We’re an experienced team here at Wolf Pack Media, and we didn’t get to where we are in our careers without witnessing a few horror stories along the way.
We were chatting in the break room last week and got onto the topic of the marketing mistakes we’d seen people make in our previous jobs – and a few common themes started to emerge.
We’re not naming and shaming, but we thought we’d share some of the worst examples of “marketing gurus” that came up in conversation. At best these guys will waste your time and money – at worst they’ll seriously damage your brand – watch out!
1 – The hummingbird marketer
Quote: “We need to refocus on social. No, print. No, wait, video.”
Boundless energy and enthusiasm for new marketing ideas one minute, totally uninterested the next. They lack the patience to follow through on their plans, preferring to skip to the next problem or opportunity and start over.
Marketing is most effective when it’s consistent and swapping between ideas at a moment’s notice prevents you from building a compelling campaign, and from analyzing and testing it thoroughly. Stay focused, and see your plan through to the end, before deciding on the next idea.
2 – The broadcast only marketer
Quote: “Let’s push this out across all channels now.”
From emails to press releases to scheduled tweets, the volume of text that flows forth from their MacBook is astounding. Drowning in a sea of notifications, their prospects are left bewildered and overwhelmed.
Multi-channel marketing is an important part of any strategy, but there’s got to be some structure to it, and it’s just as important to pay attention to inbound information as it is to push out your own message.
3 – The information overload marketer
Quote: “Whitespace is wasted space”
This is the person who always has one more strapline to fit onto a poster, one more paragraph for the landing page, one more offer that absolutely must go into the newsletter.
Trying to be all things to all people rarely works out well. It’s important that any campaign has a defined purpose and audience and the message doesn’t get lost in the noise.
4 – The fashion victim marketer
Quote: “It’s like YouTube plus Snapchat but in 4D”
Dazzled by the bright light of whatever new app comes next out of Silicon Valley, this marketer struggles to focus on existing channels, instead of betting the farm on the next big thing.
Keeping on top of emerging trends is vital in the marketing industry, but not at the expense of tried and tested strategies. Portion off some time for new ventures but make sure that business, as usual, doesn’t suffer.
5 – The copycat marketer
Quote: “Why reinvent the wheel, eh?”
Produces new ideas with surprising speed, until you find out they’ve just been ripping off the competition or recycling old work. They might call it “inspiration” but there’s a fine line between that and outright theft.
There’s a reason that the best ideas make you think “Why hasn’t that been done before?” Originality and innovation are vital to truly effective marketing, as is authenticity. Customers can tell if you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes, and they won’t reward you for it. Nor will your “inspiration’s” lawyers.
6 – The last-minute marketer
Quote: “Is it Black Friday again already?”
Constantly playing catch-up and reacting to trends that have already grown whiskers, the last-minute marketer exists in a flurry of deadlines passing by them at increasingly worrying rapidity.
Keeping track of your marketing output, and ensuring it happens on time is a challenge, but it’s vital to get it right. A properly defined marketing strategy should include a content calendar to ensure you’re ahead of the game when planning campaigns around key events, so you’re not left in a cloud of your competitors’ dust.
7 – The black hat marketer
“You can totally get away with it – everyone does it”
There’s always a shortcut – whether it’s getting 10,000 likes in a day, suddenly topping the Yelp review board or tripling your website visits overnight – but when you get caught out, it’s not pretty.
Unless you’re selling dodgy medication or suspiciously cheap designer goods, you should steer clear of any strategy that seems too good to be true. In the long run, your reputation is going to suffer when you inevitably get found out, and you run the risk of being penalized or blocked by search engines, social networks, and email providers, leaving you out in the cold.
Of course, these personas are exaggerated, and the list is just meant as a bit of fun. But there’s an element of truth to all of them. If you spot any of these characters pitching you their services or interviewing for a job you should probably take a step back.
Speak to the professionals instead – it’s the sensible choice. We can offer expert advice on how to develop a personalized marketing strategy that suits your working style while achieving your goals – with no shortcuts.
Book an online meeting or give us a call to talk through your options today.
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