Good advertising is a lot like gourmet cooking. When it’s done well, it’s a masterpiece enjoyed by advertiser and consumer alike. But when it’s done poorly…well, that’s another story.
Poor marketing efforts are one of the primary reasons why 80% of startups and small businesses close within the first several years of operation. Your marketing has the potential to either make or break your company, so it’s crucial you understand what’s at stake.
As the saying goes, those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Make sure you’re not about to make a huge marketing mistake by learning from these seven bad marketing errors.
1. Launching A Campaign Without Proper Research
Starting a campaign without proper research is like building a house without a foundation. Sure, you may be able to finagle some walls together and call it a house, but it’s only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down on your head.
No matter how excited you are to launch your new campaign, it’s recommended that your team conducts a healthy amount of research beforehand.
Market research is a fantastic indication of growth opportunities, trends, and the audience likes and dislikes. You can even use market research to learn more about what tactics your competition is using.
2. Assuming Your Target Demographic Will Stay The Same
If you skimmed past that last tip thinking, ‘Well that’s no big deal. My team and I paid for market research years ago!’ you’re missing the bigger picture.
Advertising is a fluid industry. It’s constantly shifting and changing based on dozens of variables — many of which may not have been a factor at the time of your last research study.
It isn’t enough to use old, outdated information to inform your next efforts. An average advertisement costs thousands of dollars, even for something on a small scale. If you’re basing your campaign on older research, you’re making an unnecessary and dangerous gamble with your company’s funds.
Take the time to conduct up to date research. You’ll be shocked at how much has changed since your last campaign, even if it was only a few months ago.
3. Treating Negative Reviews Like The End Of The World
Your company is, without a doubt, near and dear to your heart. So when someone comes after you through a negative comment or review, it’s understandable that you may be upset, hurt, or even angry.
Be cautious about how you react, however. Mishandling negative reviews can undo any good you’ve achieved through previous branding efforts.
Don’t believe us? Walk into Amy’s Baking Company in Arizona and ask the owners. Although you’ll have a rather hard time doing so, as their constant Yelp and Facebook meltdowns caused the restaurant to shutter for good several years ago.
Yes, what you say and do on social media can come back to haunt you. So even if a customer is being unreasonable or downright rude, take the high road and stay professional lest you commit one of the next viral marketing fails.
Whoever first said that any publicity is good publicity clearly didn’t live in an age of screenshots and consumer influence.
4. Ignoring Demands For Content
Here’s the crazy thing about modern advertising: Consumers want to engage with your content.
If you give them fresh, interesting ways to learn about your company and its accompanying products and services, you’ll find a new generation of educated yet receptive consumers.
Content generation is one of the most essential components of a modern day marketing campaign. From video content to Facebook interactions to simple blog posts, if you publish it and publish it consistently, your audience will take an interest.
And not having the time or in-house resources is no longer an excuse you can afford. Learn more about how your team can hire some outside help to handle your content marketing. It may be the best money you spend throughout your entire campaign.
5. Placing Products Over People
Indeed, modern consumers aren’t interested in having a corporation talk down to them. Yet they are willing to engage and learn about the products they’re passionate about.
Audiences are more clever than ever, especially when it comes disingenuous advertisers. Should a potential customer feel like you’re a faceless corporation, they’ll take their money elsewhere.
Start focusing on the human elements of your company. Storytelling is a staple of modern marketing because it revolves around emotions and people, not sales tactics.
Bad marketing campaigns are those that place revenue over the customer. Don’t be afraid to use an emotional hook in your advertising as long as it’s genuine.
6. Using Outdated SEO Techniques
It’s quite difficult to keep up with Google’s latest SEO changes. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you can afford to miss out on new opportunities. Set alerts for SEO updates so you won’t have to worry about getting caught by surprise ever again.
What happens if you do choose to ignore it? A variety of potential outcomes could occur.
Your site or content could become de-indexed, for instance, removing it from Google. Or you could funnel thousands of dollars into a campaign only to fall to the third or fourth results page due to your outdated website.
Navigating the digital waters is quite tricky, but a few minutes of research today could save you some massive headaches tomorrow.
7. Failing To Take The Cultural Temperature
It may be tempting to use current events as a crux of your next advertisement. We can’t say this enough: Don’t do it.
Learn from Pepsi’s massive advertising fail a few years ago. If you somehow missed the controversy, Pepsi decided to use a recent string of protests as the base of their commercial.
With police officers on one side and protestors on the other, it was up to none other than Kylie Jenner to save the day as she handed an angry officer a Pepsi as he and his team moved in toward the protestors.
What does this have to do with selling soda? Nothing. And it caused a massive outroar so powerful that Pepsi pulled the ad out of rotation for good.
Learn From These Bad Marketing Mistakes Before It’s Too Late
Bad marketing is more common than you think, but that’s no excuse. Learn from these marketing fails to better inform your current and future advertising efforts.
Get in touch for your free reputation audit and see what audiences have to say about you and your branding.