Many companies can’t quite seem to get their marketing “to work”. They know that marketing is costing them money but aren’t sure of the return; they can’t quite make the step up to the next level of business growth despite doing more marketing; and, crucially, their marketing just doesn’t feel “completely right” to them or their customers.

If your organisation’s marketing has stalled, then it is probably because you have one, or more, of these three marketing mental blocks.


1. Mental block one: You are focusing on getting new clients

Typically, organisations spend the majority of their time and budget to attract new customers using marketing promotion activities e.g. advertising, social media, networking. In fact, they spend too much time and money on it.

All businesses need new customers but they also need loyal customers. Loyal customers give you repeat business. Loyal customers refer you to other people. Loyal customers do your marketing for you.

Focusing on getting new clients means constantly having to find new people to fill your sales pipeline. There is then a time lag as you wait for them to move from being leads to prospects to clients. Loyal customers have already been on that journey. Therefore, it is more effective to retain a loyal client than constantly replace them with “new” clients.


This diagram of the Customers Buying Journey clearly shows this.

You can see the stages all people go through when making any purchase decision. They have to become aware of your product or service moving to buying it and finally, becoming a loyal customer.

Now calculate all the marketing time and money you have spent to get them to Buy in. How much more would it take to help them become loyal as opposed to replacing them with new customers and starting again?

So as Bryony Thomas points out in her book Watertight Marketing, “Keeping the customers you spent money acquiring is essential to making a profit”.

Most people know this but they still focus their marketing on promotional activities to “get more clients”.

You have to remove the “more promotion, more awareness” attitude if you want your marketing to succeed and drive business growth.


2. Mental block two: You are not sure what your marketing is meant to achieve

Most businesses “do” marketing activities without a clear plan and intent behind them. Initially, they get away with this, sometimes for a long time.

However, if you want to grow your business, you have to not just “do” marketing but be very clear about the role of marketing in your growth strategy.

 This means having a clearly articulated:

  • Market proposition
  • Customer segments
  • Brand positioning with brand guidelines
  • Tactical Marketing Plan.

If you do not have these things in place, you will typically:

  • Give “woolly” briefs to marketing tacticians e.g. “just run a social media campaign about how great we are”
  • Be subject to shifting with the tide e.g.; “EVERYONE is using QQ – let’s use it too!”
  • Use the marketing tool that is presented in the most attractive way, rather than being right for your business e.g. “The ad guy offered us a great deal – I’m not sure our customers actually read it but we might as well go with it as it’s such a great price.”

If any of this sounds familiar, then you have a mental block that stops you from doing proper, focused, effective marketing planning. Remove that block and get a plan in place, so your marketing can help your organisation grow.


3. Mental block three: your attitude

These three statements show an attitude towards marketing that reveals limiting beliefs.

“My marketing isn’t working but I could do all this marketing stuff myself, if I had time.”

Underlying attitude: anyone can do marketing.

Limiting belief: marketing is a creative art not a business process that has to be learnt and applied.


“I’m successful and I’ve never done any marketing.”

Underlying attitude: I have nothing to learn.

Limiting belief: they’re just making up a load of cobblers; so called “marketing” is just common sense.


“We only do sales, not marketing.”

Underlying attitude: this is often based on genuine ignorance about the different between sales and marketing.

Limiting belief: not understand that sales is about skilfully “pushing” customers through the Buying Process and marketing is about “pulling” them through, or that any successful business uses a combination of sales and marketing techniques to build, grow, and maintain their customer base.


These attitudes stop Business Owners from realising what marketing truly is. Marketing is a business process that:

  • helps you identify peoples’ wants and needs, develop products and services to meet those wants and needs, and then help them find and use those products and services.
  • has to be learnt and applied.
  • Is built on years of theory, practical application and constant refinement.

If you wish to grow your business effectively, efficiently and sustainably, then you need to understand the process of marketing and how you can harness it in your business.



If you have any of these mental blocks in place and want to remove them, contact Kara Stanford.

Kara is an award winning Strategic Marketing Consultant who helps businesses grow and achieve the success they want.

Click here to send her an email and arrange a time to talk.

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