Every now and then we see some pretty bad stuff coming from marketers. And every time we see them we ask ourselves “What were they thinking?!“. Marketers make these mistakes over and over again. And they don’t seem to stop.
Have you ever seen something so ridiculous that you just felt embarrassed for the marketing department of a company? I, personally, have seen plenty of it. Let’s look at a few things marketers should never-ever-ever-ever use. Ever.
Top Marketing No-Go’s
1. QR Codes
QR codes are probably the most misused tool in the history of marketing:
- QR codes so small you can’t scan them, even if you would want to
- QR codes placed in such ridiculous places like billboards or almost near the ground (you really think somebody will take out their phone, bend over and scan it?!)
My favorite QR code fail was the one when I was handed a flyer to some kind of a party. Of course, the local marketers thought it would be a great idea to be ultra-innovative add a QR code at the bottom. So just for the fun of it I decided to scan it. Guess what – I was redirected to a website showing the same flyer, with the same QR code at the bottom…
If you want to use something similar to QR codes for a mobile experience, consider using NFC tags.
2. Websites not optimized for mobile
You know what I am talking about: you open a link on your smartphone leading you to a website which is not optimized for mobile. Everything is so small that you have to zoom in to find the information you want. Plus the navigation (especially with drop-down menus) is almost impossible to handle.
What do you as a marketer expect from the visitor? Optimizing your website for mobile will remove an extra barrier between you and your customers. Odds are that you have competitors with a mobile-optimized website and that people will just visit theirs instead of yours.
3. Cheap link building
In case you haven’t read any SEO-related articles in the last 2 years: buying links to your website will NOT improve your search engine rankings. What will happen though is the exact opposite. Your website will be penalized by Google.
You might think “But nobody buys links anymore!” – just visit Fiverr and look at how many people offer paid links that hundreds (if not thousands) of people buy.
4. Think that your customers are stupid
Here at trendblog.net, we had a quite unpleasant experience with our previous hosting provider which in the end cost him 3 loyal customers with around 15 websites – he thought that we are stupid.
When the website went down for a couple of minutes (which we discovered immediately) we were told that it was an “issue with the CMS” and that he would “write WordPress an email in order to unblock our IP addresses”.
In most cases your consumers are at least as smart as you are, sometimes even smarter. They have done their research. They have checked out the competition. And this is especially prominent in the digital industry.
5. Comic Sans & Typos
We live in a world where people appreciate sleek design and beautiful typography. Please don’t use Comic Sans. It’s not 1990 anymore. And PLEASE check everything for typos and mistakes.
What do you think marketers should never do? What was the worst marketing fail you have ever seen?