Blog Banner June

How to destroy a marketing campaign in one swoop

How to destroy a marketing campaign in one swoop

Source of image: Kissmetrics

The old adage "two heads are better than one" can be the most costly decision a small business owner can ever make especially when it comes to marketing campaigns.

Everyone has an opinion and while that is great in some circumstances, it can be to the detriment of the company in others.

In my 20 years of marketing, I have seen marketing campaigns succeed and fail due to two many opinions being accounted in the developmental stage of a campaign.

In fact, more campaigns have failed than I care to remember because there have been too many opinions that have killed the original idea with one fatal swoop.

The most evident complaint as a marketer that I have is that clients want too much clutter. They want to say everything in every single campaign. Yet, if you look at the most successful campaigns in the world, they all have one thing in common - they are simple. They have only one main "hero" call to action and perhaps three key points in total.

Likewise, when developing a website, often clients share the website design and content with a number of people. There is always one person with the strongest personality that tends to over-ride every other person. Unfortunately, that person may be technical but may not have any idea on what motivates a client to buy from the company or the language and tone expected from a visitor to the website.

Of course, it can work the other way as well. Just ask JC Penney's former President who was publicly blamed for a marketing campaign failing, although we do know that it is impossible that in one organization of this magnitude that only one person would to blame.

Some areas to consider when looking at the overall design according to KissMetrics is that for many shoppers, poor website navigation and poor overall design is the reason why people choose not to purchase from a particular website.

Wording is also paramount and sometimes it doesn't necessarily need to be grammatically correct - certainly not in the old English dictionary kind of way.

According to Experian Marketing Services, the use of the words "you" and "your" i subject lines has increased by 3.7% since 2008, appearing in more than 20% of all email marketing campaigns.

When in an advertising campaign or getting dressed for that matter "less is more" the same cannot be said for your website. Companies with 30 or more landing pages generate 7 times as many leads as those with fewer than 10. (Source: Hubspot).

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

comments ( 7 )
  • Alisha Watford
    Alisha Watford
    09 Mar 2013

    Interesting article! Goes back to the fundamentals.
    I think a good marketing campaign is one that knows what its message is and I think consumers can tell when a campaign doesn’t know exactly what it’s trying to say. It seems that most successful campaigns I can think of focus on providing one brand message or solution through communications to achieve one goal or even more than one goal.

    Having too many opinions or too much to say, can confuse not only the goal, but also the message, the brand’s priorities and consumer priorities so that the effectiveness of the campaign is diluted and mediocre. Cutting through the clutter seems to work with simplicity in conjunction with the right focus and right execution strategy.

  • Amanda Flynn
    Amanda Flynn
    06 Mar 2013

    Campaigns need to have a clear simple message to engage the customer so that message is recalled by them and stored in their memory which stands out from the rest of the information being presented. I also agree websites are very important they need to have clear links and trigger points so that they are easy to navigate for customers to find information and the customer isn't searching for their needs it is standing right in front of their face saying "look at me".

  • Cara-Jane Feingold
    Cara-Jane Feingold
    27 Feb 2013

    I agree, these days people are so busy and there is so much out there, ads need to memorable and stand out. Going with simple slogans for example are a lot more memorable than long phrases. For such as Google 'search' is memorable, it takes far more skill to get the message across in a simple phrase than to post all the information out there.

    On the other hand, there are ads that are simple, but do not display what the brand/product actually is.

    In terms of websites, navigation is key. People are impatient and any site that takes too long to find what you are looking for just causes frustration. Websites that are too simple tend to be less successful as people cannot find the information they need.

  • Arnaud
    25 Feb 2013

    Nowadays it's clear that customers' life is more and more stressful and that they don't get time anymore to spend to decrypt the main message in a wide marketing campaign.

    More than ever I believe that marketeers must develop simple tools and simple messages which will be more efficient.
    As marketeer if we want to develop a wider campaign, we can do it of course but we have to be consistent.
    We must draw a way to be followed by the entire company to avoid the fact that too many opinions could kill the original key idea you decided previously.

    Finally I'm convinced we can't do everything in one single campaign. We have to focus on one key message to convey to be clear and simple to consumers, at the right moment.

  • Melinda
    25 Feb 2013

    I could not agree more with you on how too many opinions can cloud a decision. The unintentional confusion and disarray of the message may then be translated to the consumers. Sometimes, we just have to rely on gut instinct and go for what 'feels' right. Having one trusted and valuable opinion is better than having numerous differing view points. Maybe they felt the need for more opinions due to an original lack of confidence in their ideas? Maybe they just needed reassurance? At the end of the day, the 'head' doesn't always beat the 'heart' and this may be conveyed in a campaign's authenticity.

  • Manon
    25 Feb 2013

    I agree, companies should pay attention to many details in their campaigns and try to making their campaigns very simple and easy to understand with a key message.

  • Emma
    22 Feb 2013

    I think that the simple campaign is an effective campaign. Of course there are exceptions but in this day an age with so many marketing messages trying to grab our attention having a long winded marketing campaign will more likely fail because people are to busy to give their attention for that long. Complicated campaigns are also a lot harder for consumers to retain and recall because there is too much information. If a consumer feels like they are being fed to much information they will shut down and completely block it out. Simpler is more direct.
    Although a campaign that is too simple may not grab attention and wont give enough information for consumers to understand the marketing message.
    You have to find that fine line to break through the clutter to have a successful campaign!