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‘Random acts of marketing’: Why your digital marketing may not be working

Too many advisers take a “spray and pray” approach to marketing and end up becoming frustrated when they don’t see results.

With almost 20 years’ experience working in financial services marketing, Lisa Greensill, a marketing adviser and co-creator of Brandover, explained that some of the biggest mistakes advice businesses make is approaching marketing without a plan and trying to appeal to everyone.

Speaking with ifa, Greensill stressed the importance of approaching marketing with a clear goal in mind and ensuring that they are specifically targeting their ideal clients.

Unfortunately, she said, many businesses approach digital marketing “with a wide net” and end up “speaking to everyone, which means they’re speaking to no one”.

“Where people do marketing right is when their ideal client sees something, whether it’s a website, a post, an email, and they go, ‘Oh, wow, it feels like you’ve read my mind’. So we want their ideal clients to go, ‘You just get me, you’re the perfect fit’,” she said.

Greensill recommended taking a step back to “look at your business through the eyes of your clients” and then “profile those clients really deeply” to understand what those clients need and where to focus marketing efforts.

“What are the problems they’re having? What’s keeping them up at night? What motivates them? Where are they? What social media platforms are they on? What centres of influence influence their decision making?” she said.


“Let’s make what we talk about really relevant to them.”

Another mistake businesses often make, according to Greensill, is committing “random acts of marketing” or using a “spray and pray” method wherein they act without a plan, sporadically engaging online and simply jumping on trends from other businesses.

She said that this approach often leaves people feeling frustrated as they receive minimal pay-off for the time and resources invested. This becomes particularly true as they often lack a plan or vision, making it difficult to track progress and their return on investment (ROI).

Additionally, she explained that many businesses often get “bogged down in the weeds in technical talk” and end up inadvertently ignoring “why people make decisions about money, which is more around the behavioural and emotional reasons”.

When communicating with potential or existing clients, it’s important to be mindful of the use of language as some people can get “caught up in the curse of knowledge and being too technical”, which could isolate potential clients.

Ultimately, Greensill said that a clear indicator of marketing being done well is when “you’ve got a high percentage of leads converting to clients”.

She explained that effective marketing is about “getting clients, keeping them, and multiplying them” and that the “utopia for marketing is that you actually don’t need to do marketing, people are just telling other people about you”.