Why so Many Marketing Campaigns Fail

How to plan sales and marketing

Marketing needs to be run like a military campaigns. You need plans that everyone understands

Don’t let your sales fail for want of adequate planning.


OK so I know you are part of a professional marketing team and YOU know what you are doing.  But are all team members 100% on board with what you are trying to achieve and what their part in the campaign is?

Of the marketing campaigns that fail before they leave the drawing board there is a single predominant reason why they fail.  The reason is they are not adequately planned and not all staff know what is required of them. In fact, surprisingly, often there is no marketing plan.  And if there is it often lacks details … like start and end date.  Sometimes there isn’t even an agreed budget.  Worse still on many occasions there are no prescribed objectives.

Where objectives do exist they are often vague … and marketing managers tell me that the department wants more apprentices, but don’t really know how many they want or can cope with.


Marketing in the “Real World”

Let’s look at the problem as if we didn’t work in education.

For example say a business plans to increase sales and they decide to do this by running  a PPC campaign.  They decide that Facebook is for them and off they go.  They commence advertising and almost immediately results trickle in. They get a few people on the website and a few download a prospectus or application form.  They bask in the glory of their achievements.

The problem with this laid back approach is that there is no objective measure of success.

I’ve often seen this approach in both commerce and education.  No one has actually decided how many sales are needed.  They haven’t set a date by which to achieve the sales.   No one has even bothered to work out how much they can spend on marketing to get the results they need.

Because of this no one actually pushes the marketing hard or makes decisions based on the results they need to achieve on a day to day basis.

For example if they were to make 37 sales, at a cost of £19.39 per sale, is that good, bad or indifferent?

If the target had been 19,500 sales this would mean total failure. And if the sale price of the product were £9.99 they would have spent more on marketing than they took in sales and someone should be looking for a new job

But if the sale price is £9,000 per item, and the target they have to hit is  37 sales, then this campaign could be counted as a great success.


More Real World Marketing

In the real world life is far more complex.  Not only would we have advertised on Facebook we might have also run a media campaign, emailed previous students who took the lower level course last year and sent people to networking events.

The problem often is that these elements of the campaign are disjointed and a coherent plan never comes together.

So, for our education campaigns to succeed we need to write down a few targets and measure our weekly outcomes against them. Do this and you then make decisions based on verifiable facts and agreed objectives.   Without it you are doomed to fail more often than you’ll ever succeed.

Related Post