All businesses need a good marketing strategy to generate new leads and customers for their company. But how do we decide what is ‘good marketing’ versus ‘bad marketing’? It doesn’t matter how many people your advertisement reaches if none of those people turn into customers. The only way you can measure the value of marketing is if the method has a positive effect on your business results. Building brand awareness is enough, getting people talking about your company is great – but if all of that chatter and awareness never translates into actual dollars – the marketing wasn’t good.

Market, Measure, Repeat

Start measuring your marketing based on how well your message encourages people to sign up for your service, pay your membership fee, or buy your products. Measure marketing regarding actual business results. Repeat the activities that generate more leads and customers, and let go of any marketing activity that simply doesn’t.

Marketing Strategy Fails

While you’re working on a new marketing strategy and figuring out how to measure your results, take some time out to laugh at some major marketing no-no’s we found over at These are too good not to share, because let’s face it – we all enjoy learning what not to do from the companies that are doing it all wrong, right? put together a list of The 5 Most Disastrous Marketing Failures of All Time. The marketing on this list just might be some of the most creative I’ve seen, but unfortunately, I don’t think turning a swimming pool into a chemical warfare agent helped sell Jagermeister.

How about this list of 15 Legendary Marketing Fails by Stefanie Griser?! My favorite just might be the funeral home advertisement cleverly positioned on the other side of the train track, asking the reader to “come a little closer”. Are you kidding me?!

bad marketing

Since people can’t seem to get enough laughing at the expense of others (no really, we’re laughing WITH you, not AT you!), Oli Gardner followed Stefanie’s article with another 15 Epic Marketing Fails. In this masterpiece compilation, Oli reminds us to be mindful of ad placement as nearby signage and advertisements can completely change the meaning you’re hoping to share through your marketing message. For example, a childhood obesity ad, urging us not to “take it lightly” situated right next to a McDonald’s “My kinda shoppin’ spree” advertisement!

bad marketing

And finally, put together this Top 10 Marketing Failures list in this video featuring some well-known commercials over the years:


Do you have any examples of bad marketing? Share them with us in the comments!

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