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Andrew Teoh

Is It Really The Marketers’ Fault?

The things that a brand needs to get it right before moving into the marketing phase.

In the year 2019, we can pretty much conclude that digital marketing is one of the most needed skills to build a brand.

This is the one thing that everyone is talking about. On social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, you’ll see ads that tell you that you need digital marketing or something in the range like how to make digital marketing work for you.

This is the era where marketers can truly shine. Or is it the other way around?

Working as an independent digital marketing consultant for almost 3 years, I had the privilege to walk alongside a lot of great brands and it’s truly an honour to be part of their brand growth.

However…

There are also times where I get the fingers being pointed at me that say,

“It’s your fault that campaign failed!” 

“Are you sure you’re doing the right thing, executing the right strategy?”

“Do you know what you’re doing?”

Of course, this article is not about me trying to run away from my responsibility as a marketer nor it’s a rage post about my past clients; but rather, this is where I want to share my 2 cents on why does a branding campaign fail (aside from bad marketing planning and execution of course)?

Success and failure of a brand consists of many factors. And we will dive into some of the things that a brand needs to get it right before moving into the marketing phase.

Financial Planning

I find that this is the most common issue that causes the failure of a brand or product. To build a strong brand for your company or product, you cannot just think about the marketing budget. Proper financial planning needs to be planned out from A to Z.

Here are some of the critical elements that you need to look into while making sure your finances are well planned.

  1. Operation funds
  2. Overheads
  3. Emergency backup funds
  4. Marketing
  5. Others

Proper branding is beyond the idea of just getting the right content and marketing strategy out to the public. You need to think about what’s after that as well.

Here’s one example. If the campaign is successful, do you have enough funds to cater for the demands of the public? And if your campaign fails, do you have funds to keep your business running until you recover your losses in the previous campaign?

Too often, (especially startups) brands are focusing too much on the idea of getting the ‘news’ out there to the public. They start creating awesome videos and ads that are attractive and relevant to the public. And when the campaign is a hit, then only they would look into what’s the next step.

And too many times, I’ve met with clients that face budget issues to run their operations because they’ve over budgeted things in their marketing campaign. So, please be careful, whenever you’re planning for any marketing campaign or any form of projects, look into the accounts and do the math on the overall picture first.

Lack of professional service

You can have the best marketing campaign planned and executed for your brand, but if your service pre- and post-sales stages aren’t good, it’ll still fail.

Service is by far the most important factor when it comes to the growth of a brand. When your service is top-notch, people will start recommending your brand to their friends and family and that’s the power of word of mouth. It’s all because they’re enjoying a great experience with it.

If you’re able to nail this area of your business, you don’t even need to do much in terms of marketing and advertising. Your customers will do it willingly for you. Word-of-mouth marketing works way better than others.

However, always remember, customers can be double-edged sword too sometimes. While they may be supportive when you’re providing good service; they may not show mercy when experienced with very bad service.

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen tons of news and reviews on social media platforms from disgruntled customers. People review places, brand and products that have caused frustration for them. Be it in the ethical way or the opposite. You may want to avoid such things from happening at all cost and to do this you must have the right strategy for it.

Moreover, consumers will always dive into reviews first before deciding to spend their money, as they trust them more than they trust what the brand is saying. That being said, it is very crucial for you to constantly provide top-notch services to your customers.

Brand or product quality that doesn’t tally with what they’re saying in the ads

And lastly, this issue has caused me sleepless nights and headaches.

As a marketer and copywriter, we must ensure the deliverables are at part with the clients’ expectations. And it’s our responsibility and duty to stick with the information that is given, especially for products that have yet to be launched. Despite this unwritten understanding, some clients tend to over-promise by sharing incorrect information with me for the campaign. This is indeed misleading.

I have a few experiences of being engaged by clients who shared with me information that doesn’t align with the nature of the product. Hence, the overall marketing campaign was pretty much misleading.

The outcome was terrible. It caused a lot of problems for me. It ended such in a mess that I need to intervene quickly. For me, this is unethical and a breach of trust between the brand and the marketers, that will eventually affect the consumers.

While some might not be intentional, but it is still something that will cause a lot of problems (legality too) for both parties. So, if you’re creating a marketing campaign, as a brand, make sure that you can deliver what you’ve committed to the consumers. 

Conclusion

I’d like to point out again that this is not a revenge post about how frustrating a marketer is with his clients.

I’m putting this out here simply because we all can learn from one another, hoping that you as a brand owner can learn from the experience and set out a good intention to grow your business ethically.

There are so many things that I wasn’t aware when I started my business moons ago. Warm gratitude to all my mentors and peers who constantly reminded me and guided me to do the right thing. And that’s why I’m here today being real and sharing all these stories with everyone.

None of us can grow alone, we need to be in the right environment, meet the right people, make the right choices that will lead us to the next level of our entrepreneurship journey.

Hope that you will get something out from it. And if any of you have any questions or anything that you would like to comment, you’re welcome to drop your constructive comments down below or reach me out via my LinkedIn or Facebook.

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Andrew Teoh
Written By

Andrew is the Marketing In Asia's Editor for Australia. He is a copywriter and marketing strategist too. Andrew co-founded Simplemind Creative, an agency that specialises in creative content writing and copywriting. Follow him on YouTube and Facebook.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Kartina Rosli

    6th September 2019 at 9:42 am

    I can resonate with this very much. Regardless of whether it is a marketing or PR strategy or messaging, all the above points matter. Thanks for sharing this brave piece. 🙂

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