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Quitting Time: Understanding When to Give up on a Digital Marketing Strategy

Phillip Reinhardt

We know that one of the most important concepts of digital marketing is constantly testing to find out what works and what doesn’t. Plenty of time and effort has been spent trying to figure out what the most successful tactics are. Often it’s much harder to understand when something isn’t working at all.

Don’t look at quitting an unsuccessful digital marketing campaign as admitting defeat. Look at it as a major win. Identifying unsuccessful strategies is almost as important as finding the successful ones. If you’re able to nip them in the bud early enough you’ll save a great deal of time and money. Most importantly, you’ll be able to spend more time nurturing and develop strategies that will actually bear fruit.

Here are five potential red flags that indicate you might be looking at a strategy that’s less effective than it could be and needs to be rethought:

1. Having No Discernible Goals

It’s impossible to know whether or not a campaign is successful if you don’t know what you’re measuring for or how you’re measuring it. If you have a content strategy, for example, where you’re pumping out constant blog posts and videos but have no goals other than simply raising awareness, you could just be masking its ineffectiveness. Decide what your goals are and find a sensible way to track them. If you can’t or if those results aren’t favorable, it’s time to rethink your efforts.

2. Attracting the Wrong Audience

You need to take a long, hard look at exactly who your campaigns are attracting. A channel driving a high volume of prospects might not actually be worth the time if you’re not attracting valuable paid customers. The same concept applies to if you’re attracting a lot of web traffic but hardly any conversions. In this case, take a look at the message you’re delivering and who exactly you’re targeting. It could be that you’re targeting an audience that’s interested but not particularly worthwhile.

Attracting the right audience is far more important than attracting a large audience.

3. Running the Same Campaign

Effective digital marketing isn’t about coming up with a great idea and letting it run in perpetuity. Marketing is a constantly evolving process that demands a great deal of time and effort. People’s tastes change and the way that various marketing channels work changes. You need to constantly come up with new ideas, test them, tweak them, and repeat. If any of your marketing campaigns remain largely unchanged over the past several years, there’s an excellent chance that they’re not as effective as they could be.

4. Receiving Negative Audience Feedback

Keep in mind that all your digital marketing efforts are designed to do one thing: appeal to your audience. If you’re receiving a lot of negative feedback, it doesn’t matter how clever or well put-together a strategy is. This can include either direct comments made by the customers or simply a lack of interest in your content. The worst thing you can do is be stubborn and double down on failing efforts. Admit defeat and listen to what your audience is telling you.

5. Hearing Radio Silence

You spend a lot of time putting together the perfect strategy, executing it, and you excitedly put it out into the digital world. And then – nothing. Your content isn’t getting any shares. Your ads aren’t getting any clicks. Whatever the case might be, nothing is worse than complete radio silence. If this is ever the case, you need to take action immediately. Figure out what isn’t working and correct the mistake. Sometimes a single tweak is all you need to take a failing digital marketing campaign and make it highly effective.