How Manage and Make the Most of Great Expectations in Marketing

great expectations

It’s important to set the bar high. Few would argue with that statement. But what do you do when things don’t turn out as you plan, when the return on investment doesn’t come (or is less than you predicted)? Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between a routine slump that may be out of your control and a fundamental problem with your marketing approach. Because let’s face it, we all have bad days…bad weeks….bad months even! The same goes for sales and marketing campaigns. Sometimes you need to ride out the bad in order to get to the good, but sometimes you do need to change direction.

Here are three diagnostic questions to ask yourself when reality falls short of expectations:

Can I trace the problem back to a misstep made by me or my team, or is its source something that is/was out of my hands? 

This is a question we come back to again and again in the realm of social media and online marketing. With ever changing search algorithms, PPC advertising policies and occasional technical glitches, it sometimes happens that analytics reports show a drop from previous months in traffic and click-throughs. Usually we anticipate such drops and are prepared to explain them to a client. With a little preparation and knowledge, you can avoid disappointment and rework the strategy based on the new external developments for better results next month.

Other common outside influences include economic downturns, changing seasons and even social trends. If you pinpoint the source of the lull you will be in good shape to actively address it.

How long have results been sub-par? 

Speaking of lulls, how long has this one been in effect? A month? Two? The whole quarter? While it’s imperative that we step back and refrain from being reactionary when reality fails to meet expectations, problems that persist for more than two months are more likely to be a symptom of a larger issue with a strategic approach.

What can I draw from this experience? Is there a valuable lesson or not? 

No matter if the problem is your fault or a product of unfavorable outside circumstances, there is almost ALWAYS a valuable lesson to be learned from dashed expectations. Maybe the lesson is something as simple as “We should change our email marketing software,” or as complex as “It’s time to change our company name.” Either way, bad times often double as important teachable moments.

Call or contact the Primm Company to learn more about how we can exceed your expectations. 757.623.6234.