Red Flags in Marketing: An Agency & Client Perspective

May 10, 2024

Ever feel bombarded by ads? Like you're constantly being chased by "special offers" and "limited-time deals"? We've all been there. But before you reach for the ad blocker, let's talk about red flags in advertising – those tactics that might be hurting your brand more than helping it. We were lucky to connect with several agency owners, veteran account managers and sales executives who were willing to share their thoughts on the subject. Red Flag #1 Reactive Decision Making Reactive decision-making before we have enough data to lead the decision-making. In marketing, it's tempting to make quick changes whenever things don't seem to be working (going from "green" to "red"). But hold on! Reacting too fast can hurt your overall plan. Take a wider view of the campaign and the original strategy and timelines that the current plan of action is working towards. It’s important to be clear that we’re making a change for the right reasons based on feedback in the way of data. In marketing, don't panic at every small setback! It's like cricket - chasing runs after a few bad balls can mess up your whole game. Trust your marketing plan, build brand awareness like building your score. Change things only if you're way off track, otherwise you might forget who you're playing for (your long-term goals). Red Flag #2 Checking your ads/keywords relentlessly This shows a lack of trust in the agency and strategy. We know that businesses live and breathe their industry, and it is important to stay on top of what is working and what is not, but clicking, viewing, or repeatedly searching for your ads skews your KPIs on reports and ultimately costs you. Resisting the urge to constantly check your ads is key. Unlike a cooking pot, peeking doesn't help! Google tailors ads based on user searches, so repeated self-checks can confuse the system and stop your ads from reaching real customers. Reporting and analytics are your best friends here, giving you a clear picture of how your ads are performing without messing with how Google shows them to others. Red Flag #3: Going Viral While going viral can bring quick recognition, relying solely on copying trends without adding your own unique twist won't build a sustainable brand. Instead, focus on creating genuine content that resonates with your audience and builds long-term trust, instead of fleeting fame. Red Flag #4: Pop-Ups aka The Annoying Gatekeeper Imagine scrolling through your favorite website, ready to dive in, when BAM! A giant pop-up ad blocks your view. Frustrating, right? Pop-up ads are the classic case of putting user experience last. They're intrusive, disruptive, and ultimately, ineffective. Instead, explore targeted advertising options that reach the right audience without being annoying. Red Flag #5: Ignoring Your Loyal Clients (A Big Mistake) Imagine your best customer, the one who raves about your brand. Suddenly, all your marketing efforts chase new faces. What message does that send? They feel forgotten. Don't neglect your existing base! They already know and love you, making them more likely to buy again. Invest in loyalty programs and personalized offers to keep them happy and coming back for more. Red Flag #6: Inconsistent Branding Stop confusing your audience! Imagine walking into a restaurant with a fancy French name, only to find neon lights and disco balls inside. That's what inconsistent branding feels like. Your brand is your promise to your audience. Make sure everything you do, from your logo to your social media posts, reflects your core values and personality. Be clear, consistent, and recognizable to build trust and brand loyalty. By avoiding these red flags, you can create advertising that's both effective and engaging. Remember, good advertising isn't about manipulation, it's about building a genuine connection with your audience. So, ditch the gimmicks, focus on your audience, and watch your brand flourish!

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