by Tony Vidler
Somebody I was working with recently decided to promote this fabulous new business service idea, and it was a complete flop. Not a “poor” campaign…or even a “bad” campaign….but a disastrous one. A good idea…well priced…very suitable for the target market.
In fact, it was worse than that. Not only was there zero positive response, there was significant negative response. A “bad” campaign is one which generates more cost than revenue and we lose money…but a disastrous one poisons the soil for the future as well. We lose money and market credibility and future opportunity. We suffer brand damage.
With the benefit of objectivity and hindsight, as I merely observed the marketing campaign from a distance after the event, it seemed pretty obvious that it was never going to work well. The key reasons:
The person behind this great idea is smart, talented, diligent, enthusiastic and extremely knowledgable – but did a dumb thing. We are all capable of dumb things of course…I manage to squeeze in a good dozen or so dumb things every day myself, so I am terribly familiar with that complete DUH! feeling.
Whether we successfully sell a product or service in a campaign is nowhere near as important as how well we market our brand…our name and reputation. Getting a good commercial result matters of course, but the residual impression we leave of the brand is more important.
My brand is my future commercial opportunities. My future commercial opportunities will inevitably be of far higher value than any sales I can make in the next 4 weeks.
Everything we do in our marketing and brand promotion either enhances the brand position, or detracts from it.
The 5 key lessons for any professional following this Post Mortem Of A Marketing Campaign Disaster are: