What to Do When You Experience a Marketing Lull (With Case Studies)

What happens when your marketing just…stops working?

Whether the reason is seasonal or something deeper, it can feel a bit strange.

After all, you have a humming business. There’s no reason you should expect anything less than consistency, right?

Yet anyone who’s run a business will tell you that things are rarely so stable. Business comes and goes—hopefully, with more coming than going.

When you have a marketing lull, it can feel like a red flag. Something is going wrong. You’re tempted to upend everything you’ve done and change strategies completely.

But is this always the best advice?

When you have a marketing lull, it’s best to keep your poise, evaluate your current status, and go from there.

Here are some of the best ways you can break free from a marketing lull—as well as a few case studies of companies who did exactly that:

  1. Discover Why the Lull Exists in the First Place

The first step is diagnosis.

Why are you encountering a marketing lull in the first place? Where is the lull coming from?

Now’s the time to consult your numbers.

Look through the following:

  • Running analytics on your ads and your website will give you a good sample of what’s going on. Compare your current lull to previous performance. What’s going wrong? Where were the visits no longer coming from? And where did they used to come from?
  • Sometimes, a marketing lull isn’t only about how many visits you’re no longer getting; it’s about a website that may no longer be converting. If your traffic remains stable but your conversions are down, you might want to think about running some new A/B tests to boost conversions. You should also consider doing competitor research to see if the landscape around you has shifted.
  1. Identify Your Weaknesses and Shore Them Up (Coffee Shop Case Study)

When you’ve identified a weakness, the next step is to shore it up.

That’s what an espresso bar owner in California once did. Utilizing a tool called ShopKeep, the owner would pore through the details of his analytics and research the best ways to move forward with his marketing.

One key point: the hourly reports. The owner realized that the time from 3 to 6 p.m. every day was lagging behind the other hours. Not too surprising in a coffee shop.

With this in mind, the coffee shop owner set about an “Organic Happy Hour” promotion. Coffee specials and new exclusive discounts would now occupy the slowest hours of the day.

People who saw the promotion started coming in, enhancing the customer base and giving the coffee shop a far more stable flow of customers throughout the day.

What can you learn from this?

If you notice an obvious hole in some aspect of your business—whether that means low traffic on one landing page or slow hours in a certain portion of the day—try to find a unique way to promote it.

In the case of an espresso shop, that was something as simple as offering a new promotion with low prices. That was it.

In your case, it might be something different. It might be a unique discount code. It might be a new promotion. It might be a new piece of content or email blast promoting your “weak spot.”

Whatever it is, your marketing lull is partially the result of this specific weak spot. Fix the weak spot and you may find yourself coming right out of that lull.

  1. Identify One Area in Which You Can Exceed the Competition (Mattress Case Study)

Sometimes it’s not only about marketing. Sometimes it’s just about building a better mouse trap.

Of course, you may find that in the mortgage industry, there’s no real way for you to reinvent the wheel.

However, there may still be a way for you to exceed your competition.

Let’s look at another case study.

Casper Mattresses noticed that there was an emerging trend: the concept of a “mattress in a box.” This delivery method is far more efficient for the homeowner than lugging in a full-sized mattress.

Casper realized that unboxing its mattresses, however, could be considered a chore. So they reframed it.

They asked customers to share their unboxing videos online.

Customers would take videos of themselves—and their families—as they unboxed these Casper mattresses. What a fun experience! In turn, customers were unofficially promoting the mattresses and the unboxing experience.

Casper helped popularize this emerging trend by embracing what was one a negative experience and turning it into a competitive advantage.

By emphasizing this one small aspect of its business—the unboxing—Casper was able to make itself better known than many of its competitors.

What’s one small area you’ve been neglecting?

What’s one small aspect of your business that can be pleasurable for your clients, but isn’t something you’ve thought about actively promoting?

  1. Uncovering the Problems with Your Marketing

When you have a lull in your marketing, it doesn’t always make itself plain.

In some cases, your marketing lull might be the result of an across-the-board decline in your marketing volume and incoming leads.

What do you do if your weakness isn’t so obvious?

That’s when it’s time to get creative.

For starters, you might want to consider looking into the competitors in your field that seem to be doing well.

What habits are they embracing? What is their social media presence like? Why do you think that potential leads might be choosing them instead of you?

When you compare yourself directly to the competition, you stand a greater chance of yielding some interesting insights.

But that’s not all you can do.

You can also start testing new ways of marketing.

After all, not every marketing tactic is going to work the same ad infinitum.

Some marketing tactics will become stale, and others that had been stale can become fresh again.

It’s up to you to explore different avenues for your company.

  1. Don’t Forget Mobile Marketing

Sometimes in trying to figure out what’s going wrong with your website, you forget what things look like on the other side.

Consider the world of mobile marketing. 85% of mobile marketers think they’re providing people with a positive experience, but only 47% of users agree.

That kind of disconnect between the use of mobile and the mobile experience is the exact kind of problem you’re going to have to fix. Especially if you want to get out of your marketing lull.

You need to embrace new technologies, and that means remembering the people who are browsing your site. A surprising amount of them can come from mobile marketing.

Make sure you have a robust, mobile-responsive site that can handle mobile traffic and make it easy for users to convert even when they’re on the phone.

Do that and you’ll not only create a more robust website—you’ll end up with a far more comprehensive web presence.

And you might just break out of your lull.

Of course, it helps to have the platform in place to make that happen. We recommend signing up for a free trial of leadPops to change the way you think about marketing.

Andrew Pawlak

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