Marketing Mistakes: How to Overcome Them

“It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we overcome them that defines us.”

Nothing is ever perfect, or works exactly as it should every time, including marketing. Many top marketing directors have thought their ideas were brilliant and later had them turn out to be total flukes. It is what it is. Even what seems to be the best idea may not always turn out the way it should.

A recent blogpost on Hubspot reviewed “8 of the Biggest Marketing mistakes We’ve Ever Seen”

“We looked into the biggest mistakes from many popular brands — but glossed similar instances of faux pas from smaller companies, because, well, we don’t want to hurt the up-and-comers.” says Amanda Sibley of Hubspot.

Making a mistake is bound to happen, and if this article taught us anything is that mistakes can happen to anyone, regardless of how successful the company is.

Here are our three favorite mistakes, and what we learned from them.


  1. Guerilla Marketing Without Due Diligence

In this example, Cartoon Network had set up LED lights around different cities to promote one of their shows, but ended up having the cops called on them for potential bombs. This is one big marketing backfire.

What we learned from this: Always, always think out every possible outcome of your marketing efforts, even the obscure ones. You never know how others will interpret your work, so thinking outside of the box for potential reactions can defer any illegalities form your marketing efforts.


  1. Being Too Speedy With Sends

In this example, an employee at the New York Times sent an email asking why their members had cancelled their subscription to way more subscribers than they had intended to. The email had offered a discount for those members who had decided to leave. This was sent to subscribers who had not unsubscribed as well as those who had. Many subscribers thought it was spam, while others were outraged they were not receiving the same discount.

What we learned from this: Proof read! Proof read! Proof read! And not just the content you are sending, but also who you are sending it too. It’s an easy mistake to make, but double checking every aspect of a marketing campaign can save you from a lot of turmoil.


  1. Getting Lost in Translation

In this example, Pepsi launched their product in China and used the quote “Pepsi brings you back to life” which means “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese. This marketing did not work in their favor of developing a customer base in another country.

What we learned from this: Make sure you know your target audience, and market to them correctly, especially if you’re trying to market in a different country.

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