What Customers Don’t Want To See From Your Marketing Campaigns


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Marketers often go to great lengths in order to create visibility for their business. In 2002, Vodafone was forced to pay nearly A$30,000 in penalty after a horrible marketing gimmick where the company paid streakers to interrupt a rugby match between Australia and New Zealand wearing nothing but the company’s logo. Not only did Vodafone lose a lot of goodwill among their loyal customers, but the company also broke the law in this case.

While risky campaigns as this can often turn the tables and create massive PR, this also sometimes comes with a loss of brand equity which is quite an important parameter for a prospective buyer. In this article, we will take a look at the different factors that customers do not want to see from the brands they endorse.

Bait and Switch Marketing

If you are an avid traveler, you may have often comes across stories from customers about booking a hotel room with a wonderful view only to be told during check-in that the room was not available and they would have to take another room. Bait and switch is one of the most common marketing tactics to lure in customers and then sell inferior or expensive products. In a recent interview, the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehab, Per Wickstrom points out that genuine success is often brought about by working towards genuinely helping customers. Bait and switch marketing aims at fooling the customers into buying a product which is not really a long term strategy.

Spammy Marketing Techniques

In the world of email marketing, there is a thin line that separates the spam and promotional messages. While both these marketing messages are aimed at delivering coupons and vouchers to increase sales, the difference is in the way the target customer database was built. Customers love receiving discount coupons on their inboxes. But for the success of the campaign, the customer should have explicitly opted in to receive these messages. In the absence of such an opt-in, your messages are considered spam and this impacts the way your business is perceived among consumers.

Negative Marketing

In a market with limited competitors, one way to grow your business is by making a product or service that is better than competition. Another option that some businesses resort to is by attacking the brand of competition. This is often done through techniques like negative SEO, fake reviews and business bureau complaints. The trouble with this strategy is that it diverts business resources from innovation into firefighting. Also, such marketing techniques are extremely unethical and can potentially break your business if the truth were to ever be out.
Marketing is all about creating opportunities to be seen in front of the prospective customers and educating them about their need for your product or service. As Per Wickstrom points out, a business has to identify their goal and make sure they do the right thing to never put anything above that goal. This makes the marketing efforts genuine and helpful to the customer and is essentially the only way to build a loyal customer base.


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