marketing mistakes

5 Expensive Marketing Mistakes One Company Made in a Single Campaign

Pull up a chair, because it’s story time. Today’s tale is about five expensive marketing mistakes one company made in a single campaign and how you can prevent making the same ones.

Our story begins with an email I received from my local UPS store, where my company rents a mailbox. The email said I had a package to pick up. A package! So exciting!

The cashier handed me a very thick envelope with a return address in California. I didn’t recognize the company name, but who cares. I got a package! As soon as I got home, I ripped open the envelope and pulled out three beautifully produced brochures.

The brochures were printed on thick paper. The 1950s-themed images and graphics were gorgeous. The copywriting was fun and breezy.

What a great marketing tool, I thought.

Then I started digging deeper, and I found a horror show of mistakes. OK, maybe not a horror show, but I did find:

5 very expensive marketing mistakes

I included very simple lessons learned to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes.

Mistake 1: Their website is gated

I wanted to learn more about this company, so I looked them up online. I was directed to a landing page where I had to either create an account or log in to my account.

The website was gated. What the cuss? Who in their right mind does not allow a visitor to pop in and look around?

This was, by far, the stupidest marketing mistake I have ever seen.

Lesson learned: Do not make it hard for people to learn about you. Ever.

Mistake 2: They don’t tell me “about” themselves

Since I couldn’t learn more about this company on their website, I started reading the brochures very carefully. And I ran into another wall. Their brochures included a value proposition – always important – but no company information.

So here we are in 2018, and I cannot learn anything about this company. I do not work with anyone I don’t know, like and trust, so this company is already at a severe disadvantage. How can I like and trust them if they put up huge walls around them?

Lesson learned: See above.

Mistake 3: They have zero credibility-builders

Next I start looking for testimonials from happy customers. I flip through the pages. Nope. Nothing. Not one mention of a happy customer.

I only have their word – their very few words – to go on.

That’s not good enough. Consumers rely on recommendations and reviews when making a purchasing decision. Ignore this little fact at your peril.

Lesson learned: Weave testimonials and reviews into your marketing.

Mistake 4: They don’t include contact information

If I have any questions or want more information – which at this point, I don’t – too bad. Their brochures don’t include a phone number or email address. And because I can’t get onto their website unless I create an account, well, at this point I’m ready to chuck their stuff into recycling.

Lesson learned: Make it easy for people to reach you. If they can’t get more information, they’ll move onto your competitors.

Mistake 5: They did a crappy job targeting prospects

I don’t know what’s a bigger mistake – gating a website or sending a very expensive package to a company that’s not even a prospect.

If they had done their homework rather than blindly buying a list of marketing agencies, they would have quickly learned that my company is not their ideal client. In fact, we are not even a prospect. This company offers custom printing services for graphic designers. That ain’t us.

Lesson learned: The better your targeting, the better your marketing results.

So please, learn from these five ridiculous – and ridiculously expensive – marketing mistakes.

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

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