My Marketing is Not Working

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My Marketing is not working…social media is a waste of time, networking takes time with little returns, advertising is expensive…

I hear this a lot and a lot of it is true…when you do a single marketing activity without a big picture plan/strategy.

It’s like rushing off to buy the curtains for a new house you are building without knowing if it is going to be a city house or a country villa, with small or big, narrow or wide windows…

If you are using an architect or a building designer to do the plans for your house first why rush into marketing activities without having a clear marketing plan?


I admit it  – going and choosing curtains, tiles, furniture, etc. is much more fun that sweating over drawings, measurements, building sites, council permissions.

After all the first is quick (mostly), fun and interesting activity because you are dealing with tangible products you can touch and feel. The latter, not so.

It takes foresight, thinking, planning, calculating, imagining, creating. It works with a concept that doesn’t yet exist.

And yet without it you buying the finishing products doesn’t make sense.

But people do it, business owners do it.

17 years ago when I started mentoring start-up businesses their number one struggle was marketing.

They just didn’t know it, nor did they see it.

Because to them marketing was the brochures, the build boards, the expos, and all of these tangible activities that businesses associated with marketing but which were, after all the “curtains and tiles” of their marketing and their business building model.

They were missing the house, the marketing strategy.

Now 17 years later, the “curtains and tiles” have changed form. Now they are called social media posts, websites, google ads.

Different curtains but still curtains.

It’s amazing how much money and time people are spending on advertising and social media activities without purpose. No wonder they can’t see results.

Even more prominent is this discrepancy in the “marketing house building” activity in the professional service sector: finance, investment, legal services.

It goes likes this.

Marketing is seen as merely curtain shopping as is rewarded accordingly.

Why not throw some money into ads and social media posts. At least we are giving it a go.

After all we’ve allocated between 6.5% to 9% of our marketing and sales budget. Not a lot.

It’s not really working? Fine  – let’s go with the tried and tested “fee-for-referrals” model and find someone that can refer to us their clients.

And we are giving our referrers 91% to 93.5% of our marketing budget.

These figures are by no means exaggerated – here are 2 real examples:

a finance broker is paying $200 for marketing and $2,000 for a referral;

a property marketer is paying $1000 for marketing and $15,000 for a referral.

Is there an issue with this marketing model?

Let’s break it down in the next article.

But for now think about this.

By relying solely on referrals to build your business you are never in control – you are not building a long term asset.

Your referral partner is saying: Why build your own house if you can stay in mine – here’s one of my customers you can have.

You get the money from that referred client but you will stay homeless because you didn’t invest in building your own marketing house.


Presented by Peter Levick, Co-Founder. Peter works with professional service businesses to build their sales and service system and automate it so business owners can focus their attention on running and growing their business. To see how this could be applied to your business book a call with Peter here.

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