Your business is slow – slower than it has been in previous years. You tell yourself that the reason is because there is new competition in your field, or that your customers have changed. These are not reasons; they are excuses. Take a look around you. Many businesses are flourishing. Why isn’t yours?

Chances are, your business isn’t flourishing because your marketing is stuck in neutral.


Yes, that’s harsh but someone needs to be honest with you. You’re coasting. You’re relying on marketing tools and tactics that worked 20 years ago.

That’s not going to cut it for a business today. There are so many ways to reach potential customers and you can’t be afraid to try something new.

Marketing is about being creative and taking risks to see what works and what doesn’t. If you’re experiencing anything described in this post, it’s time to kick it up a notch.

Sign #1 – You rely on word-of-mouth referrals without a clear strategy

Growing your business through word-of-mouth is great. It’s inexpensive and you probably don’t have to make a hard pitch when the potential customer calls you. The referring customer/individual likely put in a good word for you, which is great!

So what do you do after that? I’m willing to bet you do nothing. Is there any follow-up with the customer? What about following-up with the individual who referred them?

These are key steps that most business owners don’t take the time to do.

I’m personally involved in a networking group. We meet weekly to pass referrals. There are two important items that we emphasize that can help increase referrals:

  1. Your service must be extraordinary.
  2. You must give people a good reason to do business with you. In other words, “What’s in it for me?”

With that in mind, the most successful professionals have a clear strategy for referrals that looks something like this:

(a) Ask for the business – satisfied customers usually know somebody they can refer.

(b) Make sure the referral has an amazing experience – go above and beyond for referrals when you can.

(c) Ask for a testimonial – positive feedback can turn into another referral opportunity.

(d) Flatter egos – make a fuss over a testimonial from your client.

(e) Invest in customer relationships by keeping clients and customers up-to-date via ongoing communications.

Sign #2 – Your campaigns lack the “wow factor”

If your marketing is stuck in neutral chances are you are missing relevancy, emotional connection and the “wow factor.”

Take a look at what you have achieved over the past year. What have you done to make your campaign memorable? Have you made certain to develop buyer personas based upon demographics, values, biggest challenges? How have you solved those challenges?

If you’re unsure about these important steps to testing a marketing campaign, then it is definitely time to hire a professional marketing expert who will make sure that your campaign is creating a lasting impression.

Sign #3 – Your website is static and boring

Another sign your marketing is stuck in neutral is if your website is boring and isn’t generating any inquiries.

Here’s what you need to ask yourself: Is there a reason for potential customers to go to my website? And is there a reason for them to stay there and educate themselves about my services?

Your website is often the first introduction to your company. And the adage “content is king” is still very true. With the right content, a visitor will start to engage with your website and you’ll start to look like the expert.

Websites that include a blog receive 55% more traffic, which can turn into leads. But most companies don’t bother to update their website, let alone blog on a regular basis.

This is a missed opportunity.

Depending on your industry, there could be thousands of searches each month for your product or service. But static and boring websites will never rank high on Google, or engage visitors enough to translate into an inquiry.

Sign #4 – Minimal internet presence

Another sign your marketing is stuck in neutral is if you have a minimal internet presence. I’m not simply talking about your website. This goes beyond your website!

How can potential customers find you? How are you driving traffic to your website? If you’re not actively driving traffic to your website from external websites (think Facebook or Twitter) then you’re not doing enough to grow the business.

One tool you can use to quickly evaluate your internet presence is Moz Local. Moz will rate your company’s internet presence and will make recommendations for improvement.

Final thoughts

If any of these signs apply to your business, it could be time to re-boot your marketing. This won’t happen overnight and will take some planning and preparation.

Working with a marketing professional or marketing agency will help tremendously because they bring expertise and an outside perspective that is often needed to achieve success.

Do you have more questions about working with a marketing agency? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!

5 danger signs