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7 signs your digital marketing strategy is no longer working

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Any meaningful digital marketing strategy takes time and money to put together. That dedication can include days, weeks, or even months of brainstorming, research, analysis, strategizing, testing and more, leveraging the skills and collaboration of some of your best and brightest to create something that helps your brand shine.

But even the best-planned digital marketing campaign can sometimes stall and reach a point where it no longer adds value to your business or brand-building efforts. When that happens, the hard work you’ve put into that strategy can make it extremely difficult to pull the plug, even if it pushes your patience and budget to the limit.

Still, there will come a time to let things go and make way for a new digital marketing plan. Here’s a look at seven common signs that it’s time to break from your digital strategy and start something new.

Related: Why a good digital PR strategy is so important

1. The value is not there

One of the main signs that you need to put the brakes on your digital marketing campaigns is a moderate level of value. Determining that value often comes down to taking a hard look at the numbers, such as what you spend on advertising, organic marketing, social media marketing efforts, etc., versus what you get in return.

If your costs far outweigh the revenue, or you can’t even afford your digital marketing expenses, it’s probably time to rethink your strategy.

2. Your campaign is working overtime

The Internet is a vast, complex organism. Implementing a multifaceted marketing campaign across multiple digital channels and making a measurable impression on your customers can sometimes take time, not to mention a degree of patience. With some strategies, it can even take months or more to really see the results you expect — or to get a good sense of how close you are getting to your digital marketing goals.

That said, when a digital marketing plan starts to linger a little too long past the strategy deadline — failing to produce the timely, positive results comparable campaigns deliver — it’s time to hit the reset button.

Related: 6 Marketing Stats Every Business Should Track

3. Strategy adjustments make no difference

Ever struggled to salvage a failing digital marketing strategy? If you’ve started tweaking various elements or tweaking marketing tactics to salvage a campaign, but the results aren’t getting any better, then pulling the plug is probably the best option.

In some cases, making important strategy adjustments at the right time can change a marketing plan. But if those mid-game pivots don’t make a difference, you’re better off spending your time on other ways to support your brand and long-term business goals.

4. You threw in the sink

Sometimes the inability to give up a digital marketing plan can lead to serious overreaction. This generally means that even after exhausting all the ideas and digital marketing tactics in the book, leading marketers will continue to pounce on the problem, ultimately turning a poorly performing campaign into a counterproductive fiasco.

If you’ve tried everything in the online marketing playbook, but still aren’t seeing any returns, there’s no shame in keeping that strategy on the shelf and moving on.

Related: 5 Mistakes In Social Media Marketing To Avoid

5. Things work the other way around

Do you see more red than green in your weekly digital marketing performance reports? Down arrows happen, but when those negative results start to become a long-term trend, it’s a pretty good indicator that your digital marketing strategy framework needs a refresh, if not a complete replacement.

By analyzing strategy performance thoroughly and frequently, you can closely monitor negative trends and stop digital marketing initiatives before they become a significant drain on your budget.

6. Other Digital Marketing Strategies Are Increasingly Popular

From search engine optimization and content marketing campaigns to email marketing and paid advertising plans, it’s not uncommon to use multiple digital marketing strategies at once. And if all but one digital strategies strike the right note and deliver results, it may be time to deter that underachiever and focus your efforts on something better.

In other words, don’t let a bad apple spoil things. When a bad campaign threatens to unravel what works, stop it quickly.

Related: 4 Ways to Manage Your Next Brand Crisis and Come Back Stronger Than Ever

7. You Get Bad Vibes

You can be proud of the marketing strategy you have drawn up. But as much as you believe in it, if it gets a mostly negative response from the public, it’s probably time to pull the plug. Online negativity can quickly spiral out of control, and the sooner you tackle that problem at the source, the sooner you can and should stop the bleeding and go back to the drawing board.

Upsetting your target audience is a sure sign that your digital marketing efforts need a reboot.

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