Agile Insights Blog

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Pop Stars, Soda Pop and the Secret to Avoiding a Marketing Disaster

Dec 12, 2022 12:31:36 PM

If you have or know a child between the ages of 12 and 18, chances are you have probably heard about, or maybe even experienced, the jumping through hoops and bending over backward that the fan base of a certain pop princess endured just to see the dreaded ‘sold out’ alert flashing on laptop and mobile phones screens across the country. Taylor herself even referred to the experience as “feeling like [they went through] several bear attacks.”

And let’s not forget about the famous sibling of a love-them-or-leave-them popular reality family who starred in what has become known as the most catastrophic marketing fail of this century involving the celeb sister seemingly dropping her busy day of modeling to subdue a lively social justice protest by handing a police officer a can of a very famous soft drink.

While not necessarily the same situation - these two epic fails have one thing in common. Both brands involved, as well as the talent, faced a major backlash that caused marketers and brand managers to go on the defensive and craft ways to ease the frustration and anger of loyal fans and customers. Both failed because of a wildly poor customer experience.

The soft drink and celeb sister, have since recovered - albeit the TV spot is still included on almost every top ten list of what-not-to-do in marketing or creative development - but the ticket sales debacle will require a bit more strategy and innovation to reconcile a smoother future experience for fans. But what if these marketing disasters could have been avoided in the first place? If someone during the decision-making process paused to ask consumers what THEY thought of the proposed customer experience or campaign messaging, could these situations have been avoided?

Talking directly to your customers to discover their pain points, how they make choices to determine what they buy and where they shop, as well as testing new products, experiences, and messaging to understand how they will be received, is the best way to prevent a product development or marketing disaster before it happens. Oftentimes, marketers skip this step because they don’t think they have enough time or budget, but it doesn’t have to be. Vennli can help you get fast insights into whether your new product or campaign will be a winner or the next marketing fail.

Here are some more ways to prevent a future marketing mishap:

-Be sure the product or service has undergone quality control analysis. If the product itself isn’t up to par, you can be sure your customers will let you know - often via public channels like social media platforms and reviews.

-If possible, having a diverse team of creative developers is beneficial to ensure that the messaging or images in the campaign on not offensive to any group of people. If this isn’t possible, reach out to larger groups within your agency or even friends and family to catch any impending sensitivities within the creative. 

-Be authentic. Making false promises that can’t be kept will be discovered and then…well, refer to the first tip on our list. 

-If you are going to take a stance on a social issue, do it carefully, and be sure to follow through. Make sure your company's and leaders’ actions match what you preach. Consumers do not like to buy products from hypocrites.

-Test the process, then test it some more. Are all of your links and forms working? Can your system handle a large amount of traffic? Be sure to get the kinks out before your go live and your customers catch these mistakes.

Want to learn more about how you can prevent a marketing mishap or process pickle? Give us a call at Vennli before it’s too late!


Tracy Corry
Written by Tracy Corry

Digital Marketing Strategist with 20 years experience, dedicated to helping brands create meaningful connections with their customers.

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