Savvy Speaks: Don't Try These Marketing Tactics!

Savvy Speaks: Don't Try These Marketing Tactics!
Savvy Sisters - Wed Nov 09, 2011 @ 03:30AM
Comments: 18

In the marketing world, wild schemes and hair-brained ideas abound. That's because some of them work - and when they hit, they hit big. Of course, for every one that hits, there are a dozen that fizzle. This week the Savvy Sisters provide some cautionary tales of B2B marketing tactics NOT to try at home (or at work, or anywhere else for that matter). 



Doing something for the sake of doing it

I know a really smart and talented book author who decided two years ago that he didn't have time to get a handle on Twitter so he decided to pay a small but ambitious group of 20-something social media gurus to establish a Twitter presense for him while he was going to be busy on a book tour. 

It was a disaster of epic proportions.  The tone of the social media interactions was wildly different than the tone of his books.  People who truly knew him and who came to his in person events were baffled by the difference.  In talking with him afterwards he confessed to me he thought he "needed" to be on Twitter so he pulled the trigger on something that was worse than not being accessible at all in that channel. 


Believing that more is more

I know we have all seen websites where thehy have a blog . . .  that hasn't been updated in months. Or a link to a Twitter feed  . . . that doesn't have much activity. 

More is not more, but rather it's often less. Don't jump on any activity simply becasue you see your peers doing it or it looks like a cool thing to do. Think about the time and resources it will take to do it well and make a plan to be consistent with your activity. 


Never forget your roots


So often in the rush to be on the “cutting edge” companies will use a campaign on even a tone of language that differs greatly from their message - the idea of how they want their customers to see them. What you end up getting is confusion on the brand and questions of authenticity from your audience.


Haven't you ever watched a commercial and then said “well that was interesting but what does it have to do with?..” Being creative for the sake of creativity is not being creative. It's just adding another layer that ends up hiding your true message.


There is a time and a place for creativity and instituting new and outrageously fresh ideas but in a world that is literally changing by the day, it can be very comforting and assuring to see that a company's message and commitment to the customer is solid and on point.   



Generating leads at all costs

While lead quality is getting more mindshare, some companies still push for more leads no matter what. When you focus on generating quantity over quality, you're likely going to find yourself handing out tchotchkes at trade shows and putting a registration form in front of every bit of content you produce. Worse yet, you're bound to hand leads over to sales that are a waste of everyone's time. Next time the call for "more leads" is trumpeted, marketing needs to present a cogent argument that shows the weakness of this 'strategy' -- and a plan to deliver sales-ready leads with a higher likelihood of converting.


The everyone-else-is-doing-it tactic

The world of marketing is cruising at hyper speed these days. New tools, technology, and philosophies abound. It can be a full-time job just keeping up with the latest, greatest widgets and strategic concepts. But - a word to the wise - don't get caught up in the heady allure of every shiny, new object that is dangled before you.

Though there is something to be said for being original, "out of the box," and "on the cutting edge," none of those things will work for you unless the risk you're thinking of taking is deeply aligned with your brand. In most cases, when something "wild and crazy" works, it's because - on some level - it was "right" for the brand that pulled it off. There was some connection between the stunt and the brand identity. 

If you try to make a run at one of these "fringe" tactics and don't bother to make sure it's a good match for you, chances are it'll fall flat. So choose your edgy opportunities wisely. What's good for one brand might be PR poison for another.  


Don't Run Off Half-Cocked

This is a true story. New-hire 20-something runs into the CEO of a rather stodgy old brand outside the big launch announcement for the company's new and improved websites. She says "Why don't we have all of our websites in a mobile format?" and dangles her new iPhone in front of his face. Sometime during the firestorm that followed, someone actually looked at the numbers and found out that only 1% of users even opened the company's email newsletter on a mobile device. Mobile app? Maybe in 5-10 years. The moral of the story is that before you go jumping in with both feet, stick a toe in the water first!


Seen any bold new marketing tactics that should have been left on the shelf?

Got any crazy ideas up your sleeve right now?

Comments: 18


1. Cathy Bishop  |  my website   |   Thu Feb 09, 2012 @ 02:22AM

Thanks Savvy Sisters, thanks for the warning about marketing tricks not to try. Sometimes, you have to be careful regarding too much "innovation" or out-of-the-box ideas which has never been done before since there's a danger that it may not work out--or may lead to ruin; as like your first example. Or perhaps these so-called "ambitious 20-something social media gurus" he hired, were indifferent to his campaign or perhaps they didn't see eye to eye.

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