Category Archives: Examples of Bad Content

4 Email Promo Practices to Avoid: A Marketing Campaign That Shows Us Exactly What Not to Do

A Sadly Wasted Effort for a Mystery Event That Might Even Have Been Worth Attending I just received an email promotion that was so wrong-headed that it makes a perfect negative case study.  As always we can learn from what

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You Can’t Fake Authenticity as This ‘Live Attendant’ Proves to a Talking Dog

Your honest interactions with customers are critical to your content marketing success. So, please don’t make the mistake that this get rich quick marketing vendor program made with their fake ‘live attendant.’  This lame attempt at artificial online intelligence was

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The Godfather Guide to Direct Marketing: Make Me an Offer I Can’t Refuse

You Must Persuade Me to Act or Your Beautiful Promotional Piece Will Sleep with the Fishes
I was perversely inspired to write this because of a recent gorgeous direct mailing I received from local French restaurant.

They did a lot of things right. There was some beautiful photography that captured the essence of this charming little bistro. They described how the restaurant and its cuisine were uniquely appealing. They shared some impressive awards and recognitions for their excellence. They included their Web address. And, they even provided a little map that showed me exactly how to find it.

There was only one thing missing. But it was the most important thing: They failed to make me an offer that would entice me to dine at the restaurant. In fact, there was no offer at all.

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Lessons from a Business Website That Misunderstands Content Marketing

You must be clear on what you do and how your customers will benefit
I became aware of the Metwell website as a result of a promotion they had sent me via Twitter. Their website is full of unintended ironies as they offer online marketing advice which the website appears to ignore.

It’s also a good example of a website with a pretty good layout that is undercut by a lack of focus and a serious shortage of relevant and compelling content.

I found it hard to understand exactly what Metwell does or how they could help me after a quick–and then a more in depth–visit to their website The company seems to know content is important because their site attempts to provide a lot of content, at least on the surface. But they misunderstand the essence of content marketing by failing to make their content relevant and compelling to prospective buyers.

Here’s what I find to be most problematic:

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Bad Dog Commercial. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Just because you put a cute dog in a commercial, you won’t automatically communicate effectively with your customers.
Storytelling is a key component of effective marketing and often of the very best advertising. But, you have to be really careful in the use of storytelling for a brief TV commercial that addresses millions of viewers who are not giving you their full attention from the get-go.

That’s why the State Street SPDR commercial featuring a cute Jack Russell Fox Terrier misses the mark.

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Don’t Keep Your Web Visitors Waiting and Guessing: A Video Company Website That Communicates Poorly

It’s Not Visual. It’s Doesn’t Get Quickly to the Point. It Doesn’t Show How It Can Help.
When much of the web was experimental and Web surfing was still recreational, it might have been okay to have a website that was creative for its own sake–even when it was unclear about its purpose. Not so today.

We face three key realities that must shape our thinking about a good versus bad website

Websites are our most important marketing tool. They will increasingly replace most traditional marketing. Therefore, you have to get it right.
Your prospective online buyers are pressed for time and won’t waste it trying to figure how they will benefit from what you do.
You have just one chance to influence your prospective buyer. If they are not impressed, they will mosey on down the Internet.

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Why Does this BMW Dealer eNewsletter Talk So Little About Cars?

How To Put the Brakes on Their Five Major Marketing Mistakes
[Please note that I have made a few changes to the initial post based on constructive feedback, particularly to clarify that this is a dealer enewsletter,not a BMW corporate effort ]

If you were to imagine an eNewsletter from your local BMW dealer, you would probably expect it to lead off with a picture something like the one to the right.

As a BMW owner, you tend to be a certain kind of person. The folks at BMW have understood your persona well over decades in the United States. That’s why I’m mystified at the June 2009 eNewsletter from Germain BMW of Naples.

I love my BMW. I think Germain BMW is a terrific dealership. But, I hate their eNewsletter. Why? Because it has almost nothing to do with the BMW brand promise: BMW—The Ultimate Driving Machine.

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Embarq’s 2nd Attempt to Get My Business Back: Even Worse than the First!

Their first effort tried to play the cute, sympathy card with an actual card, now they imply its my fault that I bailed on them and trash the company they wrongly assume got my business.

I wrote recently that Embarq could have saved a lot of marketing moola by providing great customer service in the first place: The Huge Marketing Reality That EMBARQ Forgot. I, along with a likely heard of horses had already left the Embarq barn so it was too late to whistle us back. But, did they give up? No, now they are starting to sound irritatingly desperate.

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10 Top Public Relations Pratfalls of 2008

Check Out These Gigantic Goofs So You Can Avoid Them in 2009 We all love top 10 lists, whether they are of the wonderful or of the woeful variety. We can learn from both.  In that educational spirit and with

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Bad B2B Ad Endangers This Polar Bear

Avoid the 5 Perilous Print Advertising Mistakes It Commits
“Print Advertising is dead,” says a very smart small business owner friend. Although print advertising may be more endangered than all those ice-loving polar bears some folks worry about, you can still create effective print ads that prompt customers to take action.

Unfortunately, this advertisement isn’t one of them. In five important respects, the ad fails both in communicating a brand message and in inspiring action.

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