Archives for : Marketing Mishaps

Instagram Adds Emoji to Hashtags – Internet Dead-Ends?

Instagram Adds Emoji to Hashtags – #SocialMedia Dead-Ends?

I really enjoy the progress of tech and the Internet most of the time. However, Instagram announced today that they will include emoji within hashtags on their picture-posting platform.

I can’t wrap my mind around that. I understand the expressive aspect of emoji, for the person adding those characters to their post. However, a benefit of the hashtag is using them to find similar content to that which you’re interested. In other words, clicking on a hashtag is like asking “What else is being said today about the topic of my choice?”

How likely are you to enter #sonsofanarchy<3 instead of #sonsofanarcy, for example? Seems to me that this new development will result mainly in dead-end hashtags. In other words, they look clever or will perhaps illicit a smile when posted, but no one will search for it to reveal more widespread use on that platform. A dead end.

I’m also fairly certain that inclusion of emoji will make #somethingthatsalreaydhardtoread even worse.

Instagram did not bother to explain why they had created this solution-in-search-of-a-problem. Upon searching the webz, I found an article on that strongly implies Instagram is just keeping up with the Twitter Joneses:

Twitter, of course, has recently started letting users add Star Wars emojis via hashtags.

(Yikes. Perusing my Twitter stream for about 45 minutes today, I saw no such hashtags.)

Thanks for nothing, Instagram. #futurefail

Failure to Launch – A Tale of Facebook Frustration

If you have started a Facebook Fan Page, congratulations! Fan Pages can be a great platforms for interacting with your audience. Fan Pages can be wonderful tools to find new fans and potential customers. A Fan Page can be an occasional activity for your marketing person, or a daily obsession for your entire staff and “tribe” of fans.

Fan Pages can be launched with a bare minimum of information and engaging content.

DO NOT DO THAT. Seriously, don’t.

I have received four invitations to “LIKE” new fan pages in the last three days. One of them had only started a few days ago, but the description fields in the “About” section were all filled out, and numerous updates about recent activities had been posted.

It was ready.

It had plenty of answers to my questions: What is this organization? How long have they been around? How would I get in touch with them?

The other three all looked very much like my example image, which was actually taken from a page to which I was invited. The names have been omitted to protect the offending parties.

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Marketing Mishaps #4 – E-Mail Sale Fail

I received this e-mail yesterday (see image below) from GPS manufacturer TomTom.

Does your company use scheduling apps for marketing messages? If so, you might want to make sure that another person reviews the schedule from time to time.

Don’t get me wrong – I signed on for these e-mails, and appreciate the updates and offers I get from TomTom. But I was shopping for a new GPS for a relative before Christmas. Sending this message on time might have sold at least one more unit!

Have you seen a similar Marketing Mishap? Tell us about it in the comments.

P.S. TomTom’s is currently discounting some of their GPS units. I have no idea if it’s a really long Fall Sale.

UPDATE: Just saw a TV commercial for One-Hour Heating and Air: “Get your furnace ready for winter!” Too late.

TomTom E-Mail Sale Fail

TomTom E-Mail Sale Fail

Marketing Mishaps #3 – Special 5-Hour Energy® Edition

I’m not going to spend more than one sentence criticizing how Living Essentials, the folks who make 5-Hour Energy, apparently spun a wheel or threw a dart to choose their new branding character: an Old West sheriff. energy beverage

Maybe just one more sentence: What does that have to do with needing energy??

OK, moving on.

Along with the new branding figure, they began using a new marketing slogan. It’s an “epic FAIL” in my mind. Tell me what you think in the comments below. Their new slogan is “Hours and Hours of Energy.”

No kidding? You sold 9 million bottles a week in 2011, and that’s the best slogan your marketing folks could produce? The only positive thing about this slogan is that it doesn’t appear to be offensive in any way – well, maybe only to marketing folks. Or writers. Or…

I’ve written 10 slogans that I believe  are better than “Hours and Hours of Energy”:

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Preparing Your Home for a Successful Virtual Tour

Preparing Your Home for the Virtual Tour Producers

There are many information resources available regarding staging your home for sale. This article will reinforce the most important of those guidelines, and hopefully add a few new items to your “to-do” list that are specifically designed to help you have a beautiful and successful Virtual Tour!

Preparing for your Virtual Tour“According to a national 2011 survey done by Home Gain, a $290 cleaning investment gives a $1,990 price increase, or a 586 percent return!”

(From the Reinventing Space blog article by Julea Joseph:

So if you’re wondering if anyone will notice that you cleaned (or had someone clean) the domes on your closet light fixtures, or dusted the window sills even if you never open the blinds, the answer is YES.

Will those minute details show up in a Virtual Tour? Perhaps not. The point is that your attention to detail will go a long way toward making a great first impression, whether it’s on-line or at an Open House or showing.

Everyone will tell you to eliminate “clutter”, like a heap of children’s toys in the corner of their room, or that stack of video games on your TV stand. Here’s a further tip: Wall shelves and tables that contain knick-knacks more than one row deep are no longer “decor” – they are now “storage units”. And that’s just what they look like. If you can’t pass your cell phone (the width, not the thickness) between the items, move some of them to storage. I don’t hate “Precious Moments” figurines or bowling trophies…but the Virtual Tour is not the place to show off your collection.

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Marketing Mishaps #2 – Know Your Customer

This one is just plain absurd.

castle appraisal adI don’t recall the circumstances under which this ad popped up on the right-hand side of my Facebook screen. I think I could make the case that, no matter what I was looking at or discussing, this ad should have never appeared to me.


Demographic information can be very precisely targeted in a Facebook ad campaign. You can fine-tune your targeting using demographic terms like:

  • Sex
  • Age (range or exact age)
  • Interests
  • Income
  • Education Level
  • Geographic Area
  • Relationship Status

So, let me give you a thumbnail sketch of ME: I am 51 years old, married, middle-class income, Bachelors degree, have always lived in the Midwest, and have never, EVER expressed any interest in owning a castle. Ever.

How did this ad get presented to me? I suspect the demographic targeting for this ad campaign was left blank. That would be something like placing your ad on radio or TV stations AT RANDOM, without regard to format or audience.

I can’t think of any good reason to do that, except for the possibility that the sponsors of this ad either didn’t know whom they were targeting, or didn’t care to instruct Facebook of those facts.

Course of Action

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Marketing Mishaps #1 – Pride and Value

Pay attention to the marketing of others. Learn from their mistakes.
Number One of Two

I was in a coffee shop recently. I realize that’s like saying “I’m still alive,” but just bear with me.

marketing-fail1The shop had a number of beautifully mounted and framed articles from local papers, photos of sports sponsorships, and even an award for “Best Coffee Shop.” from a recent year. These were presented neatly and attractively near an entrance. GREAT. The problem was that they had positioned their news rack right in front of it. The news rack covered over half the display. What’s more, the rack made it necessary to stand back a bit to read the tiny newsprint on some of the articles.

The popular term for this is FAIL.

It’s a great shop, with friendly, helpful people, and delicious products. I’m a fan.

But I counted five (5) other places that the rack, or at least the magazines and newspapers, could have been placed.

Instead, they wrecked an opportunity to make additional “impressions” on some of their clients, new and established.

To their credit, they took care of the situation immediately when I mentioned the problem. And, I thank them for giving me permission to use the photographs and story as a brief “case study” in my blog…

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