Reasons for the failure of some marketing plans

Written by Azza Hawash

Reasons for the failure of some marketing plans

Reasons for the failure of some marketing plans

Sometimes marketing plans are great in the meeting room, but when they come out on the ground they don’t achieve the desired success. Sometimes what you thought was a great idea can go terribly wrong in many ways.

The reason can be the way it is implemented or how it is perceived, the end result can be a complex mess that can harm your brand.

Today, marketers are exploring new channels and media. The competition is fiercer than before. In fact, even the biggest and most well-known brands sometimes make this mistake. These blunders can be very costly.

Why do marketing campaigns fail?

The most straightforward answer is that marketers forget what they are advertising for.

A lot of blunders can be explained by the fact that marketers sometimes ignore the purpose of their marketing campaign. It focuses on being “creative” or “unique” rather than reaching its target audience.

Creating outstanding campaigns is an important part of the process, but the effort to splurge should never come with the compromise of keeping buyers away.

Some organizations simply don’t have realistic goals for their campaigns or they get the timing wrong. Admittedly, the campaign can fail due to bad luck. But there are still some precautions you can take to reduce your risk.

Marketing campaigns aim to communicate the value your product can provide. What needs can you meet? How is it different from others? Define your brand style.

If your campaigns lack the purpose of elevating your brand and attracting customers, you are pretty much set to fail.


Dove scored a win with its “Real Beauty” positive body image campaign that featured real women in a positive light.

In fact, the campaign ran for 15 years and is widely cited as one of the most successful marketing campaigns. The company strives to help promote a positive image of women.

She then released limited-edition packaging designed to flatter women’s body shapes. Their packaging compared the figures of women to abstract, shapeless soap bottles.

The release has become a real concern on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They released only seven different shapes to choose from, forcing women to choose the bottle that best matches their shape. rather than promoting a strong body image.


It seems UK advertisers have come under a lot of flak for a bunch of really bad marketing schemes in 2017. It’s hard to offend anyone with junk food, but McDonald’s got rid of it in astonishingly bad taste.

The ad features a young boy talking to his mother about his dead father. It turns out that one of the things they both shared was a love for a certain type of sandwich.

McDonald’s has come under a lot of flak from haters on social media who have accused it of “exploiting grief to sell sandwiches.”


Ford displayed the worst possible visual for its advertising campaign. Three women appear who have been bound, gagged and placed in the trunk of a new Ford hatchback.

The ad was pulled, and Ford was forced to issue a public apology because many people found the ad offensive and felt it encouraged violence against women.


This Sony advertisement was shown in the year 2006. It was promoting the white Sony Playstation Portable.

Sony decided to promote the new product in a dubious manner. In the giant advertisement, a pale woman with white hair is shown pulling a black woman by the face, the white figure looking exasperated while the black figure very submissive.

Then the text “Playstation Portable. White is coming.”

There are a lot of better ways to promote your new product launch. Sony was quoted as saying, “The images used in the campaign were only meant to highlight the contrast between the different colors available for the PSP.”

Burger King

In what was initially a brilliant marketing idea, Burger King created a campaign to run on smart devices that activated the device to read a list of burger ingredients posted on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.

This was a great idea before some hackers changed the Wikipedia post to include ingredients like cyanide.

As a result of the hack, the campaign was pulled, and an innovative marketing channel was temporarily sidelined. This is especially unfortunate because the concept for this campaign was very clever.


It is always important to check a vehicle before purchasing it. Audi turned this idea on its head.

In the commercial, the groom’s mother walks up to the altar and begins checking out her soon-to-be daughter-in-law. She bit her lip, pulled her ears, and looked at her teeth and tongue before giving her son’s approval.

Then, the slogan reads, “The important decision must be made carefully.”

Unfortunately, this commercial misses the mark by objectifying women and reducing their value to that of a car. It was much more offensive than funny.


Customers who participated in the Boston Marathon in 2017 received a poorly worded email from a major athletic footwear and apparel company.

The subject simply reads, “Congratulations, you’ve survived the Boston Marathon!”

In the context of any other fitness event, this might seem innocuous. In fact, many people use this type of wording when referring to the completion of an event.

But this message was sent in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 250. Needless to say, many people were offended.

They immediately issued an apology, but the damage was already done.


This is another marketing failure caused by bad timing. Airbnb launched its “Floating World” marketing campaign, which featured an image of a water-themed house sitting on top of the water.

The version included “Stay Above the Water” and “Live Aquatic Life with These Floating Houses”. Harmless right?

Well, this campaign began on August 28, 2017, when Hurricane Harvey swept through Houston.

Ink Coffee

What started as a simple joke on a sign outside a coffee shop in Denver led to a national uproar. The owner of the café put up a sign that read, “Happily improving the neighborhood since 2014.”

The problem is that gentrification also displaces populations, usually low-income minorities. Ink Coffee was met with large crowds of demonstrators and even vandals.

What should you learn from these failed marketing plans?

This is definitely one of those situations where you have to take notes on other people’s mistakes. There is a lot to learn from analyzing a failed marketing campaign.

Always review the content

When creating and publishing your content, be sure to include a review process so that you have plenty of attention on your content. This process should involve an editor or someone who can proofread your text before you hit publish.

Do not neglect any aspect

Most of these marketing campaigns fail because they are basically just tone deaf, right? Always consider the implications behind your messages. When telling jokes, look at it from all angles and perspectives.

When there is a fun and interesting discussion, keep having fun! Take advantage of this to build brand awareness, but don’t make tasteless jokes. If you are going to use pop culture references in your marketing, do your research. Make sure you understand the context of your reference.

Don’t sacrifice your brand values and beliefs in exchange for a few chuckles. Although you may not intend to offend your audience, if you are addressing a sensitive topic, you could cause a backlash and damage your brand and reputation.

Pay attention to current events

Some of these examples were simply launched at the wrong time. It’s hard to hold anyone accountable when nature speaks, but an organization should always take a moment when disaster strikes. It may be in your best interest to hold off on launching a campaign.

If you are creating content related to such events, do so with a genuine interest in educating your audience about the situation. Remember, consumers are not stupid. They’ll see right through your efforts to find out what you’re really after, and take advantage of a PR opportunity while real people suffer.

Pay attention to the timing of your marketing content posting

Marketing campaigns are often planned months in advance and these mistakes are easy to overlook. But it is important to consider national and international events before launching your campaign. Check your calendar regularly, and check for other badly timed campaigns.

How to create a successful marketing campaign

It’s easy to criticize and judge those who stumble in the past, but it must be admitted that there is no copy-and-paste method for a great marketing campaign. There is a lot of research to be done and a lot of creative human forces behind it.

A successful marketing campaign consists of:

  1. Clear goals and objectives
  2. Specific target audience
  3. Attention-grabbing content
  4. Monitor results for improvement

While it’s important to try to stand out in your marketing, it’s easy to get a great idea when using new channels, even traditional ones.

At the End

Before you publish or print, take a good look at your letter. Review your copy and take a closer look at your campaign in terms of the current social context. And always get a second opinion before posting or going live for any campaign!

Why do marketing plans fail?

Marketing campaigns can fail for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons are that they don’t target the right people, you didn’t do enough research, you didn’t have realistic goals, you created the wrong message, and you delivered content at the wrong time in the buyer’s journey.

What makes marketing plans successful?

Successful marketing plans consist of the right market research, appropriate buyer personas, attention-grabbing content, and optimized website pages. You should also properly monitor your results while running your campaign to identify opportunities for improvement.


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