Three Signs You Might Be a Marketing Hoarder

There’s a growing problem in the marketing world. It’s hard to identify, because many businesses that struggle with this problem seem perfectly normal to the naked eye.

But in the nooks and crannies of these businesses, there lurks a deep, dark secret.

Hoarding.

Chances are, you’re familiar with the term. Shows such as A&E’s “Hoarders,” TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” and Animal Planet’s “Confessions: Animal Hoarding,” have shed light on the problem of excessive attachment to possessions and animals, leading to unsanitary living conditions and alienation from family and friends.

But the concept of hoarding is not one that a lot of people apply to marketing. Like hoarding of possessions, this practice can be harmful to your business and can alienate your consumers.

Are you a marketing hoarder? If you have any of the following symptoms, you just might be.

You Have Trouble Letting Go of Old Marketing Content


“But that’s the way we’ve always done things.”

“It’s worked for us in the past.”

“This might work for us again someday.”

Sound familiar?

Is your marketing department cluttered with emails, white papers, print ads and direct mail pieces galore? Don’t get us wrong — there’s nothing wrong with having a large inventory of content. However, there is something wrong with investing in and maintaining that content without assessing its value to your business.

Marketing is all about getting the right message to the right customer at the right time. The value of content should not be determined by how much money you invested in it or how cool everyone thought it was at that trade show three years ago. Instead, base your marketing decisions on how much profit your campaigns directly generate for your business and the level of impressions they have on your consumers.

What to do about it.
Divide your content into categories: content you can’t do without, content you need to re-evaluate and content that without a doubt needs to go. Then segment your audience into personas and determine which content is appropriate for your audience’s demographic at each stage of the sales cycle. If you find your content is not quite right for a particular audience, start fresh and create a campaign that appeals to your consumers’ interests.

Once you’ve put your campaigns into place, analytics tools like ClickPath will be your friend. Tracking the metrics that are most important to your business will help you assess your prospects’ engagement with your marketing and quantify the value of your campaigns. If your ads aren’t doing anything for you in terms of customer engagement and ROI, you’ll know it’s time to bid that content adieu. (But be warned: Gathering data and using it to your business’s benefit is tricky work. Read on to see why.)

Your Data Is Disorganized


Impressions.

Organic search ranking.

Click-throughs.

Page views per visit.

Email open rates.

White paper downloads.

Video views.

Returning site visits.

Calls.

So many metrics, so little time.

We’ve established that having an analytics process in place is, of course, the first step toward assessing which campaigns can stay awhile and which need to go. Unfortunately, with the volume of data available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why only 0.5 percent of the world’s data is actually being analyzed and 70 percent of useful data is not being taken advantage of.

With the multitude of analytics software on the market, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if it’s possible to obtain data, you should. But just because you have the ability to capture a certain type of data doesn’t mean you should if you end up with more data than you can analyze or data that won’t help you reach your business goals.

What to do about it.
First determine what metrics you’ll use to gauge your success. For example, if your business offers a top-tier service or high-value product that’s commonly found online, it’s likely that prospects who are serious about buying will call your business directly for more information. In that case, search terms that lead to calls would be an important metric to track.


Then determine your top metrics (no more than five) and create a dashboard that allows you to track your marketing success. ClickPath even has a built-in dashboard (shown above) and yields organized reports that help you quickly evaluate your campaign performance. As you develop your analytics process, you can evaluate the success of the marketing campaigns you decided to keep and any new ones you decided to create.

For more on selecting the right metrics, check out “The Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Marketing Analytics” by Marketo.

You Have Limited Customer Interactions


“Call now.”

“Click here.”

“Download this.”

“While you’re at it, buy our stuff too.”

Feeling a little overwhelmed? You’re not alone.

When prospects are hit with a barrage of marketing, they’re confused as to who you are and what you’re asking of them. Their first reaction is to shut down, hit unsubscribe and add their number to the Do Not Call list.

Think of the hoarders’ homes you’ve seen on TV. Because their homes are overtaken by so many possessions, it’s hard to tell who they are as a person. On the flip side, when you walk into a nicely decorated, organized house, it’s easy to catch a glimpse of the owner's personality because they’ve chosen to keep things in their home that truly matter to them.

Likewise, when your message or marketing is cluttered, your customers don’t know who you are as a company or what you want them to do.

What to do about it.
Follow the KISS principle. When you deliver marketing messages that are consistent, targeted to your audience’s interests and needs and have a clear call-to-action, people are willing to listen to what you have to say. Through analytics, you’ll be able to assess what your consumers’ sweet spots are, and before you know it they’ll be on speaking terms with you again.

If you suspect that you might have a problem with marketing hoarding, start by getting your campaigns organized, put some analytics in place and begin improving the lines of communication with your customers.