Do your customers understand you?
It's a complicated world we live in, and it's tempting to believe that success comes from doing a better job of mastering that complexity than your competitors. Yet the reality is that merely doing the simple things consistently right will usually put you well ahead of the pack.
Marketing is a perfect example. It's a complex subject (as any number of consultants and experts can tell you) but its very complexity causes us to overlook the basics. Here's one of those basics now:
If your customers can't understand you they won't buy from you.
This is about as basic as it gets. If your customers can't figure out what you're good for and why you matter you don't stand a chance. This has always been true but modern technologies have made the problem much tougher. With so many competing distractions vying for attention the "engagement window" with most customers can now be measured in seconds. You must, must, must tell your story quickly and well.
There's not a lot of point in sophisticated marketing techniques if you can't tell a clear story. The good news though is that most of your competitors are still poor story tellers. If you can help your customers to quickly discern why they should care that you exist this alone could put you ahead of 95% of your competition. Then, and only then, will it be worth giving some time and thought to the more complex stuff.
A 15-second test
Quickly answer this question (a "gut feel" guess is fine): How long does it take a prospective customer to go from knowing you exist to knowing that what you do matters to them?
There's no correct answer to this question of course, but the longer it takes the bigger your problem.
Are you having trouble sorting out your story? A coach could help.