strategies can get lost in a sea of great strategies. And this is even more apparent if your branding strategy is disjointed, too vague, or not  

This is why having a unique selling proposition (USP) is one way to differentiate yourself from the crowd. By paying attention to what your competitors are doing, you can determine what hangups your overlapping customers might be having with their offering, so you can sell them on yours. For example, if your competition has a great offering but a hefty price tag, your USP could pitch the value of your similar product.  

Another way to stay unique in a crowded market space is to keep your branding consistent and memorable. That’s easier said than done, but things like color, taglines, and messaging are just the tip of the iceberg. Your brand identity is also shaped by your customers’ experience, your reputation in the space, your advocacy, and so much more. 

Keeping your brand identity strong is essential for making sure your marketing strategies land. Your audience will come to expect something out of you, so your marketing efforts should stay true to the voice of your company. 

Related: The Importance of Brand and Brand Management

Pitfall 5: Lack of Direction 

When it comes down to it, you can know each of your marketing pitfalls and still not have a path forward to resolve them. Ineffective marketing leadership—or no marketing leadership at all—is why so many companies with huge potential end up stagnant.

But understandably, many organizations simply can’t afford a full-time marketing leader. That’s why fractional marketing is so influential nowadays, using the shared cost model to give companies a seasoned marketing leader at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time CMO. 

And unlike a consultant or an outside agency, fractional CMOs join as part of your team, helping you not just plan your marketing strategy, but also execute it and track its progress. 

Related: Understanding the Value of Fractional CMOs

Let’s Identify and Resolve Your Pitfalls 

While we’ve covered five of the most common marketing execution challenges, your organization is unique and requires an expert set of eyes to make sure you’re exerting energy on the things that matter most. 

If you’re ready to take the lead on improving your marketing strategy, set up a no-obligation, 30-minute call with us, and we’ll get you in touch with a fractional CMO to help you get on the right path.

Need guidance knowing how to best use AI to enhance your marketing approach?

 Check out The Role of AI in Marketing for practical advice and insights from real-world peers.