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These Naughty Advertising Tactics Deserve Coal This Holiday Season

By Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 @ 02:48 PM |


It is believed that in the olden days parents would put coal in the stockings of their children who had been naughty and blame the whole thing on Santa. These days “Santa” may hand out socks instead of an iPad or PlayStation to kids who have been naughty (AKA annoying as h*ll), in order to curb those unwanted tendencies.

It’s not just kids that can be naughty – advertising tactics can be as well. Just as naughty children can leave parents completely bereft of energy and good cheer, naughty advertising tactics can leave your company bereft of budget and ROI.

The following advertising tactics are naughty and deserve coal this holiday season (AKA – get rid of them):

Copying What Your Competitors Do and Assuming You’ll Be Successful

While it is a good idea to track and analyze what your competitors do – it’s not a good idea to assume that copying their strategy to a proverbial “T” will let you sit back and wait for those sales to come rolling in.

What works for one business may not work for yours, not exactly anyway. Yes, monitor the competition, but then spend a little time analyzing WHY they got the positive outcome(s) they did. Question their behaviors and strategies and determine if their tactics align with your businesses’ goals and target demographic before out-and-out copying them.


Adopting digital trendsAdopting Digital Advertising Trends Just Because Everyone Else Is

We are definite proponents of marrying traditional advertising (print and direct mail, etc.) with digital advertising (email marketing and search, etc.). What we don’t encourage our clients to do is jump on every single new digital marketing trend or platform that comes along.

While being an early adopter can be exciting, it can also potentially drain your ad budget within weeks and leave you with no money and no results. Just as with print advertising and other traditional channels, all of your digital marketing decisions should be based on hard data and whether or not they align with your business model and goals.


Focusing on Instant Sales

Focusing only on instant, top of funnel sales is patently wrong. You’ve got to think strategically and long-term. When you create your campaigns, focus on what your goals are. Are you trying to create brand awareness or entice qualified leads, because each will require a different approach?

If you only focus on instant sales and ROI, you may not see immediate enough results and assume advertising costs too much and is ineffective and quit.


Not Bothering to Test or TweakNot Bothering to Test or Tweak

Let’s say you do find a tactic that works nicely for you – should you just accept the good results you are getting or should you go for GREAT results? Obviously the latter.

While good results are good, they do not suggest that you can’t do better. Without being obsessive, you should constantly test your ads and the channels you use to see if you can’t get even better results. Don’t be adverse to change – be adverse to mediocrity.


Using Way Too Many Analytic Tools

The flip side to not testing is when business owners use 25 different analytics tools when using 3 would be much better. Unless you are a large scale enterprise, using numerous analytics tools will simply eat up your time, energy and budget. Tracking your campaigns shouldn’t be a pain in the butt. If it is, you’ll stop tracking and that is a very bad idea.


If you’re using any of these naughty advertising tactics, give them a very large piece of coal this holiday season and then kick them to the curb as hard as you can. This will help you see better results in the new year.

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