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Why your marketing may be doing more harm than good

Updated: Apr 29

Barbie-mania has been sweeping the globe. You may have been living under a rock if you’ve missed the reported $150 million invested in the film’s marketing. For those of us who spend our lives shouting about the importance of marketing it feels as though the world has finally realised what we’ve been saying all along. But even with the biggest budgets, some brands can make huge marketing fails. While these impact your bottom line, they can also be detrimental to your PR.

Not reading the room

Big brands pour billions of pounds into their marketing annually. Even when companies hire the brightest minds they can fail to see how insensitive their campaigns are. Kendall Jenner’s 2017 Pepsi campaign was a memorable example of this. The reality star appears to solve police brutality by handing a police officer a can of Pepsi. The advert lost Pepsi an estimated $5 million.

The advert was created in-house with Pepsi aiming to cut costs by not working with agencies, resulting in costing the company more in the process. The campaign, and many like it also show the importance of having a diverse team involved in the strategy process. This will allow for a wider appreciation for social issues and improve representation.

Not aligning your strategy

An unaligned marketing strategy can spell disaster for a brand. A consumer sees a product multiple times before they choose to purchase it. Your marketing strategy needs to be singing from the same hymn sheet to ensure that continued positive messaging convinces your customer to make a purchase.

A marketing strategy should have a long-term strategy and the ability to react to topical stories for maximum results. Social media and reactive PR allow brands to hop on the back of trending subjects leading to more exposure and impact.

Assets letting you down

Shopping is very visual for many people. Therefore, one significant thing that can let down your marketing is a poor aesthetic.

Your images sell your products. Poor-quality images can mean a customer decides to shop elsewhere. Conversely, interesting and unique angles can convince a client to buy an item. Furthermore, great images can help PRs sell your brand to the media more easily. For journalists, good images make a story.

Social media and your website are highly visual selling platforms for your brand. Using poor imagery with a lack of strategy can impact whether a customer purchases from you. It can also impact whether a journalist will cover you in certain instances.

Adam Roberts, Partner & Client Director at Seen Agency shares four key considerations when it comes to ensuring your social media activity supports your PR efforts. Seen Agency works closely with lifestyle businesses, supporting them with strategic content marketing, social media management and content creation - focusing on building brands through creativity, consistency and keeping on-trend. Your social media presence will play a pivotal part in encouraging prospective customers with their purchase decision-making - and so lazy social feeds will certainly turn off potential customers. Here are four tips to ensure your social activity is making a positive impact on your business:

  1. It's important that your website, social media and PR all marry up in harmony. If one jars with the rest, then that may mean losing potential customers. Your brand should be giving off the same story across these different channels. A good exercise is to consider what you want people to 'Think', 'Feel' and 'Do' from your social content.

  2. People don't want to see blanket products and packaging shots. That's boring. In a similar fashion to PR, storytelling and emotive content works best - as well as providing an experiential element to what you're posting - helping people to relate to your brand.

  3. Entertaining and educational content will get better traction than salesy stuff. Build your social community by enticing them with clever content that engages people. Partnering with influencers and content creators to capture UGC is a really worthwhile area of focus, and we’re seeing work really well at the moment.

  4. Finally, keep social media, social! You may want to blast out your marketing messages. But is that going to stop people from scrolling on by? Find a relatable hook that will entice your audience, and provide some valuable content - rather than sticking to dry, marketing communications.

If this resonates with you and you want to work with an agency that supports and advises you about your whole marketing journey, you can book a free PR Strategy Audit with us. We’ll analyse your strategy and suggest how it could be optimised to reach your target audience and convert to sales.

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