Marketing Strategies: Why Campaigns Fail

After a bombardment of emails, television commercials, and billboards, many marketing efforts either get lost in the crowd, or become total flops.

When it comes to the marketing design and implementation, the last thing you want is wasted investment dollars and dwindling sales. Even if your marketing seems like a bulletproof plan on the drawing board, there are a few shared characteristics that cause projects to go belly-up

Before we dive in on how to avoid a marketing disaster, simply give your ideas this 3-part test.

Is this marketing idea offensive?

Will this campaign be relevant to my target market?

Is this idea unoriginal or cliché?

If your answers are 3 distinctive NO’s, you stand on solid ground. But to avoid the failed marketing trap, read our 4 reasons why campaigns fall flat.

Avoid Cookie-Cutter Marketing

Let’s face it: marketing is everywhere. Your prospects are constantly inundated with limited-time promotions, massive discounts, and new service offerings every day.

It’s pretty much like white wallpaper or a humming refrigerator. Translation: marketing often goes unnoticed.

When promotion becomes formulaic, it’s easy for your marketing efforts to fall under the radar. In other words, make sure your offering doesn’t look exactly like all the others. That way, your promotion won’t become invisible.

Think of this in terms of a casual neighborhood stroll.

If you stumble upon a number of Victorians and cobblestone mansions, you’re more likely to pause for a look. But if you jaunt through a cookie-cutter subdivision, you won’t pay much attention to your surroundings.

Alienate the Audience, and Lose Them

Especially in marketing, the golden rule is paramount. Specifically, it’s important to treat everyone with kindness and respect. Sounds like a no-brainer, we know, but often companies alienate audiences in an attempt to be more visible.

PETA is no stranger to marketing controversy. Sure, the group promotes an agenda, and not a product, but the marketing goal of persuasion is the same.

After PETA plastered roadways with a billboard featuring an overweight cartoon and the caption “Save the Whales,” the audience understandably turned up their noses.

The purpose was to offer a new diet as a path to weight loss, but the content insulted the audience. By comparing people who want to drop pounds to whales, a good portion of the target marketing began to dislike PETA entirely (not just the ad itself).

Make sure you use a friendly tone. It’s not worth offending someone simply to make a point.

Concentrate on the Pain, Not the Product

Marketers often make the mistake of concentrating solely on product features and details. This method takes the spotlight off the customer.

Here’s a scenario: you’re driving down the street. Billboards whizz past your car windows. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a diamond ring billboard. The marketers have gone so far as to put LED lights to emulate the sparking diamond.

That company won’t sell too many rings, even on Valentine’s Day and during wedding season.

While the flashy part may be well done, the focus is all wrong. The most powerful marketing would delve into how the ring makes your partner feel, how it expresses your love, and symbolizes your commitment.

Will your partner feel loved?


Will your partner feel gratitude?


Will you look like the biggest romantic on the planet?

You bet.

If your marketing fails to go beyond what something is, it won’t project the true intention behind it. For resonate marketing, always give your audience more than the product.

Give them something to crave. It’s more about emotion, and less about products.

Drive the Message

Here’s some homework: turn on the radio, and listen to a handful of advertisements.

You’ll most likely hear a few commercials that ramble on about nothing, only to reveal the offer at the end.

Even if the content hooks the listener from the beginning, the message will fall short if you don’t get to the point.

On the other hand, there are marketing endeavors that lead to more questions than answers. In India, McDonald’s released a print advertisement featuring a baby wearing the famous Ronald McDonald makeup.

The ad made an impression, but it didn’t sell many happy meals.

Even the most astute marketer would have trouble identifying the purpose of such an advertisement. Buy more happy meals? Feel like a kid again? Laugh like a baby? The answer remains up in the air.

My point: even if you grab attention, you have to find your message, and drive it home to create the biggest impact.

For marketing that makes an impact and sales, check out our copywriting services.



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