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Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Launching a marketing campaign is an intricate process that requires careful planning, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of the market and audience. We’ve worked on hundreds of brand campaigns, either to save them or ensure they have a successful launch.

Through our experience, we’ve identified common issues that can derail even the most creatively promising campaigns and that have caused some clients to reach out to us as their brand campaigns didn’t have the engagement that the creative team intended.

marketing manager thinking about the project

  • Let’s start with the poor target audience understanding

Understanding your customer should always stand at the top of your brand campaign planning and preparation as skipping this step eventually leads to all other marketing mistakes.

If you are still defining your audience as Gen Z or Millennials, you may need to reconsider your approach. It oversimplifies the multifaceted nature of consumer behavior and might be an obstacle to understanding your audience in detail.

Campaigns that fail to resonate often do so because they miss the mark on audience insights.

  • Not Conducting Preliminary Research

A brand manager’s job is to know every small detail about their customers' lifestyle, but customer data doesn’t tell you everything. Customer data may show common trends in behavior, but it will never uncover the reasoning behind these patterns. If you want to create brand campaigns that truly resonate with your customers, conducting preliminary qualitative research to collect consumer feedback is a must.

Case study: Oftentimes the creative team develops ideas for a campaign that are witty to drive engagement, but often they can be too witty and take too long to comprehend. We recently worked with a brand to evaluate perceptions of a name change as they continue to build more stores. We learned that the brand hadn’t done any preliminary research on the initial name, which made it easy for the name to change, but bad for brand loyalty.

  • Lack of Clear Objectives

Many campaigns start without well-defined goals, and some marketers fail to explain what they want to achieve with a specific campaign. Clear, measurable objectives are crucial to guide the strategy, inform research flow, and evaluate the results.

Case study: Oftentimes brands come to us with mock-ups for packaging or a campaign. The goal of the execution is to do everything. This lacks clarity for the research and lacks clarity in the outcome. This most often happens with Global brands when they need 1 message / design to do it all. When this happens we can use the research to figure out what is most important to the consumer. For example, is it about conveying it’s a ‘clean’ product or ‘effective’? This can help optimize the brand’s strategy moving forward. 

A brand's message is another asset that should be consistent across its legacy. Any minor inconsistencies confuse the audience and dilute the brand's identity, resulting in the opposite effect of what brand managers intended to achieve.

Halo Top is a great example of successful product rebranding proving that clear messaging is a key. As a part of rebranding efforts, they changed the packaging and it went from 10 messages to 4. Their strategy eventually resulted in the brand becoming the best selling ice cream in America.

halo top ice cream packaging

  • Overlooking the Competitive Landscape

Some marketers think that if the brand is doing well, they don’t need to worry about competitors. However, ignoring what competitors are doing can lead to missed opportunities and threats, making you take decisions in the dark. Awareness of the competitive landscape helps in differentiating your brand effectively and anticipating potential risks from other players in the category.

Case study: Our mission is to equip brand teams with the insights and tools needed to overcome these challenges and help them craft successful campaigns by remaining aware of what competitors' strategy is.

As an example of a poor competitors’ awareness we can explore the Peloton’s case. After gaining a huge success during the pandemic, the brand invested heavily in marketing its premium stationary bikes and subscription services, aiming to solidify its position as a leader in home fitness. However, its competitors like Echelon, NordicTrack, and even newer entrants offered more affordable and accessible home fitness equipment and digital workout options, appealing to a broader audience. Combined with several product recalls and negative press, it resulted in Peloton seeing a significant drop in sales and stock value, leading to layoffs and restructuring efforts to adapt to the increased competition and changing market dynamics. This could have been changed if the brand applied ongoing customer and competitors monitoring as a regular practice. 

By addressing these critical areas, brands can avoid common pitfalls and create campaigns that resonate with their audience, drive engagement, and stand out in a crowded market.


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