It was the perfect campaign, so why didn’t it work? Think of your marketing strategy as a soufflé – even with a no-fail recipe and fresh ingredients there is always a risk of failure. That is why serving a flawless soufflé earns you bragging points.
Coming up with the right marketing formula is as much luck as it is skill, but there are some grievous errors that will make your marketing soufflé fall flat.
Ignoring the Audience
In marketing, the target audience is everything. If you fail to recognize what will appeal to that target, then you created a recipe for failure. Let’s look at an example.
In 1996, McDonalds advertised what it considered a fine dining burger called the Arch Deluxe. Understandably, they wanted to change their image, but in doing so, they failed to acknowledge that their target customer base is not people looking for a fine dining experience. They ignored the fact that those who eat at McDonalds are going to balk at paying more for a dressed up burger no matter how fine it is.
Failing to Keep It Real
Go into a new project with realistic expectations or don’t bother. First, are you selling a product that people will buy? The DeLorean Motor Company made a stunning car that was an incredible piece of engineering but marketed it at a price few could afford.
The other side of this error is transparency. Marketing that misrepresents a product is doomed. Consider Nokia’s attempt to promote the new camera features in the Lumia 925. They demonstrated their Optical Image Stabilization, OIS, technology using a professional camera as if it were their advertised product.
We live in a PC world – accept it. Belvedere Vodka found this out the hard way when they used the tagline:
Unlike some People Belvedere always goes down smoothly.
The image that went with the ad was a woman being attacked. To add to their problems, the company allegedly used an image that was not their own and were sued for their trouble.
Trying to do what your competition does is called copycat marketing and it almost always backfires. A good example of this is when Microsoft tried to get people to stop Googling it and Bing it instead. Even the technology giant had to admit that didn’t come out right.
Focusing Too Heavily on Traffic
The goal of successful marketing is conversions – that is a metric that matters. If you set up and advertise a website, you may get lots of hits, but unless you create conversions, what do you really have? Not a marketing asset that generates income.
Most businesses focus on customer relationships, too. That means not just traffic, but return visitors. That is where effective content comes into play. A website content writer creates engaging posts that turn visitors into lifetime fans and reduces the bounce rate to improve conversions.
Even great campaigns fail sometimes, but avoiding some classic mistakes will improve your chance of creating a soufflé worth bragging about.
Darla F is a full time freelance writer published internationally and an award-winning author.