Recently, two devasting marketing campaigns, from massively large companies, proved the need for well-planned and well-executed advertising.
A month into their campaign, IHOP claims that their change of name to IHOB (to promote their new line of burgers) was all a marketing ploy[i]. The internet, nor their customers, found it funny, and many have walked away from the franchise. Whether it was a ploy, or whether they are trying to correct a mistake, may never be known.
Then, last week, Build-a-Bear announced that you can buy a bear for the cost of your age (e.g. 12 years old’s pay $12). The problem was that they weren’t prepared.[ii] Stores were forced to shut down, police were called, and lines wrapped around many of their stores. The result was a lot of crying and disappointed children.
While the lessons are myriad, let’s narrow them down to two.
Ask Yourself What Could Go Wrong?
Seriously, even if IHOP planned all along to switch from IHOP to IHOB back to IHOP, their campaign went terribly wrong. They became a joke on late night TV and were the target of jokes from rival Wendy’s. If they wanted attention, they got it. It was just the wrong kind of attention.
A well-thought-through campaign seeks input from the outside asking questions like, “What could go wrong?” IHOP could not have asked that question, and if they did, that asked the wrong people.
Ask Yourself What Could Go Right?
Build-a-Bear was a victim of their success. Clearly, they didn’t think that so many people would respond that they would have to call the cops to manage the crowds.
Yes, sometimes campaigns are so successful, they exceed your ability to meet demand. Questions surrounding what to do, when the response is that huge, have got to be asked.
So, what for you? Ask yourself:
Do you have a marketing campaign for your company?
Have they been successes or failures?
If you do, have you asked what you will do if they go poorly or successfully?
What typically happens is that campaigns have a life-cycle. So, even if you have done these things, redesign them soon because most eventually lead to a flat lined income growth as a result of familiarly.
Gordon Duncan is the CEO/Consultant of ProSight Success and has trained employees for nearly 20 years.
ProSight Success has a team of marketing specialists and social media strategists. If you are interested in learning about our services, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be glad to answer any of your questions.
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Gordon Duncan is an award-winning educator, salesman, teacher, manager, and writer. He has taught in the public school system, lobbied for school's accreditation, managed eye clinics, led sales' teams, and also publishes books on theology, church, and culture.