How to Fail at Marketing
There are many reasons why small businesses fail in marketing. One of the most common reasons is the lack of a coordinated, integrated marketing plan. Without a plan, it’s difficult to know what steps to take and how to measure progress.
Additionally, small businesses often lack expertise and may not have the budget to hire outside help. Finally, financial interests can be misaligned, with owners and marketing staff working towards different goals.
- Internal Staff Hire your marketing team internally, instead of hiring agencies. This helps you fail by increasing your costs, taxes, liability, and puts the responsibility on you to go through the long, often expensive process of finding actual talent. If you use a digital marketing agency, they cost a fraction of staff and can be fired as needed without all of the HR misery. An agency also comes equipped with all the knowledgeable and experienced marketing professionals and industry experts needed to ensure every digital marketing campaign will be a success. Since they are also hired on a per project basis, you would not need to pay for any retention fee because once the project is done, they’d gladly pack their bags and leave. An agency might even mean you don’t get sued for wrongful dismissal later…and what fun would that be?
- Embrace Nepotism – If you are truly going to be successful at failing, then you certainly should hire your nephew to build your website, your cousin to generate your graphics and handle your social media marketing, and your sister’s unemployed boyfriend to run your digital marketing strategy. Make it a family business even if they have no idea what they’re doing. If you make the mistake of hiring actual experts, you end up with projects on time done right with measurable positive outcomes, and with awkward things like the ability to walk into an office and not step over empty Dorito bags and bongs on your way to your chair.
- Run Your Own Paid Search – I have personally seen companies throw away millions of dollars in a few months simply by running ads through platforms they do not actually understand how to use. This is perfect for speeding up failure. Every social media platform has their own algorithm and what works with one will not necessarily mean it will work on the other. Social media marketing is an intricate facet of marketing that needs time and effort to master. It’s not just having a lot of followers or paying an influencer for a shout out. So, better to leave running your paid ads to experts to avoid wasting your resources.
- Accept an SEO Offer Email – So you have screwed up and hired an SEO expert. You are not sure what they are doing, but they sure seem to be making a lot of progressive changes to your website and content. If this keeps up, you may accidentally rank on top pages of search engines, and this could result in an increase in organic traffic to your website, a rise in your conversion leads, boost in sales and a surge of loyal and repeat customers. Thankfully we all get emails from (insertnamehere)@gmail.com offering to do our SEO for virtually free. Who would not want to pay for the services of an “expert” for practically nothing? Respond to the first one in your inbox, tell them they are hired, and fire your SEO expert immediately. Congrats! Failure is guaranteed now.
- Yell At/Don’t Pay Your Marketing People – To get really good at digital marketing, exp erts first learn what not to do. One little change here, one post there, some links bought here and your company’s entire online profile can vanish. If you have someone this talented, you are in danger of achieving success online. The best thing is to yell at them profusely, doubt their expertise, breathe down on their necks and question their methods or just not pay their invoices. They would certainly love that. Within a few days, you can watch as your entire pipeline dries up and in no time at all, you will be a successful failure and will be the subject of market research on what not to do.
- Ignore Analytics – Data has an annoying way of showing you what you should do to improve your business and achieve your goals. After all, numbers don’t lie. If these are implemented correctly, it becomes really difficult to fail. Especially with things like attribution models now available. Best to just ignore analytics entirely.
- Ignore Expert Advice – Sure that fat guy with the coffee across from you has 20 years’ experience in all things marketing related, but you ate your Wheaties this morning, and are confident that you already know how things need to be done. Now kick that guy out of your office before his intelligence accidentally makes you come to your senses. It is important to avoid anything rational in this situation, or risk achieving the failure you truly desire.
- Hire A 360 Company – A smart executive/manager knows that the best way to run agency relationships is to pick multiple agencies for their specialties. This way if the company running radio ads seems to be doing well, and the company running your digital marketing is doing well, but the company running your TV ads is failing, you can just fire the TV ad company and replace them with another one. This means no disruption to your other channels, and your company hangs on to the dexterity a successful business requires to grow. It’s just a logical digital marketing strategy. You can see how that might screw up your goal of failing…so better to just find a company that claims to do all of those things and give them your whole budget. They will be able to wrap their tentacles around everything you run, and in no time, you will be at their mercy. Soon enough you will run out of money, and you will officially become “Fail Master”.
While there are many potential pitfalls to avoid in digital marketing, the good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone. At VonClaro, we work with businesses every day to help them succeed online. We know the dos and don’ts of effective digital marketing and can help your business stay on track while avoiding these common mistakes. What mistake are you most likely to make in your digital marketing? Let us know so we can help steer you clear!