Marketing plans fail more often than you might think. And because companies don’t expect plans to fail, they’re left trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces. That’s where rescue marketing comes in.
Three Places Where Marketing Failures Manifest
Marketing failures arise from three sources: the client, the agency, or the campaign.
Failures at the client source can be the result of poor briefings, a toxic culture, or even politics. Although an experienced marketing agency should be able to identify and address these issues at the get go, some things that interfere with productivity aren’t always obvious. A rescue agency is practiced in identifying and resolving such challenges.
Agencies can—and do—fail. Signs of impending failure include late delivery, sloppy work, lack of subject matter expertise, and financial problems. Asking a failing agency to fix themselves is futile. There are times when complicated contracts don’t allow for uncoupling from an agency (or are prohibitively expensive and time consuming), but a rescue agency can still step in and take over.
And then there are campaign failures. Perhaps the messaging was ineffective, the campaign didn’t connect with the target audience, or the wrong platforms were used. Rescue agencies are experienced in stepping into failing campaigns at any point, and either adjusting the messaging, creatives, and platforms, or revamping the entire campaign.
Why Do Marketing Failures Happen?
Marketing failures almost always happen because of some combination of five things: fear, greed, pride or ego, blind spots, and resistance to change. These can occur with the client and the agency.
Operating from a position of fear leads to making short term decisions that will impact any campaign, and tank the business in the long run. It can also cause a hyper-focus on directly measurable ROI, instead of focusing on experience and value.
Some executives have such confidence in themselves that they think they have all the information they need, and fail to see the forest for the trees. Agencies, too, can fall into a trap of thinking they know more than they do. Change is happening so rapidly now that new information must be identified and considered, and that takes a certain level of humility and curiosity—both from brands and agencies.
Ads need to be relevant to the current climate. What worked last year won’t necessarily work this year, but blind spots from an out-of-touch position won’t identify this. Rescue marketing requires the agency to know exactly what audiences want and need now. The only way to address the blind spots that everyone has is to be actively engaged in learning everything possible from customers, stakeholders, innovators, peers, bots on the ground, and competitors.
Resistance to change is a death knoll. A business cannot survive if its approach is set in stone. 2020 has taught us all that in no uncertain terms!
Top 7 Things You Can Do to Fix Your Marketing
- Discover your purpose: what problem does your business solve?
- Be humble: listen to your customers and advisors. When you make a mistake, be the first to acknowledge it, own it, and lean into it.
- Be real: make sure your story and your actions align; never market from a bandwagon. Instead, focus on what you care about as a business and what your customers care about.
- Find out what you don’t know: be constantly learning. Acknowledge that you can never master your market or audience because the only constant is change.
- Be consistent: being erratic and constantly disappearing and reappearing in a personal relationship destroys trust, enthusiasm, and daily relevance. It’s no different in business. Relationships beat algorithms because they are real.
- Innovate from a position of strength versus weakness: use your USPs to drive how you solve problems and meet needs
- Make tough decisions: you may need to strip a business right down to its frame in order to make sufficient change to effectively react to market, cultural, political, or technological changes.
The KPI Rescue Process
We’re passionate about rescuing failed marketing and branding campaigns! The KPI rescue process addresses the reasons for failure head-on. Here’s how:
- We evaluate the audience, competition, culture, organization, and market changes to understand the reality of the landscape.
- Root out sources of non-performance and their causes whether internal or external.
- Drive radical acknowledgement of reality and commitment to necessary actions.
- Provide deeply authentic and meaningful going forward strategies and tactics.
- Build success through consistent accountability to the marketing rescue process.
Rescue marketing is marketing with solutions in mind, and clear actionable steps that deliver the right solutions for any marketing failure. It can pull failing marketing campaigns back from the brink and help marketers meet goals on time; it can redefine marketing strategies and align efforts with the current state of things: ongoing industry changes, daily unfolding national issues, changing customer behaviors/expectations, and all other aspects that can impact the success of your marketing plans.
KPI has three levels of Rescue Marketing Programs that coincide with the top issues marketers are experiencing in our uncertain times:
Level 1: Self Rescue: When something is ‘off’ about a campaign or results have been disappointing and not meeting KPI’s and objectives. This level will find where problem areas exist and identify possible solutions.
Level 2: Tactical Rescue: When a specific tactic or campaign is underperforming and the client may know where the problem is, but is unsure exactly how to fix it. We provide assistance to get back on track for maximum performance without delays.
Level 3: Peak Rescue: When a company that has put their marketing on hold because they are unsure about their current strategy and tactical execution due to the ‘new normal’ affecting their category, market, and/or customer journey, or when a campaign is entirely failing we can step in to determine and execute a full rescue strategy.If you identified a specific Rescue Marketing Level that fits with your current needs, please reach out to us directly at our KPI Agency Rescue Marketing Page.
If you would prefer to speak more about the possibility of receiving a customized rescue, please contact Dave Quigley directly here: firstname.lastname@example.org.