The Worst Marketing Mistakes You Can Make – Part 2
Last week, we talked about some marketing mistakes that are essential for companies to avoid. Those mistakes included being too vain, and relying too much on authority. You can read Part 1 of our blog post here.
Here are some other marketing mistakes that are essential to avoid.
According to the story of the wolf in sheep’s clothing from Aesop’s fables, a wolf who comes upon a sheepskin puts it on and hides within a flock. However, the disguise works all too well and the shepherd mistakes the wolf for a sheep and slaughters him for dinner.
This relates to modern marketers because if you are being too insincere, then there is a high risk that you will be found out. With all the different platforms out there, you won’t be able to fool anyone for too long. According to Sachs, Fiji Water ran into a huge problem when the company attempted to lure environmentally conscious consumers to its product that actually had a high carbon footprint by claiming it would use offsets to become carbon negative. However, upon closer examination of Fiji Water’s plan, it became obvious that the company was calling itself carbon negative by giving itself credit for FUTURE actions the company said it would take over the span of the next 30 years! This then resulted in a lawsuit and with a lot of terrible publicity..”You want to reach out to a new audience but you can’t deliver on that promise,” Sachs says. “Better to be true to yourself and have people come to you.”
Here is one of the most memorable lines from the Wizard of Oz that shows the downside of pretending to be bigger than you are: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
Companies can get so caught up in thinking they can speak in a God-like voice and have people listen. However, it is a more effective strategy to find our own unique and human voice that people can relate to. “Finding that human voice is a step that marketers so often miss.” Says Sachs. It’s a particularly crucial step for small businesses, whose customers are keen to see the human beings behind all of their products.
The mistakes of gimmicks can be related to the story of King You of Zhou who repeatedly calls out his warriors on a false alarm so he can get a laugh out of his difficult trophy wife. The rest of the tell becomes obvious: The kingdom genuinely does come under attack, but all the warriors stay home because they think it’s another trick.
Having a sense of humour is good for marketing strategies, but can also backfire if you are trying too hard to be funny. According to Sachs, this is why most SuperBowl ads aren’t very effective when it comes to selling their products. It’s great to use emotion and humor to connect with your audience,” he says. “But if you jump right to ‘How do I make this funny?’ you can wind up bending over backward to make that connection, and you can undermine your message and your brand.”
This concludes our two-part blog series on The Worst Marketing Mistakes You Can Make.