The biggest failure in executing a marketing campaign: half a trillion USD loss maker


Notching almost 15 years of digital marketing campaigns, I was once asked:

What has been your biggest failure in designing/executing a marketing/sales campaign? Why do you consider it a failure and what was the problem?

It is when a business tries to employ marketing as if it is a small portion from the outside, like “social media marketing”. It’s like “preheat the oven for me” and call it “cooking”. It’s like interjection. Real marketing is like a burning star, all consuming. It pertains to all areas of the business, all parts of the business. 

A bad customer support, or a poor product, or a bad team, a weak brand, all of those affects marketing. Everything is intertwined. 

And when we execute a marketing service, we can do just one small service, which is independent or we can do a full suite of things. Only when marketing is done in full does it become effective. 

PR cannot function without Content Marketing, which cannot speed up without ads, which cannot function without conversion optimization, which cannot function without something else. It’s like connected domino pieces.

The biggest failure for the business rather, is when they don’t see all the areas of marketing working together. And all projects I work on, where this disconnect exists, is a failure irrespective of how successful my portion of the contribution has been.

Full suite campaign

The worldwide estimated loss of all businesses and countries combined would cross over half a trillion dollars in failed marketing campaigns in a year and rising. 

So what’s the solution? Let’s go back right up:

“Only when marketing is done in full does it become effective.”

What’s a full suite of things in a campaign?

Marketing is a common factor among all areas of business as illustrated above. Marketing perspective and involvement is required from the very start, when the business is an idea, when hiring a team, when finding the niche, and more.

It continues as the product is developed, technology progress is made, messaging is done and marketing campaigns are deployed. But it does not stop there.

Marketing perspective affects success

Marketing extends to service rendered pre and post sales and through the lifecycle of the customer. It is fueled by the results and ROI your business delivers to your customers. 

If you want to claim that you are a fast paced, modern team that’s available around the clock with varied expertise, you need to hire people from various countries and industry expertise. It changes your hiring decision.

If you believe in providing your technology to your customers at their fingertips, you may need to have a mobile-first approach. 

Every marketing claim affects the business, and every element in the business affects your marketing messaging and strategy.

Considering the perspective of marketing, how each of these elements can aid in marketing is essential for its success. But let’s go specific within the scope of a marketing campaign.

Conversion optimization is the key

What’s the use of social media marketing? To generate audience interest, sales, traffic and branding. Ideally people would have to visit your website or buy from a landing page. Conversion optimization is the key there, so is sales funnels and remarketing. What about winning back customers who did not convert in the first instance and Content Marketing comes to the rescue there. 

What if someone googles about you to see if you are for real, reputation management and search engine optimization comes in handy. What if they find something interesting and read about it, impressed, but forget about you later, again it’s the job of Content Marketing to aid in there by creating communities and assets across all platforms and content types to engage and remind your audience. 

But when you are starting out, your social and general audience are low to begin with. Content Marketing takes time to build the audience. PR and advertising will help speed it up. But advertising is a costly endeavor, how do you break even with it? A strong backend and marketing funnels is the key. What feeds a strong funnel? Content. 

Content Marketing for a great ROI

There is traffic, there is conversion, but it’s not a great ROI. What do you need? Validation and social proof. Influencers and brand ambassadors are the key to this. But they cost a lot of money and to bring ROI from that investment, you need Content Marketing and Ads focused on these assets to convert better and make the most out of your investment. 

You have seen this cycle in age-old paper ads, television ads and door to door sales and it applies even here in the digital era. Marketing is dependent among all its tactics and strategies and intertwined with all areas of the business.   

It’s a cycle. How can you do one thing and not the other? If someone chooses to do it that way, in most cases the business isn’t going to make it. The campaign may be a success in the short term in some instances, but the business may not over a period of time. 

The solution is to look at it from a bird eye view and work at all the pieces strategically, together to create the force and swing the success by crossing the tipping point. The tipping point in marketing is the “virality” factor. Something does not become viral when it’s shared by 100s, but when it’s shared by 10s and thousands. It’s like a tsunami, not just large waves coming over consistently. Large waves may produce smaller relative impact, but a tsunami may create an impact that will last for years to come, or decades. That’s how brands are built, and success is sculpted.

This is the key to marketing success and the biggest half a trillion dollar trap businesses fall into, and one which most startups never recover from. 

About The Author

Mr. KEY – Karnika E. Yashwant has been an avid marketer leading blockchain projects since 2013 and executing Content Marketing for Fortune 100s since 2007. He is the CEO of Utopian Capital, an investment firm for blockchain technology, and the Founder of KEY Difference Media, an agency rated in numerous Top 5 and Top 10 lists in the Blockchain/Crypto space year after year. He can be reached at LinkedIn or Telegram

He helps businesses understand how they can function and use Content Marketing to benefit their businesses. His whole perspective stems from an audience-centric approach to meet business goals, – be it raising investment or attracting users. 

He can help them navigate the challenges and help make the right choices, and most importantly, get the message across to the audience. He is a master at educating the audience, onboarding them and increasing customer acquisition using news media, influencers, Content Marketing, and community connections.

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Karnika E. Yashwant

A prolific writer, KEY brings an insider perspective to blockchain ventures and crypto startups. He shares cutting edge content marketing strategies from his 11 years of management experience. Perfectly balanced in mind and body, he runs marathons, target-shoots, engages in extreme sports and takes a vacation break in 5+ countries annually.

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