When Marketing Goes Wrong

When marketing goes wrong and getting it right is the topic of this podcast, written and narrated by Tracy Heatley.


For those of us who are motivated away from something.  Like the need to get away from failed sales and marketing goals, it’s important to know when and why marketing goes wrong.Be Better With Tracy Heatley Podcast Cover

For those of us who are motivated towards goals.  Like the desire to achieve a certain target that’s been set, then it’s important to know what happens when marketing is done right.

We’ll be covering both in the episode.

Marketing Overview

You’ll hear me say this often – Marketing isn’t about taking what you’ve got to market it, it’s about understanding your market, knowing your target market and adapting your product of service to suit.  Essentially, reaching the right people, in the right place, at the right time, in the right way and at the right price to suit your budget.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a shoe string marketing budget or you have a massive marketing budget, if you’re strategy isn’t right, your marketing won’t work effectively.  You could potentially waste hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or millions of pounds if it goes wrong.

It’s my aim to help business get it right!

Why Tracy Produced This Podcast

This podcast has been produced because, in episode 16, I was talking about tapping into your customer database.  This will help you to identify commonalities with your current customers, so that this information can be used towards a targeted marketing approach.

A few listeners commented that this was a great idea, but for some having a solid business and marketing foundation seemed like a nice to have, rather than a priority.

I’m a small business owner, too, so I fully understand the complexities of running a business, but and there’s a BIG but coming, I cannot stress the importance of building your business on the best foundation possible.  To do this you need an effective and successful marketing strategy.

How Marketing Can Go Wrong

Let me explain in a bit more detail.  First let’s focus on when marketing goes wrong:

Chevy Nova is believed to have failed in Latin America because ‘no va’ means No Go in Spanish.  Can you imagine the cost of an oversight like that?

About five years ago, the Co-Op did an Easter marketing campaign with the image of an Easter Egg with the suggestion that parents could buy one for their daughters for doing the washing up.   In the 1950’s this may have worked, but in this day and age, it was a massive failure with a big backlash.

I’m sharing these examples, because these are large multi-million pound or dollar companies.  Marketing mistakes like this will have cost them dearly, but for a small business like yours, mistakes like this could cost you so much more.

Why These Marketing Campaigns Failed

In my opinion, both these marketing campaigns failed. These massive failures could have been avoided if more research had been done to understand the marketplace and if there was a more in-depth understanding of their target market before, they waded in with ineffective marketing. Both identify the importance of having an effective strategy.

I get asked all the time, do I need a marketing strategy if I own a small business? Yes, you do.  Whilst ineffective marketing may not cost you millions, it’s all relative.  A few thousand or even a few hundred pounds loss could devastate a small business.

When Marketing Goes Right

So, let’s look at what happens when marketing goes right.  As this podcast is aimed at small business owners, I’m going to share for you some success stories of small businesses that have got their strategy spot on.

Ruby & Daisy is a clothing company based in Rossendale, Lancashire, in the UK.  They got their marketing strategy right and they knew everything about their customers. In spite of not being able to open during the pandemic, they managed to more than quadruple their sales in 2020!  They focused on digital marketing and online sales.  Not only did they survive…they thrived.

On the back of their overwhelming success, they’ve employed more staff and are now offering their own branded clothing!

As far as I’m concerned there’s no such thing as an overnight success.  This business was formed in 2015 and they’ve overcome challenges over the years, like all business do.  I was lucky enough to interview the directors on my business radio show a few years ago and to see them progress so well has been amazing.  This radio interview should still be available on my tracyheatley.com website.

The owners of the business had never owned a business before, and despite business growth challenges along the way, when it came to the crunch, they had an effective marketing strategy and they new exactly who their target market was.

Tips On Getting Your Marketing Strategy Right

You can avoid your marketing going wrong.

Whether you’re a big business, small business, sole trader or new business, before you even start a marketing campaign, I’d urge to do these three things before you do anything else:

  • Set your goals! What exactly do you want to achieve from your marketing?  Keep the SMART, so that they’re specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
  • Get to know your customer. Who are they, where are they, what do they want, what problem do you solve for them?  If you need to have a little listen to episode 16 of this, Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast.
  • Know your market. This means getting a thorough understanding of your industry, market trends and knowing your key competitors.

Next Steps

I’ll be talking more about the importance of competitor analysis and how to do it in the next episode.

For now, though, if you do nothing else, please set your goals, because you can’t hit a target that you cannot see.

Working out how to achieve them comes later, but I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what you want to achieve, will achieve and by when.

On a final note, even though part of setting SMART goals means keeping your goals realistic.  As you’re thinking about your goals and you notice if you’re thinking long-term or short-term, switch it around now, so that you’re considering both long-term and short-term goals.

For short-term goals keep them realistic and measurable but remember to keep your vision!  Every successful businessperson has a dream and keeps their vision.

With the right strategy – you’ll get there!

All you have to do is Be Better!

Remember: Better Business, Better You

Podcast Prize Draw

It’s time now to tell you about the podcast prize draw!  Subscribe and leave a review and I’ll add you to the draw to win a free one-to-one online marketing mentoring session with me.

If your podcasting platform doesn’t have reviews, just head to my website and send me a message with your review and I’ll add you to the draw.

There are book reviews, blogs and other free resources being added to my website all the time that may be of assistance to you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast and found it useful.

I’m Tracy Heatley – thank you for listening.Tracy Heatley in the studio facing the camera recording her When Marketing Goes Wrong Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast

Contact Tracy Heatley

If you would like to contact Tracy Heatley or find out more about her Better Strategy, Better Marketing and Better Networking services, get in touch and she will be happy to hear from you.