With marketing, success often depends on knowing what not to do as well as knowing what you should do. Today there are numerous online marketing opportunities, many of which are self-service. While that’s convenient, it can make it too easy for a company to get an ad campaign up and running. In fact, it might be so easy that a company doesn’t take time to think things through and ends up making a serious marketing mistake that can derail a campaign altogether. Here are 5 marketing campaign mistakes you should make the effort to avoid.
1. Piggybacking on Someone’s Misfortune
In September 2014, one of the biggest news stories was about NFL player Ray Rice hitting his wife, which shone a bright spotlight on the issue of domestic violence. Discussions of the topic on Twitter utilized the hashtag #WhyIStayed, and frozen pizza brand DiGiorno decided to latch onto that hashtag with the interpretation that it’s better to stay home and make your own pizza than go out for it. It did not go over well, and the company pulled its tweet using the hashtag a few minutes after posting it. But that was plenty of time for people to make screenshots of it, and the company had to do a lot of apologizing and responding to backlash as a result.
2. Failure to Proofread or Think Through Possible Consequences
Some marketing mistakes result from simple failure to double check and think things through. For example, General Motors tried a viral marketing campaign for people to create their own advertisement for GM SUVs. What they didn’t count on was environmentally conscious people using the campaign to create negative ads, something they might have realized was a possibility if they had thought it through more thoroughly. This type of carelessness, as well as unfortunate misspellings, URLs, or hashtags can also cause companies to pull ad campaigns.
3. Thinking Pre-Internet Marketing Simply Needs to Be Moved Online
Successful online marketing doesn’t just mean taking what worked before the internet and moving it online. The truth is, people behave differently with the internet and mobile devices than they did with old media. Potential customers have more control, choices, and information than ever, and what worked when print and television were dominant can’t just be moved online and expected to perform. Successful digital marketing must be relevant and it must reach the people it’s relevant to. Achieving this requires smart use of marketing data and an internet-age approach to marketing.
4. Thinking There’s a Single “Right” Message
Rare is the single marketing message that will resonate with your entire target audience. Today’s market is more diverse and fragmented than ever, and has more control over what advertising is taken in. Today’s marketing campaign must use marketing data to take multiple angles in the approach to product advertising. Different information should reach different types of buyers. Making a campaign general or bland enough to be used across the entire market isn’t effective, because people are skilled at ignoring or shutting out marketing messages that aren’t relevant to them.
5. Not Making Use of Your Data
Sometimes your instincts tell you one thing, but the data tells you something else. In today’s marketing environment, you have to act quickly and be prepared to understand the feedback you get from your campaigns. Marketing data can help you learn which ads receive clicks, which landing pages lead to conversions, and countless other metrics that you can use to market more effectively. The goal isn’t to get the most traffic, but to get traffic that counts, and using marketing data effectively allows you to do this. Don’t ignore the story your marketing data tells, even if it doesn’t tell the story you expected.
Marketing data is essential to making smart marketing choices, but you have to ensure your marketing data is of high quality. Low quality data will lead to faulty decisions, so you must take steps to validate the quality of your data, including timeliness, accuracy, completeness, and lack of redundancy.
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