Growth May 5, 2017 Last updated May 3rd, 2017 3,639 Reads share

How Poor Digital Marketing Can Destroy Your Brand Effectiveness

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Have you ever noticed that videos and images of failure are popular online? It’s almost easier to become famous for producing terrible ads and marketing copy than it is to grow a brand that is actually effective. Some companies even capitalize on the phenomenon of “watching a train wreck” by intentionally creating and sharing poorly-done materials.

Of course, poor digital marketing can also be a huge problem. Outdated, un-optimized, ineffective digital marketing can be counterproductive and even harmful to businesses because of poor digital marketing.

Distracts from the Brand’s Offerings

Poor digital marketing can destroy brand effectiveness, reducing actual products and services to objects of mockery. When this happens, brands may or may not be “known” to audiences, but the poor digital marketing distracts from the actual business behind the brand.

For instance, HMV-All Access is largely known for a controversy played out on their Twitter account. The company fired a large number of employees at once — forgetting that their Twitter account managers had access to the businesses’ account still. The disgruntled employees posted angry tweets in the company’s name revealing insider issues and internal unrest. What is HMV-All Access? It’s likely more people know they had a controversy online through employees’ #hmvXFactorFiring campaign on HMV’s account than know what HMV actually offers as a business.

This is just one of many examples highlighting how businesses get lost behind branding that is bad. In HMV’s case, fame for poor digital marketing choices that distracted from and trashed the businesses’ reputation resulted. Many businesses, however, are simply never well-known at all. If digital marketing is bad enough, so few consumers will care to find out what the business is about that the brand will never be more than just a poorly-done brand.

Creates Negative Associations

Even businesses that generally have a good digital marketing strategy can destroy their brand effectiveness if one campaign or message majorly fails in an offensive or negative manner. An Entrepreneur article highlights, for instance, five marketing fails that associated major companies with negative emotions and offensive ideas.

Bud Light, for instance, released a digital (and tangible) marketing campaign about being “up for whatever.” Much of the branding pointed to making poor choices and removing people’s ability to say “no.” The company had to discontinue the campaign as a result of the negative associations with their brand that resulted.

Other companies have had to spend money issuing public apologies or even facing lawsuits over poor digital marketing choices. Some companies have lost massive amounts of business, even facing boycotts, because of digital marketing that offended consumers. Negative associations are powerful and they are hard to erase once they have formed.

Ruins Credibility

When poor digital marketing marks a brand, consumers don’t believe the company is credible. Credibility is a driving factor in whether or not consumers choose to engage with or support a company. Characterized by trust and a sense of legitimacy or relevance, credibility depends on your business coming across to consumers as worthwhile and risk-free.

Consumers tend to assume that outdated digital marketing strategies and appearances indicate a business is outdated. Likewise, if a digital marketing campaign is unclear, confusing, or even distasteful, consumers will likely assume the company will also be difficult or offensive in their interactions.

These assumptions cause consumers to believe companies are not credible. Since there are so many businesses offering similar services that can easily be found online, consumers often choose to support companies with higher prices or fewer products if they believe the other companies are more credible.

Gets Lost in the Shuffle

Nesquik’s brand effectiveness was diminished (as was their bank account) when the company invested in a massive digital marketing campaign that no one cared about. Nesquik chose to encourage consumers to participate in an online marketing activity to celebrate a holiday few people ever heard of or cared about. The self-involved campaign had Nesquik pay to create an app that very few ever used. They also paid to advertise the app and campaign, only to receive very little ROI.

One of the major issues contributing to poor marketing and getting lost in the shuffle is bad SEO marketing. What is SEO marketing? SEO is a form of online marketing that utilizes keywords, tags, and strategic elements of online content to make digital marketing visible to consumers through search engines, optimized ads, and more. SEO only works, however, when keywords and optimization elements are relevant to audiences.

In Nesquik’s case, a campaign rested on a keyword pertaining to holiday no one was looking for or celebrating. That’s an SEO fail that cost them plenty as their poor marketing for lost in the big, wide world of the internet.

Ultimately Dissuades Potential Customers

What poor digital marketing ultimately leads to is less consumer engagement. Since the main goal of brand effectiveness is to turn consumers into customers, poor digital marketing can be damaging to and even destroy companies. Businesses rely on costumers for their business, support, and loyalty. If people are dissuaded from even becoming customers, a company stands little chance for survival.

Watch Out for These Common Poor Digital Marketing Choices

To improve your businesses’ odds and ensure your brand effectiveness isn’t destroyed, watch out for common digital marketing mistakes. Even as you strategize to make your digital marketing the best it can be, be aware of these common mistakes as just one marketing fail can be costly and damaging.

Common traits of poor digital marketing include:

  • Malfunctioning sites and links
  • Misuse of hashtags and social media sites
  • Distasteful or offensive messages
  • Poor response time online
  • Outdated ideas and visuals
  • Sharing irrelevant messages and images
  • Not using SEO in digital marketing

Whether you are marketing on social media or running an SEO campaign across multiple sites, remember that brand effectiveness is directly linked to how well you market and how current your marketing strategies are. Pay attention, keep up with best practices, and put the effort and time to make your digital marketing high quality. Otherwise, your business might suffer the consequences of poor digital marketing’s side effects.

Irene Fatyanova

Irene Fatyanova

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