By: Suzanne Buzek

The budget’s been cleared on your dream marketing campaign. Your darling idea has earned you a pat on the back and a “let’s get to work.” Here are eight campaign mishaps to avoid throughout the process to help ensure a success.

1.  Slacking at the Start

Are you tapping an outside agency to help with creative? Or is the nature of the campaign a little different than what your creative team or agency typically works on? Help them help you by kicking things off right:

  • Specific, measurable goals: you don’t have to get creative here. Instead, be straightforward about what new or repeat business you want to achieve out of this campaign
  • Creative brief: if things go astray, you can bring it back here.
  • Creative assets: logos, photography, brand standards and elements (Psst, are they hi-res?)
    • Watchout! Avoid repeat photography or creative from past campaigns. If purchasing a photo or licensing, read the fine print. If you’re going to print, avoid cell phone images.

2.  Audience Blind Spots

This is the classic mistake of not developing or updating client or buyer personas. They don’t have to include every little detail about a buyer, but you should have an idea of the main 3 types of customers (or ideal customers) you want to communicate with, to help craft the messaging that will appeal to them.

I don’t blame you if persona development still seems like a daunting task. It takes time and thorough consideration! Hubspot has amazing resources to get you started.

3.  Devilish Databases

Once you’ve done the research and you know your audience, a bad or outdated distribution list won’t do you any good. Partner wisely to help scrub and sort data so the recipient is receiving the campaign specifically tailored for him or her.

4.  Offbeat Content and Messaging

Consider this a byproduct of #2 and #3. When you don’t know your audiences well, and you’re not organized in how you communicate to those audiences, your message can be perceived as “just bad.”

When it comes to messaging, think about international implications with text, images, and colors. For example, “Schweppes Tonic Water” translates to “Schweppes Toilet Water” in Italian. Don’t be that brand.

5.  Not Running It by Legal

If you have the question “Should I run this by legal?” Chances are, the answer is “yes.” Anything from trademarks and registration to ensuring the fine print is accurate when running a contest, sweepstakes or giveaway keeps your brand reputation in the clear. The time and forethought spent upfront is probably half the time needed to implement a crisis communication or solve a legal problem retroactively.

6.  Forgetting Internal Communication

Internal communication and collaboration is essential in planning a big campaign. Here are groups to think about and involve in campaign-planning to ensure success:

  • Sales force: They’ll be your feet on the street when the campaign is live. Can they talk to the benefits of the promoted product or service in a way that fits the intended audience?
  • Consumer relations or the call center: Prepare them before the campaign with the essentials in case they get calls. Who knows, that 30 minutes of review with them could mean they take advantages of opportunities to upsell!
  • Leadership: At the minimum, company leadership should have a campaign memo they can recall if in conversation and the campaign is brought up.

7.  Not Getting a “Before” Snapshot

Google analytics, website traffic, SEO strength, social media engagement, media placements… If you can get them, then you must track them. Having the “Before” data will make the “After” data look even better!

8.  Kill the Campaign When It’s Time

Put a timeline on the campaign, and stick to it. When it’s over, it’s over. Capture the final metrics and results, review with the team, and discuss key learnings or action items for the next campaign.