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Did your marketing campaign fall short of your expectations? Avoid these five common mistakes!

A failed marketing campaign can set your company back financially, tarnish your reputation, and have a negative effect on your brand image. Rather than dwell on the negative, it’s a good idea to step back and evaluate your campaign as a whole. What went according to plan and what went sour? If you're not sure what happened, it's very possible that the marketing campaign fell victim to a handful of common mistakes.

You Misunderstood Your Target Audience

Before embarking on another campaign, think about the audience you are trying to reach. How much do you really know about them? One way to discover this valuable information is to research the market and product. This is vital when deciding which form of communication and which type of product to use in a marketing campaign. For example, if your target audience includes a large number of people that live in Arizona, giving away raincoats probably wouldn't be the best choice you could make. However, if you have a large client base in Washington, that could change your outlook quite a bit! Or, let's say you're marketing within your own hometown and discover the popularity of a new diet competition or exercise program. Which do you think would be more successful as giveaway prizes - fitness-related products or chocolate? Information gathered through proper research will help you determine what interests your audience and what could possibly drive them from your doorstep!

It's also important to have a basic idea of your audience's habits. If you find out that the majority of the members of your target audience works third shift, that may help you decide if newspaper ads or direct mail are better options than telephone calls. If your campaign includes a significant number of high school kids, you will be able to rule out wine glasses and wine openers as successful promotional items! (Maybe an academic planner would be better in that case!) Simple research could potentially save you from all sorts of advertising disasters.

You Misdirected Your Campaign

A very common problem comes to light when a company's marketing campaign is designed to please executives instead of customers. Keeping the target market in mind at all times will improve your end results. Are you unsure how to do this? Try putting yourself in your customers' shoes. Just because you know the benefits of a product or service doesn't mean they do! How would they benefit from what you are offering them? Design a marketing campaign based on the customers’ needs and things are sure to run much more smoothly.

You Supplied Insufficient Information to Your Creative Team

Your creative team needs a clear picture of the business plan and what the campaign message will be, as well as the freedom to design the campaign around that message. Did you break down the campaign for them and tell them what you were hoping to accomplish? If not, something may have gotten lost in translation. Did you give them enough time to come up with the slogan or promotion? When it comes to advertising, sufficient time is crucial to get those imaginations flowing. Creative teams are in place for a reason, and allowing them to use their skills and experience to build a strong campaign can help ensure success.

Your Message Got Lost

When putting together a marketing campaign, it's important to be precise when you organize all the details. When considering your desired promotional product to accompany your message, don't lose sight of what you're really saying to your audience. Items like custom ballpoint pens and personalized magnets are good "generic" choices, but be careful not to mix up your message by giving away disposable products during your "Save the Earth" campaign. Eco-friendly promotional items would fit that promotion a lot better! Since potential customers are already hit with hundreds of marketing messages each day, your message must be clear and concise.

Another issue is trying to say too much at once. When companies try to put too many messages in their marketing campaigns, they lose their impact. Customers need to know all the positive things a product or service can provide them, but if they are bombarded with too many messages at once, it can have the opposite effect of driving them away. The message is lost to them. The best way to avoid sending mixed messages in a marketing campaign is to narrow the focus and stick with one main message. A promotional giveaway is a great way to get your message across.

You Did Not Follow Up with Your Customers

The sales team is the heart and soul of any marketing campaign. The sales team must maintain open communication with potential customers. It is a common marketing mistake to allow customers to fall through the cracks. Once a potential customer makes contact, it is a good business practice to stay in touch with them. If the sales team is not following up with potential customers, the marketing campaign efforts won’t matter. Following up is an absolute necessity that turns leads into sales. If the customer is left waiting too long, they'll find what they need elsewhere!

Even if you've made some or all of these mistakes, don't worry too much! A company can recover from a failed marketing campaign. Just take plenty of time to review the previous campaign, recognize errors you made, and learn from the mistakes. In the future, keeping these common mistakes in mind can help your company avoid advertising failures and allow you to create marketing campaigns that produce the desired results!

Good luck!

Article By Jill Tooley
Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. In addition to managing the QLP blog, Jill also manages the content development team, assists with the company’s social media accounts, and writes like a fiend whenever given the chance. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

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