“Facebook doesn’t work.” “Advertising doesn’t work.” “‘Brand ambassadors don’t work anymore.” Maybe. But for most equestrian businesses, the real problem is not a tactical one. It’s a strategy problem.

While certain channels and tools work better than others – and it changes all the time, it’s easy to point the finger externally when something doesn’t work. But what if your marketing strategy was faulty? Your message wasn’t that appealing? There was no brand story, nothing that connected the brand to consumers emotionally? Maybe that’s the problem. Without a good marketing strategy and strong execution, everything will end up not working. 

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Years ago if you had a good product, you could get away with average marketing and have success. You sponsored some riders, went to horse shows, put it in tack shops, people bought it, they told their friends and voilà. That’s not enough anymore. The market is ruthless now. Attention spans have decreased. New brands are popping up left and right. Helmet companies are now selling breeches, horse equipment companies are coming out with equestrian fashion lines, everyone is doing all the things. If you’re not connecting with the audience in a meaningful way, people don’t even see you.

Legacy brands and retailers have the advantage of an established client base that purchases out of habit. But those consumers are being replaced by mobile-first, digitally-native ones. Smaller, creative startups that understand how to appeal to today’s customer are gaining traction. That’s why it’s important to look beyond tactics and ask yourself if your marketing strategy is the right one.