As 2015 comes to a close, there are several lessons that can be learned from large companies who stumbled in their marketing.
- Don’t market your restaurant as being healthy, then ignore food safety. Chipotle learned this lesson the hard way. After claiming early in the year that they were going ‘all natural’ and eliminating GMOs, they suffered from many outbreaks of E coli which sickened over 200 people. Oh, and try not to make your main food items a whopping 1,000 calories. Does not sound very healthy.
- Vet your social media campaign before execution. The internet has an uncanny ability to take any mundane attempt at promotion and turn it against a company. There were many cases of this happening in 2015, including Bud Light’s ‘Up for Whatever’ and #AskSeaWorld.
- Don’t use war to glorify your widget. UnderArmour, in a case of what can only be explained as ‘our Marketing Director was on vacation’, used an icon image from World War II and inserted a basketball theme. Just don’t. Please.
- Manage your promotional links. This includes QR codes and short URLs. When you are done with a campaign, you can’t let these lapse, as Heinz Ketchup learned when a QR code on one of their bottles directed users to a porn site.
- Don’t direct customers to commit a crime. This should be self explanatory. But apparently nobody told Bloomingdale’s. They created an ad that told people to spike their date’s drink when they were not looking.
When all else fails, hire an expert to help. And have a successful 2016!