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Fuzzy screen as part of an article about classic marketing fails.

Classic marketing fails occur frequently, despite being easily avoidable. Here’s what to look for…

It’s one of the most iconic moments in Australian sport…

At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, short track speed skater, Steven Bradbury, snatched gold for Australia in the 1000m event after his fellow competitors all fell over.

He was running dead last when the rest of the field took a tumble.

While the narrative has always concentrated on how he achieved the win in the most fortuitous circumstances, the forgotten story is of how the other skaters didn’t claim gold.

What’s this got to do with marketing?

Well, it’s painful, exhausting, and even humiliating when you put in time, money, and effort but don’t get the reward or the desired result.

Unfortunately, businesses do this all the time – ‘committing’ classic marketing fails.

Here is a handful of these fails to be aware of, so you can stay on your feet and reach the podium.


1. The Shotgun Approach

Charging head-on without a plan or strategy in place is among the leading classic marketing fails. Yet many businesses are guilty of this.

Failing to narrow and understand your market is a sure-fire way to waste money and time. Granted, you’ll likely get a few hits, but at what cost?

Think strategically about how you’ll market your business. Is it best to market in terms of demographic, location, channel, or – particularly in the case of B2B – service or product?

You’ll find that it’s easier to convince people to engage with you if they already know who you are. Or if these are people who need the service you provide or have their wallet in their hand and are waiting for you to make contact.

The same applies when searching for a superstar team. You need to know exactly what to look for, which questions to ask, and the best way to extract information.

If you are unsure of who your market is and where they hang out, that’s where we come in. We take a bird’s-eye view and pick up on who and what you’ve missed.

It’s easy to miss your golden opportunity when you’re immersed in both running your business and trying to market yourself.


Laptop showing Gmail inbox.

Choosing your channel/s is among many key considerations. Credit: Justin Morgan on Unsplash.

2. Neglecting Google and Social Media

Google and social media have changed the game significantly when it comes to finding and reaching your market.

But do you know the number one thing that Facebook wants you to provide? A positive user experience.

So, craft your posts with this point in mind – as well as ensuring they’re relevant to your audience – to boost the chances of them receiving greater engagement and reaching more people.

Otherwise, the efforts amount to a big waste of resources.

Additionally, on social media, you can create a look-a-like buyers’ list to mimic your previous customers. Then, take it one step further and find the equivalent of your repeat customers.

What’s more, you can very precisely determine the parameters your net casts: location, postcode, and behavioural targeting is a mere click away.

Location-dependent businesses that aren’t targeting with hawk-eye precision are not even starting the race.

What can you do to appease Google? Well, here are 10 top SEO tips.


Smartphone screen displaying social media icons.

Embrace the socials, otherwise you’re committing one of the biggest classic marketing fails. Credit: Julian Christ on Unsplash.

3. Not Knowing Your Competition

If you’re in a race but don’t know your competition, you will end up like the pile of skaters that trampled over each other under pressure.

It’s not so much about putting all your focus on them; it’s about being savvy.

It’s critical to understand how your value proposition is going to be perceived by the market in comparison to your competitors’ alternatives.

This is especially true for B2B professional services where the target market is generally smaller but it usually converts into longer-term customers – and, in turn, provides the most valuable ROI for your marketing.

Knowing your competitors makes your business better. You know what you’re chasing, or who’s chasing you.


Women interacting during a meeting.

Long-term customers are gold. Credit: CoWomen on Unsplash.

4. Not Having Metrics

Renowned business consultant, author, and educator, Peter Drucker, said it best:

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Measuring your output is how you know you’ve succeeded. Or failed.

But only 41% of businesses that are investing in social media marketing said they could measure the amount of traffic they generated. It’s another case of classic marketing fails coming to life.

Enlisting a Hunt & Hawk expert to show you precisely how and where your marketing is working, or not, means you are not wasting your impressions on segments of the market that were never going to engage with you anyway.

You aren’t letting leads drip through a leaky sales process. And you aren’t hoping the contractor you hired will deliver on the tasks you set without going back and forth 20 times.


Person using laptop that's displaying a Google Analytics page.

No metrics, no good. Credit: Campaign Creators on Unsplash.

Avoid Classic Marketing Fails With Us

At Hunt & Hawk, we’re experts at marketing, branding, and sales.

We’ll help you to market strategically, so you can avoid these classic marketing fails and soar past your competition.

It might be a long game, but it has a strong payoff.

Achieve gold today!

How would you like to engage with us?

For more marketing, branding, and sales tips and insights and plenty else, check out more of our blog.