Your brand ranks among your companies most valuable assets. It’s more than just a name and a logomark – it’s also your reputation. Whether you are a B2B company with highly specialized expertise or a consumer brand beloved by a wide range of audiences, protecting your brand’s equity and reputation should rank among your chief marketing priorities. In the quest to maintain a sterling reputation, be sure to prevent these common marketing nightmares from getting in the way.
The case of the broken link(s)
You write the perfect email to announce this year’s signature event. The copy is witty and actionable, the images are dynamic and the call-to-action is equal parts bold and compelling. And, you use your email analytics to inform the date and time the communication will be sent. Unfortunately, you notice a disconnect between the high open rates, strong click rates and nearly non-existent conversion rates. Behold, the broken link.
Before you pull the trigger on any communications – from email marketing to social media posts to media pitches – take the time to do a thorough Q&A check and ensure all components are working correctly.
The mystery of the missing information
Effective marketing hinges on the ability to put oneself in the shoes of the consumer/intended audience. What information do they need to know? What information will they want to know? What information is inconsequential?
In a world where nearly ever company, cause and individual is creating and disseminating content, it is critical to make sure critical information is both easy to find and easy to understand. Mobile users do not want to click through several links/pages to get to their end destination. And, one can’t assume people will be invested enough in learning about your product, service, event or promotion to take the time to complete the journey to conversion. Ensuring the right information is present in the right places is an important step so don’t hesitate to have multiple people review the final product before it goes live.
The impact of inconsistency
The original logo and the once timely anniversary logo. The only language platform and the new one. The former tagline versus the current. The original email masthead versus the most recent one. While these differences may seem insignificant at times, they all contribute to a case of brand confusion.
We’ve said it before – a brand ranks among an organization’s most valuable assets. A well-conceived and maintained brand equates to high levels of brand equity for an organization. It’s also an important step towards ensuring that people understand not only who you are but what you do – and ultimately why it matters.
Whether it’s your internal marketing lead or an outside marketing partner, ensure at least one party is responsible for being the gatekeeper and watchdog of brand consistency.
The lasting effects of poor timing
Deploying the right campaign at the wrong time can significantly diminish marketing ROI. When your target audiences are distracted by timely events or when disruptive events penetrate the marketplace and/or larger community it can be challenging to capture attention and drive action. To avoid this nightmare avoid:
- Sending marketing emails on days and at times with historically low open rates
- Deploying campaigns during exceedingly hectic business cycles (it takes a lot to engage a CPA during the throws of tax season, for example)
- Overlooking the sales cycle for your product or service as a driver of timing
- Competing with timely events (the media advisory for the garden club’s centennial gala isn’t going to break through media clutter when a natural weather disaster is looming)
By staying keenly aware of the dynamics of your company/cause, industry and the larger business and news cycles can all help keep the negative impact of poorly timed marketing at bay so be sure to keep your radar up at all times.
The plague of low consumption
It doesn’t matter how great your marketing is if nobody sees it. You can create the greatest video – tells a strong story, is visually dynamic, pulls at one’s heart strings, drives action – but if it sits on a YouTube channel with few subscribers it stands to make a limited impact.
If your content consumption is low on one specific marketing channel or across a wide range of channels, consider how you can cross-promote content to get it in front of more people. Further, evaluate whether there are strategic partners, membership associations or other third-party groups who can help to get your content in front of the right audiences. In addition to identifying additional content distribution channels, consider how tweaks to timing and content format may help to improve consumption. Remember, you want to test variables to improve impact but you don’t want to test too many at the same time and lose the ability to clearly identify which change(s) was/were most impactful.
Marketing can help business to achieve strategic goals, hone their competitive advantage and grow both share of voice and market share. However, it only takes a marketing nightmare or two to throw a well-planned program off-track. As you delve into the implementation phase of your marketing strategy, keep a watchful eye on quality and consistency, as well as other aspects which may deter performance and minimize impact.