Marketing Strategy

Why Marketing (Sometimes) Doesn't Happen

By Jen Neumann on March, 24 2017
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As a marketer, you've probably experienced the frustration of a project not coming together. There are a lot of reasons for this, including a lack of buy in or understanding from those who approve the plan. But the main reason - and the one we see most often - is that there is an intersection of intangible and tangible elements that needs to happen in order for your plan to work. Please see Exhibit A: The Venn Diagram of Getting Sh!t Done. (Now animated!)


When you have two loci of control, internal and external, you need the elements of each to intersect in order to make your marketing campaign, plan or project work. The degree of overlap is the commitment to the activity, from both sides. The amount of overlap is a decent predictor of your success. 

This sounds sciencey, but it's rooted more in gut check than in numbers. As you think about the elements in each circle, brutally assess whether you have the components needed for success.

When Marketing Fails

Failure in Circle #1:

At a staff meeting, the marketing coordinator announces he plans to create a video that can be used across social channels, on the website and be shown to prospective customers. He has arranged for a video team to be on site for a full day in about a month's time, and has created a script. 

Before the video team arrives, he starts to schedule times for employees and management to participate. As the project gets closer, he finds that enthusiasm is waning, and the CEO has scheduled a trip out of the country the week of the shoot. He goes through with the project, but is dissatisfied with the end result. He posts the video once on LinkedIn and it gets buried in a blog on the website. The sales team never used it. He gets panned for wasting money on the video at his review and the following year, when he proposes budgeting for a new video, the idea gets shut down. 

What happened? Look at the circles. He had the ideas, probably the talent, he hired the know-how and presumably had the creative - he even planned for it. 

But look at the other bubble. He had the budget, he had the time and he had the resources and for the most part, approval. But he lacked buy-in from almost everyone. When he proposed it again, he lacked even more: budget, buy-in and approval. 

While you may not have to have every element in each circle, make sure that you have the right elements to succeed. A good gut check before implementing your plan is to ask yourself which elements you have, which you need to obtain, and what the realistic chances of doing so are. Every element isn't crucial, but by identifying the potential barriers to success, you can then work to eliminate, mitigate or educate around them. 

Failure in Circle #2:

Another place marketing - specifically content marketing - fails is in the first circle. It seems that the right and left brains often work against each other in this realm. You may have the ideas and creativity but lack the technical expertise or the "planning gene" (or vice versa). This is where your partnership with an agency or creative team is crucial. You can have all the budget, buy-ins and approval, coupled with the creative, but if implementation is not properly planned for and the pieces are not in place to implement, measure and improve, you'll leave. The best marketers can see all the elements and assess them honestly to not only gauge success, but plan for it. 

Are you missing an element? Two? Four? The benefit of a full service agency like de Novo is that we've got both sides of the brain covered. We not only bring the crazy ideas that work to the table, but we know how to plan, implement, track and ultimately keep improving them to help you reach your goals. 



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