8 Ways to Make Bad Marketing Decisions

right-and-wrong-decisionsIn my years serving clients at many different levels, I am surprised quite often by poor marketing decisions and how they are made. It doesn’t really matter the location or industry, or the size of the company. Poor decision making has wasted more marketing dollars than any other factor in a marketing venue. As you look over these think about the people you have worked with in the past, and see if they fit into any of these.

Evidence Targeting

Instead of searching for the truth and compiling evidence that supports the truth no matter what. Evidence Targeting is when you gather facts that support a pre-determined conclusion, and purposely disregard other facts that support different conclusions. People have an idea of what they want and then search for the right evidence that leads others to their conclusion.

Call Off The Search

When enough evidence is accumulated to reach the desired outcome, one simply stops looking for evidence. This can also be done selectively. Choosing to screen out options that we don’t want to consider. I had a client that would abruptly cancel any further discovery of options when they found the answer they wanted, inevitably losing information that could make a difference in his marketing.


Say it with me, “We’ve always done it this way” I am not against tradition by any means, but continuing down a path for the sake of tradition is wrong and short sighted. Our economy is constantly changing, we must change with it if we wish to succeed. Use tradition as a standard, not a plan. This reminds me of the old adage, “if you want something you’ve never had before, you must do something you’ve never done before.”

Was Right, Is Right

Many people refuse to admit that a past decision was a bad one. Rather than admit their mistakes they build on past bad choices and make new bad choices. I was discussing the package design of a new product with a potential client. When I submitted a new design, they didn’t like it because it was “too good” and would out sell their other products. I couldn’t understand how more sales was a bad thing. But rather than admitting the old package was bad, they chose to keep a design that was hurting sales.

Here & Now

Sometimes people focus on the new information they receive and discount the tried and true information that has been around forever. Basing marketing decisions on the newest and latest gadget or  process can lead to disaster. We should always look for new ways to improve our marketing but don’t forget that marketing boils down to the big three: Market, Message, Media.

Echo Chamber

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you repeat a lie often enough, it soon becomes truth.” This is how the echo chamber hurts your marketing. If enough  people around you are saying the same thing, even if it is false, you will start to believe it. Multiply it by only finding sources that back up your position and you will make bad marketing decisions and not know it until its too late.

Clique Committee

You have a group of friends that think similarly to you. When asked they give opinions like yours, supporting what may be a bad decision. Your friends may not intend to mislead you but will tell you what you wanted to hear. President Lincoln did the exact opposite. He filled his cabinet with political rivals so he could get a better spectrum of opinion.

Winners Luck

Winners luck is taking all of the credit and none of the blame. It’s when you and your team take credit for all of the successes, patting yourself on the back for your talent and ability. But when something goes wrong, it is never your fault. Failure is always due to external sources or back luck. Failure can be one of the best teachers. If we write it off to bad luck we never get the benefit of learning from our mistakes.

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