May 28, 2014 Written by 
Let’s be honest.  Generally, businesses in general are happy to celebrate their wins, and sweep their losses under the rug.  We drink champagne when our marketing strategies work, and suck lemons when they don’t.  But the minute we stop running from our failures, we can stop and examine them to find solutions and refine our approach. 

Not every marketing campaign comes to fruition; sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  Let’s get very honest and face the five possible reasons yours flopped:

  1. It was all planning and no execution.  The planning process is so satisfying that it often leaves people with the feeling that they’ve accomplished far more than what they’ve actually done.  Ignore the rush of ‘Wow! Look at all those ideas and figures! I’m SO productive!’ and move forward to implementing your plan.  Your marketing strategy may span a thousand pages, but it has no worth until it is actioned. 
  2. You didn’t push the envelope.  Your marketing plan may have good content and safe and attainable goals, but have you ever heard of a ‘nice objective’?  Neither have we.  Don’t play it safe – your marketing strategy should light fires, gain attention and having everyone wide-eyed screaming “Can we actually do that?”
  3.  You targeted one person: yourself.  Passionate marketers can easily turn their campaigns in to self-serving disasters.  At every stage of mapping out your strategy, remind yourself of your target audience and who you’re trying to please.  Although you must believe in your product, at the end of the day, you’re not the one buying it. 
  4. Overeaching.  Ambition and insanity go hand in hand, and while risk-taking is an essential component to every successful marketing campaign, attempt to balance your realistic and seemingly unattainable goals.  You’re better off focusing on three main objectives (two within arm’s reach and one utterly ridiculous) then setting forty exciting objectives.  Most marketing campaigns work better with fewer goals, and more time allowed to accomplish them.  
  5. Your plan wasn’t integrated and multi-dimensional.  If you’re a devotee of single method marketing, you should probably stop reading.  We cannot begin to help you.  For a marketing campaign to be successfully you need multiple initiatives working concurrently, complimenting each other and exhausting several channels at once.  Basically, if your strategy doesn’t scare and confuse you at one point, you haven’t done enough work on it.
  6. Your team sucks.  They’re known as ‘Armchair Advocates’; people who have the loudest opinions and several ideas, and are notorious for putting zero of them in to action.  Armchair Advocates are drawn to marketing campaigns like bees to honey, and initially, their enthusiasm and energy is very attractive.  Ensure the people you’ve entrusted to implement your marketing campaign are going to add value to the process from start to finish.
What have you learned from a failed marketing campaign?  We’d love to hear your story on Twitter or Facebook

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Anna James

Anna James is an experienced, doggedly determined journalist with a passion for business and creative PR. Starting out in publishing, Anna loves putting together a good story and has written across a multitude of genres and styles for a varied audience. A former sports reporter, Anna shifted her focus to entrepreneurial blogging and regularly contributes to Entrepreneur Magazine and Bigcommerce. Launching her freelance writing company in 2013, Anna has worked for Woman’s Day, Fox Sports, NSW Parliament, FilmInk Magazine, xoJane and several other publications.

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