If you managed or sponsored performance marketing projects in the past, you have surely seen a few of them fail. Would you like to improve your “batting average”? If the answer is YES, let’s try to understand the primary root cause behind most disappointments.

Before I give you “my answer” I want to share the results of a little experiment. I went to 6 different Facebook advertising groups and posted a poll asking what marketers thought about the main reason marketing projects fail. Here are the multiple-choice options provided in the poll:

  • Wrong offers
  • Wrong funnels
  • Wrong channels
  • Broken/insufficient tracking
  • Weak/insufficient research
  • Bad creatives/content
  • Bad targeting/data
  • Wrong optimization settings
  • Not enough testing/experimentation
  • Product fulfillment problems
  • Lack of budget/resources
  • Wrong/unrealistic goals
  • Insufficient expertise/training
  • Too many confusing decisions
  • Not having a coach/mentor

The result was both surprising AND predictable

There was very little commonality between the top answers in the 6 groups. Of course, the poll was not scientific and Facebook’s polling algorithm randomized the options, potentially skewing the vote. So here are the top results (for 5 groups where the poll was allowed to remain):

Polls’ Top #1 Failure Reason

  • Bad targeting/data
  • Wrong/unrealistic goals
  • Wrong offers
  • Bad creatives/content
  • Not having a coach/mentor

Polls’ Top #2 Failure Reason

  • Weak/insufficient research
  • Wrong offers
  • Bad creatives/content
  • Weak/insufficient research
  • Wrong offers

As we can see the top result is all over the place. However if we look at the Top 2, we see repeated mention of the problems with offers,  creatives and research. Is this enough to agree that these are the most important things? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Most of the items on the list got mentioned, so we could at least conclude that any item on the list could cause a project to fail.

Then where is that #1 Reason that I promised to reveal?

Most Failed Projects Share the #1 Root Cause

The #1 Reason actually reflects the fact that “there is no single reason”

If any one of so many issues could tank a marketing project, the real problem is having blind spots in project planning and execution. Blind spots happen when ANY of the potential issues are not being accounted for or properly managed. You could have a bad offer, or bad creatives or bad targeting, or a product fulfillment problem, or any combination of those. To maximize the chance of success ALL the issues have to be addressed proactively.

The #1 Reason Marketing Projects Fail Are the “Blind Spots” in Planning & Execution

The Solution is Obvious

To cover all bases and eliminate the blind spots, you need to have comprehensive checklists that address all the possible things that could go wrong (and then some) for the entire lifecycle of the project. As the old proverb goes, forewarned is forearmed. Don’t speed up towards failure with insufficient planning!

Did I mention that we happen to have just the right set of checklists that cover all the issues mentioned? They generate 50-100 page Roadmaps that cover everything. Reach out for a demo to learn more.

Dmitriy Kruglyak
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Dmitriy Kruglyak

President at TargetChoice LLC
Data Geek. Process Fanatic. Growth Hacker

Making Advertising Profitable for Businesses

Building Marketing Tech since 1998
Dmitriy Kruglyak
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