Why do marketing strategies fail?

Why do marketing strategies fail?

  • Is it because we don’t have the right tools? Perhaps.
  • Do we not have the right people? Maybe.
  • Do we have a bad strategy? This is most likely.

What is a failing marketing strategy? Recall the definition of strategy that we put forth in Marketing Blue Belt:

blue_belt_slides.png

Strategy, succinctly put, is goals x methods, limited by time and resources/environment.

I’ve spoken to too many marketers recently who have said, “well, we’re not really sure what our goals are” or “we don’t know what kind of budget we have to work with” or “we’re not sure what tools we should be using”. These are all statements indicating your strategy is headed for failure.

  • If you have no goals, you have no strategy.
  • If you have no tools or methods, you have no strategy.

Even more important are mismatches. When I was writing Marketing Blue Belt, Bryce Moore pointed out that goals and methods are multiplicative. When you multiply a positive by a negative, it becomes a negative. Thus:

  • Right goals but wrong methods? Your strategy will still fail.
  • Wrong goals but right methods? Your strategy will still fail.

Finally, the limits on the equation of time and resources can make even the right combination of goals and methods fail to be effective.

  • If you have no resources, any strategy you devise will not be something you can execute.
  • If you have no time, no strategy will have time to achieve its goals.

As you review the past and plan for the future in your marketing, ask yourself these tough questions to determine where your marketing strategy fell down:

  • Did I have the right goals?
  • Did I have the right methods?
  • Did I have enough resources to execute?
  • Did I have enough time to execute?

This simple diagnostic test will tell you what went wrong – and how to fix it.


If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Want to read more like this from ? Get updates here:


Marketing Blue Belt Preorder

Subscribe to my free newsletter!


Life lesson from a salt shaker

Salt shaker

When I sat down to breakfast one morning in Honolulu, I noticed that the salt shaker’s cap was very loose.

Ah, I thought to myself, something in the world that needs a bit of fixing; I put the cap on correctly. A minor triumph to start the day, restoring order to the universe.

A moment later, I tried to use the salt shaker and nothing came out.

It turns out that Honolulu’s morning air was so dense and humid that all the salt stuck together. The previous occupants of the table (or perhaps the wait staff) had loosened it so that you could pour a clump out and sprinkle the salt with your fingers.

This is a small life lesson on the power of delusion, of seeing the world how you want it to be instead of seeing it how it really is. I saw the salt shaker as “wrong” when in fact it was perfectly right for the environment it was in. I wanted things to be different than they were instead of understanding why the world worked in that way in the first place.

It’s a small, painless cautionary tale for everything in life: see the world the way it is, not the way you want it to be. Once you do, you might understand the world a little bit better. I certainly did.


If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Want to read more like this from ? Get updates here:


Marketing Blue Belt Preorder

Subscribe to my free newsletter!


Simple travel tip: USPS flat rate large box

When I travel on business, I occasionally do pick up things from my travels, such as interesting trade show giveaways, the random souvenir, client materials, etc. After a few trips, you learn to minimize what you pack and travel with. Going on the road is easy – you have total control over what you pack. Coming back after travel? You can get some interesting wildcards in your luggage.

Consider then, what it costs to bring some extra stuff back:

average_baggage_fees_-_Google_Search.png

Depending on what you’re carrying, the checked baggage fee may cost more than the items are worth.

For less stress, less heavy lifting, and less money, this has become my new best friend:

Priority_Mail_Large_Flat_Rate_Box.png

The USPS charges $18 for half a cubic foot of space. Granted, that’s not as large as a checked bag, but I don’t have to carry it with me. On my most recent business trip, I had a half cubic foot of extra stuff, and this did the trick. $18 later, my luggage was about 15 pounds lighter and I didn’t have to worry about fitting into an overhead compartment nearly as much. In fact, for future trips, I may be able to even ship basics and avoid the larger bag entirely.

Next time you’ve got some business travel and a little more cargo than you anticipated, don’t forget about the $18 box from the Post Office.

Disclosure: I was not compensated or asked to write about the Post Office’s large box.


If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network!


Want to read more like this from ? Get updates here:


Marketing Blue Belt Preorder

Subscribe to my free newsletter!