6 Frightening Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

  • Categories:

    Inspiration, Marketing Insights

  • Date:

    October 27, 2022

6 Frightening Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Inspiration Marketing Insights

Marketers make mistakes. We’re human, after all. But some blunders can lead to blood-curdling consequences.

I polled people at Wray Ward to see what marketing menaces lurk in the shadows, ready to spook even the most talented teams. According to them, here are six frightening marketing mistakes to avoid.

1. Return of the Dead Marketing

If you don’t revisit and revive your marketing, it could come back to bite you.

“Don’t be haunted by old branding or stale content,” said Heather Dumford, creative director. “Make sure that as your company’s look and feel evolve, you audit and update each piece of active and discoverable content across all platforms to ensure consistency in both visual identity and tone.”

An annual audit of your marketing across every medium will help you identify what you need to eliminate, what could use an overhaul or what might just need a refresh.

2. Attack of the Clone Emails

Speaking of sending emails …

“One scary mistake is sending all of your subscribers the same version of every email you create,” said Liza Carter, marketing automation senior manager. “Subscribers in your database are interested in different products, need different educational content or care about different topics. Or maybe they do care about the same things, but for different reasons, and they expect a certain level of personalization.”

If there’s a message you think your subscribers would want to know, Liza encourages you to make sure you’re asking “What’s in it for them?” and tailoring the message for each audience, thinking critically about why they should care and what action you want them to take.

3. Mummy Messaging

This next mistake should be fairly simple to keep under wraps.

“Don’t let your messaging get dusty,” said Tom Weekes, integrated search director. Similar to undead branding and content, taking a set-and-forget approach to your performance media tactics can cause problems.

“Refresh advertising copy and creative to avoid ad fatigue,” Tom said. “Be on the lookout for new features and betas in advertising platforms, and adjust your approach based on what the data is telling you.”

As you’re dusting off your copy and infusing it with new life, you could also look for new ways to elevate your brand, such as zero-click content — content that offers valuable, stand-alone insights (or simply engaging material), with no need to click.

4. Content Strategy From the Black Lagoon

Creating an editorial calendar and calling it a content marketing strategy is a bone-chilling mistake. Unfortunately, it happens fairly often, according to Laura King Edwards, content marketing director.

“It can be so tempting to dive right in and start interviewing and writing,” Laura said. “But you’ll save yourself a lot of time, effort and marketing dollars — and achieve better results — if you develop a strategy first. Keep in mind that a true content marketing strategy includes not just who you’re talking to and the stories you’ll tell, but also how you’ll publish, promote, monitor and measure those stories.

“By brainstorming and building out stories right off the bat, businesses skip some of the most important considerations:

  • Who are we talking to?

  • What is their challenge?

  • How can content address said challenge?

  • What content assets do we need to create?

  • Where should we share our content?

  • What action(s) do we want our audience to take?

  • How will we measure success?”

5. A Skinless Brand Skeleton

While skeletons are everywhere this time of year, that doesn’t mean your brand’s marketing strategy should be one of them, said Joanne Lee, insights and brand strategy senior director.

“Your brand platform is the skeleton of your brand, but it’s up to you to put some meat on ‘dem bones by delivering authentic, tangible brand experiences that bring that skeleton to life.”

A solid strategy — like a skeleton — is a great place to start, but without the added muscle of smart execution, that plan might just be another pile of bones in a marketing graveyard.

“Remember the 5G’s of your strategic brand foundation: Ghosts, Ghouls, Goblins, Graveyards and Gore. No, wait … that’s not right. It’s C’s … the 5C’s: Climate, Category, Company, Competition and Customer.

“Ahh, that feels much better.”

6. Terrible Typos

Have you ever hit the send button on a big email and immediately wished you could get it right back? Don’t let unchecked emails become a source of fear, said Jennifer Voorhees, group client engagement director.

“Accidentally sending an email or communication that includes incomplete thoughts, misspellings or confusing verbiage is a nightmare,” she said. “Clear communication is so vital to our line of work. It’s easiest to simply check your emails before you send them, or, better yet, you could just pick up the phone and talk to the person.”

Jennifer suggests drafting your email first, before putting an address in the “to” line. This way, you can catch your mistakes and correct them without accidentally hitting the send button.

The End

Unfortunately, wrong turns can lead to scary results. By avoiding some of these easy traps, you can make it to safety and live to create better-performing work another day.

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