Stick or Stink?

Stick or Stink? This is the real question!

Have you ever passed by an advertising campaign you couldn’t get its message from the first time? Or probably you have but you couldn’t reason it? How many times you decided not to purchase a specific brand because you just came through a very poor campaign promoting it? Well this gentlemen, is what we call the “Stink” factor!

how to avoid failing in your next marketing campaign

On the other hand, how many ads you still remember from your childhood or you do a purchase because you just adore the way the message was communicated. How many taglines got stuck to your head that you didn’t even use before you were subjected to a specific campaign? Yes, this is the success of marketing. Getting things stuck in your head or the Stickiness factor. Ask any marketing professional and he will probably write you a book about this factor. Yet implementing it needs real work, research and proper branding.

What marketers try to avoid is to fall into the “Stink” factor as this will cause damage to their brand’s reputation and will eventually needs a lot of time to fix it. The stink factor, as we call it, will contribute to the failure of the message conceived and you will end up fixing up things instead of building on your campaigns’ success. This is due to several reasons. One, it might be the product you are advertising for, or maybe the message you are using, or maybe the channels you are using or the people you are targeting.

Here are some reasons why marketers stink:


In very rare cases guessing had helped marketers to reach their objectives. After all, marketing is not an accident; it should be build on decisions, research, market knowledge, and continuous hard work to deliver properly what you intend to do. The biggest mistake you can do is launching a campaign without prior research of the product, the market, the channels or even the budget and then waiting for the results. Yes it is possible that you are tapping in a new market and do not know how it will react but at least you need to put minimum efforts to understand the nature of this market.

Being silly

It’s always nice to break the ice with your target audience and speak their language, however you need to really be aware of it. Sometimes imitating their language might backfire on you as it might be considered offensive. Or maybe you are trying to be cute but you end up with a silly tagline, or confusing message that people won’t understand. Consider that you are picking up on a girl and you need to impress her with your cuteness. Make sure you use the correct words to impress. Always try using the Elevator Pitch approach.

Assuming your product can promote itself

Take the example of Coca Cola and Pepsi; they both have great products and might not need to be marketed, however they just don’t stop impressing us with their endless job of promoting them. This doesn’t mean that they are failing to sell or are having some difficulties, it’s just that they want to always stick in your head. Don’t count that you have a wonderful marketable product and sit still, you need to always communicate it with your audience. And when I say communicating it, remember not to be silly doing that. Bottom line for this, don’t count on your product to promote itself, count on your marketing activities to do so.

Not knowing the objectives of your campaign

Marketing is an objective-oriented activity. You are not allowed to launch a campaign without knowing your objective of your campaign. Whether it is branding, lead conversion, engaging with audience through social networks, redirecting people to your website, subscribing to your newsletter, or any other activity, you should build your campaign based on it. Stupid who thinks that all objectives can be served by a unified marketing promotion, and this, gentlemen, is where campaigns stink.

Communicating gibberish to your clients

Don’t be afraid to talk your audience’s language. This is a Must! You can’t be communicating serious stuff when targeting teenagers. You need to talk their language, understand their interest, be part of their community, and most importantly let them like you! If you fail to do so, you will stink.

Not responding to your audience

If you are on the marketing run, you need to respond quickly and properly to your audience. Never leave a query or a comment unattended. This will hurt your reputation. People who ask questions or add comments are potential buyers; treat them well or you will stink.

Not tracking results

Marketing is all about numbers, conversions, metrics, and results. The worst enemy of a marketer is not being able to track results. Without results, you will never know what works and what doesn’t. Even if sales went up or you reached your objectives, you will end up in a dark space not knowing what triggered your campaign. If you are launching a campaign on Twitter, Facebook, AdWords, Instagram or any other channel, you need to track the results of each on its own to evaluate what is best and through what your campaign hit a tipping point. Check out the measuring tools given on different social media or through website analytic tools such as Google Analytics to really evaluate your success.

Stink & Stick factors are endless and each might be affected by a single action you do. Therefore, I advise you to keep in mind the above and most importantly plan your objectives before launching any campaign.

If you are interested to know more about how to construct a successful marketing campaign, enroll in our upcoming social media and online marketing course and perfect your campaign.