online marketing examples

Learning from Bad Examples

by Dave on June 28, 2011

Here’s a twist: Collecting good online marketing examples is helpful, but sometimes you can learn more from studying the bad examples.

Sometimes things stick with you

In my second year of NROTC, an instructor remarked that he was able to learn as much, even more, from a bad example as a good one. He went on to describe his method of observing bad behavior and recording it in a notebook for future reference.

Very few things stuck with me in my sophomore year. For whatever reason, his simple suggestion to observe and learn from poor examples has stayed with me my entire professional life.

By trade I’m a consultant – an observer of people, processes, and technology. My greatest insights grew from the observation of the imperfect. By paying attention to what shouldn’t be, it has been easier to see a better way.

What does this mean for local business online marketing?

It’s too easy to ignore things that aren’t “right.” But if you block them out or move away too fast, you may a missed a golden opportunity. What don’t you like about your competitor’s, partner’s, or your vendor’s online marketing? Why don’t you like it? How could of it been better?

Get yourself a notebook (or a online document). The next time you receive junk mail, spam email, or the unwanted cold call, stop for a second and ask yourself, why is that organization’s marketing failing to capture your attention? Was it the timing? The method? The attitude? The content? Note what didn’t work (this is where the notebook comes in).

Review your results periodically and try NOT to do the same thing yourself when you have a similar opportunity. The change in your results will be dramatic.

What are your favorites?

My current “favorite” bad example are the “bait and switch” links on social networks – they promise something of value but take you to a  site offering something else.  Might have got the click, but sure isn’t going to get the sale.

What are some of your favorite bad examples?

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Photo credit: Silenceofnight

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