by Tony Vidler
You should always do a post mortem on marketing campaigns. There are always lessons to learn and apply to improve future marketing campaigns. Sometimes the ones with the greatest lessons are the ones that were a complete flop.
This the post mortem from one I observed – and did NOT approve of – from someone I was working with. It was not a “poor” campaign…or even a “bad” campaign….but a disastrous one. It was however actually a good idea which was well priced and a very suitable service for the target market. It looked from the start like it would struggle to resonate though for some very good reasons. But the good idea was launched nevertheless.
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.
This campaign achieved that.
With the benefit of objectivity and a little experience 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. The service being marketed was good and fairly priced.
Result: his brand sucked.
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 if we want to leave the door open to do business at some future point as well.
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:
A good idea is a great idea if the timing is right. A great idea is an awful one if the timing is wrong.
Think about it before hitting the launch button.