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Why Is My Marketing Not Working

There is nothing more frustrating that doing some marketing and finding it doesn’t work for your business – especially if you’ve spent money on it. Not only is it annoying, but it’s also demoralising and pretty soon you’ve exhausted all the ideas you had for marketing your business. I can completely understand why you’d think that marketing was a huge pain.

But why isn’t your marketing working for you? Let’s look at some common reasons and see if we can put them right.


The easiest way to find customers for your business is to go where they go. The most common reason why your website marketing isn’t working is that you don’t know enough about where your customers go. Let me explain. If you were targeting mothers for instance, common places you might find mothers include doctor’s surgeries, mother and toddler groups, post offices, schools, nurseries etc. If you were targeting HR Managers, you might go to CIPD meetings, read Personnel Today, go to HR conferences etc.

Sounds easy doesn’t it. But, I meet far too many businesses who tell me that anyone is their customer or are appealing to the end user rather than the person who buys their services (i.e. the employee rather than the HR manager who will pay for what they’re selling).

Solution: Go back to basics. Really define who your customer is. Think about what motivates them and what frustrates them. Then think about where they might go to buy what you’re offering and make sure you’re in these places when they’re looking.


Whenever you do any marketing, there are three objectives:

  1. Get awareness of your business
  2. Build your reputation and
  3. Get customers.

Agree? Problem is that many of the marketing ideas you’re doing already are probably better at getting awareness of your business or building your reputation. PR for instance is great for
awareness as is advertising; networking is great for awareness; doing a talk is good for building your reputation; sending out leaflets is good for awareness and so on.

You can get business from these methods, but it an extra step – capturing contact details!! If you do some PR, you’ve no idea who has found your press release really interesting but didn’t get around to calling you, let alone who might have looked at it.

Therefore, you need to build some mechanism in each of your marketing methods to get contact details of people who are interested. So in a press release, you might offer a free sample or a free newsletter; in a talk you might offer a free summary of your presentation and so on. If people give you their contact details, they’re telling you they’re interested – then all you need to do is

Solution: Without contact details your marketing ideas will do little more than build your reputation and the awareness of your business. In each marketing activity you do, find some way of capturing those contact details.


Ah – caught you! I know it’s hard. I know you have 1001 other things you want to do.

But, the simple fact remains that most small business owners who say they aren’t getting as much business as they would like are not doing any marketing. They may dabble in it, but they probably aren’t doing it consistently.

You see if you really want your marketing to work for you, you should be trying 5 (yes 5) marketing ideas at once and putting a system in place to capture contact details so that you can follow up with people.

If you really don’t have time, find a marketing person to do some marketing for you (you can always contact us you know) which frees you up to do the things you like doing.

Solution: Do marketing (or if you really don’t like it, find someone to do it for you). 9 times out of 10, the three reasons I’ve outlined above are the main reasons why marketing doesn’t work for small business owners. Think about the solutions I’ve mentioned and try putting them in place for your business.