A marketing backfire (also called a marketing mistake, marketing blunder, or marketing fiasco) is a situation where a business or marketing team made a blunder during the marketing process, especially when it comes to mistakes that result in poor ROI. If you’ve ever read the classic “The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing,” you may have heard this term used in relation to the modern field of digital marketing, or any other field for that matter.
In marketing, a marketing backfire is the result of a poorly executed marketing campaign.
What are marketing backfires?
A marketing backfire is a situation where a marketing campaign either failed to achieve the goals or objectives it set for itself, or failed to achieve the results that a marketing team set out to achieve. This could be because the campaign was executed poorly or incompletely.
For example, the company you’re reading this article about had a marketing backfire when they launched a new product that wasn’t as anticipated.
Or maybe your company had a marketing backfire years ago, but you don’t even think about it anymore.
What are the 5 most common marketing backfires?
A marketing backfire is a situation where a marketing campaign failed to achieve its goals or objectives, or failed to achieve the results that a marketing team set out to achieve. It’s a situation where the goals and objectives were set too high, or where the team failed to deliver on the results that were expected.
The 5 most common types of marketing backfires are:
1. Planning for the wrong audience
Planning for a marketing campaign is the first step in executing it. In general, the more detailed the planning, the better. For example, if a marketing team sets out to create awareness about a new product, but ends up trying to attract high-value consumers who don’t plan to buy the product, the campaign had a bad case of planning for the wrong audience.
2. Not creating enough content
Marketing content, or blog posts, are meant to attract website traffic and build brand awareness. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a lot of time and effort to create enough content.
3. Failing to track metrics and KPIs
It’s important to track data throughout the marketing process to ensure that everything is working as planned. Unfortunately, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned, and it’s not always clear why. It’s important to set clear KPIs that define what success looks like for the marketing team.
4. Not tracking the right metrics
For example, if a marketing team puts too much effort into tracking social engagement, but doesn’t measure how many people actually read the posts, the team has a marketing backfire.
5. Failing to measure the right metrics
This is a situation where the marketing team is constantly measuring, but they aren’t measuring the right metrics.
What to do if your marketing backfire has been a disaster?
Many marketing teams are quick to blame the client for their marketing backfire, but this isn’t always the cause. If a marketing team is constantly trying to make changes and updates to a campaign or website without any real plan of action, this is a sign that something is off.
Once the decision is made to make a change, it’s important to have a plan of what to do next. When things don’t go as planned, it’s important to look at the situation and see where you went wrong.
One of the best ways to know if a marketing backfire has happened is to look for changes in the metrics. If the metrics don’t match up after a change is made, it’s a sign that something needs to be changed.
When a marketing backfire happens on your watch, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to help the team fix the problem.
1. Ask questions and make sure the team knows what they plan to do
One of the first things to do when a marketing backfire happens is to make sure the marketing team is properly informed of the situation. A key part of this is asking questions.
A great way to do this is by setting up a meeting with team members who are responsible for a specific aspect of the campaign.
Ask them what the goals were, what the strategy was, and what the results of the campaign were. Be sure to let them know that you’re there to help them with their goals and objectives.
2. Get your team to sit down together
Don’t make this a one-and-done conversation.
It’s important to set up a meeting with every member of the team, even if it’s just the CMO.
The idea is to sit down and talk through what went wrong, what you are going to do (and what wasn’t done), and how to fix it. This meeting should be a team effort with everyone being involved.
3. Have a plan for the next steps
Make sure everyone knows what they can do to fix the backfire.
This includes things like getting more information from the client about what the problem was and how they want the company to improve.
In the meeting, make sure everyone knows what the next steps are, and that everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done.
4. Look at the results
Use the results of the meeting to determine what to do next.
If you have the data from your meeting, you know what went wrong.
Review the results of the meeting and see if there are any recommendations from the team.
If there are, implement them and get on the same page about what needs to be done going forward.
5. Focus on the future
It’s important to focus on the future, not on the past.
If this is a situation where you have a marketing backfire, it’s important to look at what went wrong. Then look at how you can fix it going forward.
Once the situation is fixed, come up with a plan to move forward. This might mean having to make some changes to the marketing strategy or the product, but make sure you’re looking at the big picture.
What’s the takeaway?
Don’t give up on your marketing campaigns.
It’s a constant struggle to keep your marketing strategy fresh, and even more of a struggle to implement the changes you need to improve. It’s important to have a plan for what to do if a marketing backfire happens in your company.
With a plan in place, you can prevent the situation from taking place in the first place. It’s important to focus on the future, not the past.
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