Marketing MistakesBy Martha Simons

Marketing mistakes aren’t uncommon. We are human. We make mistakes.

But being a marketer is not only about creatively approaching business ideas, but also about taking great responsibility for your actions.

Whenever you have a new insight or come up with a fresh concept for your ad campaign you should think through every little detail very carefully and debate all of the possible outcomes in your mind.

There are countless examples of different kinds of marketing mistakes made in the past that make us laugh and wonder how on earth it happened.

However, anyone can find himself in a similar situation at some point in his marketing career so it’s better to be prepared for at least some of the possible negative consequences of the decisions we take and try to prevent them.

Following are four marketing mistakes that can be prevented.

Spelling and Grammar

One of the significant parts of marketing is creating emotional bonding with your customers.

Every little ad matters because it shows your attitude towards your target audience and communicates the core of your brand.

What happens when your prospective customers read a message containing spelling or grammar mistakes?

What does it tell them about the brand?

Nothing good, right?

Especially nowadays when the information is instantly shared through social media and your mistakes will be recognized by a considerable amount of people.

Take a look at this recent example of the Tesco Juice grammatical error and a boy who made big news by complaining directly to the UK grocery retailer and making them correct it.

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If you don’t want to find yourself experiencing such stressful emotions as Tesco did you might consider using some of these tools:

  • Grammarly: Its free version checks your spelling and corrects basic grammar errors. It works even when you post something using social media so there won’t be any mistakes on your brand’s official page. 
  • Essayhave: If you don’t want to worry about possible mistakes in your writing ask professional writers to help you. They can proofread your text and make it perfect.

Wrong Timing

You always have to analyze the political and social environment. Your ad campaign might be perfect but scheduled fro the wrong time and bring out some negative associations with your brand.

A good example of ignoring this rule can be the Starbucks campaign in 2002. 

It was less than a year after the tragedy of 9/11 and almost everything in that poster seemed to have a strong resemblance to the terrible events: Two drinks standing together reminded of the towers of former World Trade Center and there’s no need to explain what the dragonfly aimed to hit one of those drinks reminded everybody of…

Right after multiple complaints began to come in, Starbucks made the right decision to stop the campaign and destroy all the posters.

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Going Too Far with Creativity

Direct mail advertising is a great tool to personalize your messages and become closer to your customers, but try your best to end up with intriguing and sophisticated letters and not turn them into puzzling messages from an unknown stalker.

You think it’s impossible?

Fiat managed to prove otherwise in 1992 in Spain with the goal to promote their new hatchbacks targeted toward women.

They sent personalized letters to women from an unknown admirer using rather strange phrases which had very little to do with romance.

The biggest mistake was that they didn’t include any sign of Fiat branding and so it was impossible to realize that those letters just were some promotional materials.

Naturally, ladies panicked and Fiat had to cancel their activity.

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Cultural Differences

Before conquering new international markets with your product, be certain to learn their cultural environment aspects.

Practice shows that some of the marketing concepts which turned out to be successful for your home market can be confusing or even insulting overseas.

Proctor & Gamble learned that lesson during the launch of Pampers in Japan.

They used the idea of a stork delivering babies that is quite popular in the Western culture but has no references in the Japanese one.

The image of a stork was confusing to Japanese parents and they didn’t feel any bonding with the brand.

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Marketing Mistakes You’ve Seen

These are just some of the possible misfortunes a marketeer can come across.

The most important part of dealing with them is finding the right way to respond to it.

You shouldn’t panic or look for someone to blame for what happened.

You should apologize to your consumers and take the necessary actions to save the reputation of your brand and show everybody that you can take responsibility for your actions.   

What marketing mistakes have you seen that you can add to the list?     

photo credit: Lisa France’s Twitter feed

Martha Simons

Martha Simons is a copywriter from New York. She has five years of marketing experience and helps businesses become more visible for their prospective consumers.

View all posts by Martha Simons