Why Your Marketing Materials Are Not Working

As a business owner you wear many hats from sales, purchasing, and accounting to business development, customer service and marketing. You’re constantly juggling multiple things, and frankly, you just don’t have time to do it all. And that’s ok. You set your priorities and delegate responsibilities where you can.

When it comes to things like marketing, it’s vital for your business but not always at the top of your to-do list. Many times, you simply rely on your printing company to create something for you or you put together a flyer quickly yourself. You and your team distribute hundreds of flyers to homeowners and other key prospects, and you go on about your busy day tackling other things on your to-do list. Before you know it, a few days, a few weeks, and a few months goes by—and you haven’t seen the response you thought you would from your marketing piece. You have a great offer, the right price, and you’re targeting the right people but you’ve hardly had anyone respond. It doesn’t make sense, or does it?

When evaluating your marketing pieces, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate with fresh eyes. Look at it through the eyes of your potential customers. A few simple fixes can make all the difference on whether a market piece that goes in the trash bin or gets you a sales call.

Check out these 7 reasons why your marketing materials are not working:

1. Doesn’t look professional

You can be the best contractor in the business, but if your marketing materials are not conveying that and look unprofessional, they’re not going to work.

So, how do you make sure your marketing looks professional and are engaging?

We all know the saying; a picture is worth a thousand words. Having photos in your marketing material is critical because a large part of the human brain processes visually. Images help tell your story clearly and succinctly. Beyond that, it’s vital that your images are high-quality. When images are low-quality, dark, or not composed correctly, they tell a negative story about your business and potential customers take notice. Nearly 2/3rds of consumers think that the quality of a service’s image is more important than detailed information about the service.

Other basic rules to follow when creating marketing material is consistency and repetition, because they help your potential customer’s purchase behavior. Is the logo on your website, truck wrap, and business card the same? It should be. What color does your website and business card use? Your flyers and other marketing pieces should use the same colors.

2. No clear goal or call-to-action

We need a marketing flyer and we need it now! We all get sucked into the urgency on occasion but before any marketing material is created, its important to have a clear goal. Are you trying to acquire new customers? Are you targeting existing customers with a special add-on? Did you add a new service to your business? Whatever the message is, make sure that it aligns with your goals. It wouldn’t make sense to target an existing customer with a discount only available to new customers. With a clear goal in mind, you’ll be able to target the right customers, with the right message, so that your marketing resonates.

So, you’ve created a great brochure with beautiful images, consistent messaging/colors, a clear goal, and you’re targeting the right customer. But you didn’t tell them what to do. Should they call to make an appointment? Visit your website for more information? A call-to-action is critical for closing the deal. Not only does it tell the customers what to expect, it will drive more engagement and sales. Be careful not to have too many call-to-actions on your marketing piece, this can cause overstimulation and confusion.

3. Too busy/too text heavy

You have a great story to tell but be mindful of how and where you tell it. Messaging should be clear and simple. We get it. You have a lot to say about your business but if you have enough content for a five-page booklet, don’t try and squeeze it onto a postcard. As mentioned earlier, use images to help tell your story with less text. When there is too much going on with your marketing materials, you risk overwhelming your readers.

Use headlines, text, and images to convey your message. Text should be kept short and simple, so that your content is skimmable and readers can find what they’re looking for easily. Less is more.

4. No time limits

You have a great offer for your existing customers. It’s unique and eye catching, and it will really set you apart from your competition. The only problem is, if your customer thinks this offer is going to be available for the next six months, she may forget about it and never act.

You need to have a time limit or expiration to create urgency with your specials. Consumers want to be in on a deal, use FOMO (the fear of missing out) to your advantage by highlighting the time limit on your special promotion.

5. No contact info

While this may seem like a no brainer, even the best marketers can forget a key piece of information every now and then. Make sure your website and phone number are on every piece of marketing material. Contact information should be easy to see and read. Do not use funky font or hard to read colors.

6. Not speaking to your audience

It happens to the best of us. You’re excited. A new product hits the market and you can’t wait to tell your customers about it. The features will save you time and solve your customers problems. You can’t wait to get into the tech behind it. Just remember, you use the speak every day: rotor, valve, herbicide, fungicide, transformer, fixture, etc. Your customers do not.

Make sure when you are creating material that your speaking to your audience and using terminology that makes sense to them. Sometimes you need to explain things in simple, non-contractor/industry terms. Instead of going into the technology behind it all, lead with the solution to their problem. It will resonate much better.

7. You have a negative online reputation

We’ve spoken about managing your online reputation at length in previous articles. And the reason for this is because it’s critical. More than 80% of Americans read online reviews when hiring a lawn care or landscaping contractor. You cannot afford to have a negative online reputation. You may have the perfect marketing brochure, the price is right, and the customer is ready to buy. But if you have a 1- or 2-star rating online, they’re going to go with your competitor. Even if they are more expensive.

You need to actively manage your online reputation. Only one in ten happy customers leave a review, so it’s important to make reviews a priority. Ask all your current and past clients to leave reviews for your business. Check out these recommendations to make sure your marketing efforts are not sidelined by bad reviews.

Whether it’s design support, marketing consultation, or direct marketing pieces, Central is the right partner for your business. If you need help with your marketing or business initiatives, reach out. We’re ready to help you grow.