The marketing community has had cause to wince quite a few times this year, with some glaring mistakes from big name brands who should know better. In fact, these mistakes could probably have been avoided if someone had simply looked at the marketing campaign with a fresh pair of eyes.

In this blog, we look at what can go wrong and how outsourcing can help you avoid it.

What marketing disasters might businesses face and how can we avoid them?

Good tips, wrong context

Most marketing disasters are around context. You might remember the energy company who responded to price rises by sharing a blog on “energy saving tips” which included cuddling pets and putting on layers. In some ways, these are legitimate tips – many households will be relying on them during the expensive winter the UK is facing. But when an energy company hints that if you can’t afford their prices, you should put on a jumper, it’s just offensive. It was a major marketing error and there was nothing the company could do except apologise.

However, if the energy company had outsourced their marketing, this disaster could have been avoided. While the in-house team might be so used to the content that they don’t read it anymore, someone from outside the organisation would look at the content afresh. An outsider would have a better chance of spotting the error. In addition, not being part of the politics of the regular team would give an external marketing manager more freedom to question the blog and highlight the problem before it even happened.

Slaves to automation

More recently, a fast-food chain has come unstuck promoting a special menu to “celebrate” Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht is an infamous date in German history when 9 November 1938 saw a night of extreme Nazi violence against the Jewish community. It’s certainly not a reason to be tucking into fast food and many Jewish organisations were justly offended. Again, there was nothing the company could do but apologise.

This error sounds like automation gone wrong. Perhaps the email was written with a gap to insert the name of a significant day and technology did the rest. Of course, platforms like Mailchimp make scheduling email marketing simple – Get Ahead uses this kind of tech and we’re sure you do too. But what’s important is the human element. When you outsource to technology, there is always a risk that this kind of faux pas will occur. But when you outsource to real people, they can spot it and halt offensive mailouts before disaster strikes. 

5 ways Get Ahead can protect you from marketing mistakes

  1. The marketing team at Get Ahead are all real people, ready to deliver your marketing on a human level and consider its impact on real-life customers.
  2. Technology is our servant, not our master – we use it to deliver marketing for clients, but we’re wise to its pitfalls and always get content approved before we schedule it.
  3. We’re a big team and we support each other – if one of us was concerned and wanted a second opinion, there are plenty of people to ask.
  4. We’re not involved in office politics and we’ll always speak up – politely! – if we think you’re about to make a mistake.
  5. We remain a step removed from your business. We can bring a fresh perspective and an objective view.

Outsource your marketing to Get Ahead

The mistakes the energy company and the fast-food chain made are extreme, and more so because they’re both big-name brands. However, whether your business is big or small, it’s still valuable to let someone take an objective, human view of your marketing so you keep your customers and achieve your goals. If you think your marketing could benefit from a fresh perspective, contact your local Get Ahead regional director today to get started.

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