As some of you are celebrating Halloween – the holiday filled with ghosts, goblins and candy, this weeks blog is themed to fit the season. A lot can be learned from horror stories about businesses making marketing mistakes. Here are some of the worst marketing mistakes that anyone can learn from.

Tasteless Marketing

For most Americans, 9-11 will be remembered as an attack on our country and our freedom. A Texas mattress company owned by Mike Bonnano named “Miracle Mattress” posted a video in a sales campaign that offered a “Twin Tower Sale” where the actor offers to buy their mattresses in remembrance of 9-11. Bonnano issued a statement that called his commercial ‘tasteless’ and offered an apology to the public.

Lesson:
Think about your marketing campaign and how it will affect others. Predict possible downsides that can come from it and how you can avoid them with being creative, yet effective.

Overconfident Marketing

There’s a lesson to be learned on the flip-side as well. What happens when your marketing campaign affects you personally. Just ask LifeLock CEO, Todd Davis, where in 2006, Davis published his actual social security number on their website to prove that “LifeLock makes your personal information useless to a criminal.” This approach would have been brilliant if Davis’ social security number was impervious, it wasn’t. He had his identity stolen over a dozen times, and to top it off, was fined a whopping 12 million dollars by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for ‘deceptive advertising’.

Lesson:
Your company has a unique value and it’s necessary to position it within the industry so that your customers know who you are and what you do best. Be cautious not to break any laws that will end up eating your bank account. The FTC has strict guidelines that you should follow.

Online Reviews Can Be the Death of your Business

Here’s where personal takes on a head of its own. Foodies all love Chef Gordon Ramsey for his wit, charm and… honesty. An episode of Kitchen Nightmares featured a failing restaurant by the name of Amy’s Baking Co. based in Arizona. The owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo were seen and judged by millions on national television. Online reviews started to pour in about how crazy and dysfunctional the restaurant was and more personally towards the owner, Amy. As a result, Amy retaliated in a barrage of hateful remarks that proved the dysfunction. Soon after, Amy’s Baking Co. shut its doors for good.

Lesson:
Online reviews can make or break a business if they are not handled properly. Make sure you reflect your business in a positive light and NEVER take the low road, especially on social media where word spreads as fast as light.

How ReviewInc Can Help

To learn more about how your business can avoid being the topic of horror stories, contact ReviewInc now for a FREE Reputation Report to see what your online reputation looks like and discuss with our experts on how to improve it.