Look Before You Leap: How to Spot Bad Marketing from Afar
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Look Before You Leap: How to Spot Bad Marketing from Afar (with Examples)

Look Before You Leap: How to Spot Bad Marketing from Afar

A closer view of what Bad Marketing looks like.

Bad marketing — it’s everywhere. From the digestive surprises that come with black-bunned, Halloween-themed burgers to blurry pictures with camera phones, bad marketing puts the “ail” in “failure”. Sure it might get your customers talking, but does it really push your business toward the end result? If not, then you need a smarter digital marketing approach.

Here’s an easy guide to spotting bad marketing from afar:

It makes you squint.

You can’t even read it or understand what it means because it seems out of focus. Blurry pictures and fuzzy text can mess up your entire digital marketing efforts. Why? It looks like you hired your child’s sibling to do the work for you. In essence, it’s just plain unprofessional.


“Apple has determined that, in a small percentage of iPhone 6 Plus devices, the iSight camera has a component that may fail causing your photos to look blurry.”It’s a good idea not to use your iPhone 6 to take pictures for your business.

Always use sharp images and high-definition photos as graphics, and steer clear of methods for sending/posting files that result in “lossy” images which tend to come out blurry. Just a little blur is enough to be detected by the keenly trained eyes of your audience members today.

You just ‘feel’ like something’s wrong.

Something just doesn’t sit well with you. In this case, your gut instinct is usually correct and an indicator that other people probably get this vibe as well. Burger King just came out with a black-bunned burger in light of Halloween 2015. While this may seem like a marketing genius at the highest caliber, it actually makes for an unpleasant surprise in the restroom. Instead of talking about Burger King, everyone is just talking about what turns green.


So, there is something “off” about that advertisement, and it gives you a bad feeling. All that negative energy does nothing for your customer base, and in fact, may make new potential buyers turn back for illogical reasons. They just weren’t “feeling” it.

When you execute digital marketing with grace, it also feels this way. It’s probably the slightly staggered symmetry, the colors and how they affect your psychology or the lack of flow that causes your mind to ‘just know’ there’s a problem. You’re probably right.

You’re having a hard time finding it.

If you cannot immediately locate the path to purchase, then neither will your customers. They don’t want to look around for your phone number or address, and they definitely do want shopping online to be easy (after all, that’s why they chose the convenience of an online search). A majority of working people would agree that there is simply not enough time in the day. Therefore, you’ll want to make this part simple and even fun for them.

They want to know:

  • What the site is about
  • What can they see or do, and


  • How do they go about doing it


wrong way right way

If your site navigation causes frustration, then that’s no way to structure your business online. Stick with an intuitive design. Keep the most valuable and popular information easily accessible, because chances are that the rest of your customers are also looking for it. It helps to stick with more common website layouts for ease of use.

The actions don’t match the desired intention.

So you post an ad that says, “subscribe to our blog”, then everyone just does the complete opposite thing instead — they unsubscribe and never come back to your page. Just, no.

just no

In digital marketing, the numbers do not lie. That is, you can spot most errors by taking a look at your analytics. Big data crunched through marketing automation software should indicate whether or not you’re getting the desired response. Things like “Bounce Rate” and “Average Session Duration” in Google Analytics help you to determine online customer behaviors through tracking.

No one’s around — everyone either gets angry or leaves.

Ever walk into a restaurant, see no one around, then immediately feel uncomfortable?


That’s what happens when others visit your page and notice the lack of ‘human quality’ to it. It makes them uneasy, and this approach could use some work. The “atmosphere” of your website is crucial to whether or not others feel comfortable enough to hang around or nervous enough to leave. Some of them even get angry (feeling as if they walked into a trap by clicking through) and take this lack of atmosphere out on you.

Don’t let your website or online pages be a downer for others. To infuse your website with the voice of your customers, you’ll need to build an online community around what you do. This will help new customers to want to join in and follow your company’s pages instead of noticing and wondering where all the people went.

In need of better digital marketing services?

We can help you with your online presence. Learn more about our marketing programs at Oyova — a St. Petersburg web design, content marketing, social media management, and eCommerce web development company.


Photo Credit:CC by Mike Mozart

iPhone 6 Plus Camera Blurry Pictures

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