People in business understand how crucial marketing is. That said, nobody can deny the harsh truth—marketing isn't easy. Even after planning for months and devoting all your time and resources, a campaign you believed was a fantastic idea can fall flat without making any significant impact.
Marketing is a tricky, unpredictable field; sometimes even the world's most successful brands can get it wrong. However, the benefits of promoting your business are so enormous that it's always worth giving it another shot. So, how do you recover from a marketing setback and make a strong comeback? Here are a few steps you can take to get back on your feet.
Listen to what people have to say
When your marketing campaign doesn't deliver what you anticipated, you need to pinpoint where it went wrong. The first step in bouncing back is to figure out the real reason(s) your campaign failed—was your marketing pitch misunderstood, did you underestimate your competitors, or did you target the wrong audience ? Gathering feedback is one way to find this. Encourage your customers and your target audience to share their opinion about the campaign to understand what specific aspects went wrong. This can save you from repeating the same mistakes in the future. Sometimes, it can turn out that the campaign didn't perform well because your marketing messaging unintentionally offended people. In that case, accept responsibility and apologise for the error publicly. This can help rectify your brand image and avoid future marketing campaigns from being adversely impacted.
You can make your feedback collection process more manageable by using online surveys and forms.
Give participants an option to answer anonymously can get you more honest responses.
Think like a customer
What if your marketing campaign was a flop even though your audience had nothing negative to say about it? This situation calls for assessing the campaign from the customers' perspective. As a brand, you need to ask yourself:
Are you offering anything unique to the customer?
Is there a compelling reason to choose your brand over your competitors?
Did another competitor already have a similar (or a better) campaign running when yours went live?
Was your offer truly useful to the consumer, or was it merely a way for you to get rid of some inventory?
Answering these questions can shed light on the root cause of your marketing woes, and help you know where to go next.
Tip: Use online forums and dedicated social media groups to find out what people are saying about various businesses.
Analyse your numbers
We can't stress enough how vital metrics are for measuring and tracking your marketing activities. That said, merely knowing the number of your page views and sessions isn't enough. You need to dig deep into the numbers to understand what went wrong in your customer's journey. For example, let's assume your brand's Youtube campaign to promote recycling did not result in significant improvement to your brand's performance. In this case, if your videos have a decent number of views but have a relatively poor watch time, then it's safe to assume your content was not enticing enough to keep viewers hooked till the end. But suppose your view counts are low, though the ones who played the video watched it entirely? Now you know you need to work on improving your headlines and thumbnails to get more clicks.
Tip: Periodically review your marketing data so you can better understand your audience and make decisions driven by metrics rather than intuition. Learn how to audit your marketing results.
Do one thing at a time
As important as resilience is, trying your hand at too many things isn't a smart move while on your road to marketing recovery. Sometimes, you have better chances of succeeding when you concentrate on one aspect at a time. Focus your effort on a specific platform, marketing tactic, or market segment rather than a broad list. Avoid investing in a marketing strategy until you have a sense of what works for you. Make it a point to excel at one thing at a time before chasing every opportunity that comes your way.
Tip: Avoid jumping onto every marketing bandwagon or technological fad without analysing how it can benefit your business.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligibly.”
Henry Ford, Founder, Ford Motor Company
Once you learn from your mistakes, give yourself enough time to come back strong. Take all the data and insights you've gathered and start over with a revised marketing plan. Decide if you want to recreate the same campaign from scratch or take a completely different strategy. Whatever you do, remember that failure is an inevitable part of any business journey, and what's really important is how you learn from it and grow further.