3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working

by | Jun 7, 2021 | Business Building Musts, Email Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Small Business Help

Do you feel like your marketing may not be hitting the mark? If so, this blog is for you, as I share three of the most common mistakes I see when reviewing marketing strategy for my clients!

Firstly, lets go into this with the assumption that your are already targeting the right audience.

Let’s assume you know exactly who your target audience is, you’ve researched this and have hard data (not a guess), and you’re marketing still isn’t getting through and making sales.

So, here are three things I most often see when a client asks me for advise that their marketing isn’t working (when they know they have the right target audience):

  1. The marketing materials are boring to your audience.

Your materials might be boring to your audience for a host of reasons:

  • Everyone uses the same marketing materials as you – as in your marketing isn’t standing out from the crowd
  • Your ideal client/customer doesn’t read/consume that type of material. For example:
    • You use Twitter but none of your customers are on Twitter
    • You have the same ad, that you’ve had for ages in the local newspaper – so it’s no longer standing out
    • You run newspaper advertising when perhaps your ideal customer doesn’t even read papers
    • (you get the gist!)
  • The language you are using is boring – no humanism, no human to human marketing
  1. Your marketing is all about you!

What you do, how long you’ve done it for, where you are located, how great you are at doing what you do….. all these things are just all about you.

What’s everyone’s favourite subject?


So, I get why you think everyone wants to know about you, because you love talking about yourself, but as a business owner, your marketing needs to be about THEM – your audience.

You need to be showing through your marketing:

  • What problems you solve for them
  • What roadblocks you help remove
  • What delight you are going to bring them if they buy from you!

For example, if you sell products, don’t tell me the details of the product, tell me why I need it – tell me the benefits – not just the features!

One super-easy way to tell if your marketing is all about you – is to see how many times you write, mention, say the word “I” or “us” or “we” in your marketing – because that’s talking about you and not doing anything for the customer!

So, I challenge you, go and check out your last five posts on social media, your home page on your website and perhaps even a brochure if you have one for your business – is it about you or your customer?  How many I, we and us’s do you see?

Now, disclaimer here, we aren’t talking about storytelling in this.

We aren’t talking about how you tell a story and something that’s happened to you or you’ve done in order to share the lesson with your audience.

My weekly emails are often stories about me, but the lesson is for my audience.  There’s always a segue from my story to the point I want to make to help my audience, or you!

Human to human marketing – it’s all about storytelling – but if all you ever do is tell stories and your audience doesn’t get the lesson or doesn’t see the lesson – then you are simply just talking about you – story or no story.

  1. It’s not targeted.

If your marketing is not targeted at the people in your ideal audience, if it’s more of a “spray and pray” strategy, if it’s a “I just talk to everyone, then someone will respond” concept, then you will likely get little traction.

Think of yourself as a consumer and what marketing grabs your attention. I will pretty much guarantee that it’s never a targeted at everyone piece of marketing.

What gets your attention is the content that is targeted directly at your demographic – otherwise, you just wouldn’t have seen it, most likely!

Like I said at the beginning, there might be a host of other reasons why you think your marketing isn’t working – but in my experience, it’s generally some level of the three mentioned here.

  • Your audience finds your marketing boring
  • It’s all about you and not customer-centric
  • It’s untargeted

Of these three, if I had to make a call, the 3rd one – untargeted, is the one I see the most.

Targeting your marketing is about:

  • Using the right methods (be it social, newspaper, podcasts etc)
  • Making sure you are talking benefits, not just features
  • Storytelling with a purpose using customer-centric language – not too many “I” and “we” and “us” in there.

Niching down into a target market is one the hardest things for business owners to get their head around.  It’s like having two parties to go to as a 5-year-old – you always wonder whether the other party had better games or better food!

So I get that it’s the same for marketing, you get left wondering if you made the right decision! The fear of missing out – FOMO – it’s real and it haunts many a business owner!

Don’t forget I’m here if you would like some assistance nailing the marketing for your small business!

 I have free discovery chats available, where we can have a look together at how I can help you.  Send me a DM or go to my website and book a call here: https://calendly.com/jenn-smm/discovery

And my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group has an awesome group of small business owners who have a wealth of knowledge to share – please join if you aren’t already a member! Or you can DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email jenn@jenndonovan.com.au

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Yorta Yorta People, on which I conduct my business today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this blog post today.


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast.


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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