One Step Most Marketers Miss When Designing Their Campaigns

May 13, 2024blog

by Nicole Finkbeiner, Marketing Strategist and Public Speaker

On my commute home, I brave Houston’s I-45 freeway heading back to The Woodlands. Traffic is maddingly stop-and-go, so one day I started looking at billboards and read one for an event near me that looked interesting. That is, until I realized the event was three weeks ago.

I speak often about #BrokenMarketing, which are things that negate your marketing efforts, including things within and outside of marketing’s control.

One of the main reasons that #BrokenMarketing happens is because we as marketers often don’t plan for the end. Specifically, we don’t plan for the maintenance and/or the takedown of our campaigns.

Maintaining Your Marketing

billboard about GEICO in disrepair

Geico saved money in the wrong way, by not maintaining this billboard. Photo by David Todd McCarty on Unsplash

I’m at my desk at a major product company when an email comes in from a sales team member asking if I can update a sales sheet for them, one that they use to sell our products to car dealerships.

The picture of the car on the sales sheet was a model from four years ago and their buyers at the car dealerships were laughing at them (and not buying from them), saying that our company couldn’t be serious about them as a customer since we didn’t even bother to show the right year car. Classic #BrokenMarketing response.

This happens when a marketer (in this case, not me, I swear!) develops a new marketing material and doesn’t include a plan to maintain the materials.  

By having a list of marketing materials and a review and update schedule for each material, we reduce the chances that they become outdated and create #BrokenMarketing.

This doesn’t have to be overly complex. In the case of the car dealership sales sheets, it could have been as simple as a trigger each December to update the sheets for the following year. For websites, I’m a fan of having an “owner” of each page on the site and having them review the content for updates once per year.

Taking Down Your Marketing

concert ad in a hotel elevator from three weeks prior

Ad in a hotel elevator in Calgary, Canada. The event on the ad is February 16 but the ad was still up on March 5. Photo by Nicole Finkbeiner and licensed CC-By 4.0

Another part of this step that we need to include in our campaign plans is how we will “take down” the campaign. Going back to my I-45 billboard story, both the event organizer and the billboard company should have had a plan to take down the billboard the day after the event.

With both physical and digital assets used during a marketing campaign, you should have a plan to “take down” those items once the campaign is over. 

When do the assets need to be removed? Who is responsible for doing it? These are critical steps you should plan at the beginning of your campaign.

By planning for the end, you’ll greatly limit your chances of having #BrokenMarketing that turns your customers away from your business.