For the last few weeks, the never-ending presidential campaign has hit a fever pitch here in the First in the Nation #FITN primary state, New Hampshire. Registered and unregistered voters around the state are being inundated with full mailboxes, phone calls, Jehovah’s Witness-like people coming to your door… And, of course, there is media and campaign events everywhere, especially in Concord, NH where CharmLab is based.  This morning, we had to cut a meeting short because the venue needed to set up for a presidential campaign event.

With so much money to burn, it is no surprise that candidates waste so much money on the spaghetti approach to marketing – Let’s throw some stuff out there and see what sticks. Unfortunately, most businesses can’t just freely spend on marketing without expecting to see any positive ROI. Here’s some mistakes that the presidential candidates are making with their marketing budget that you should avoid in your business:

1. Direct Mail

A lot of people I know leave a recycle bin next to the mailbox this time of year. As you can see from the picture above of one day’s worth, our mailboxes are filled with mailers telling us to “VOTE FOR ME” or “DON’T VOTE FOR HIM!” Before any of CharmLab’s print suppliers start fussing, I’m not here to argue that direct mail is dying. I think that direct mail as part of an well-planned inbound marketing campaigns can be very useful. But it has to be done right.

2. Going Negative

Not only is it distasteful, but you are taking the attention off of yourself or your business. If somehow you’ve gotten that person’s attention, you want to keep it, not point out your competitor. You should be telling me how you can solve my problem, not saying that your competitor can’t solve my problem. With endless information at my fingertips, I may want to check your claim for myself – OMG! Your competitor actually can solve my problem!

3. Weak Calls-To-Action

A strong call-to-action (CTA) is essential in any inbound marketing campaign. Depending on your business, that CTA can have many forms – a link to your website to download a coupon or gift card, an invitation to an event, etc. Something that gets the person to start the buyer’s journey. A strong CTA can keep the prospects attention much longer.

4. Interruption Marketing

TV Commercials in the middle of your favorite TV show, Tele-Marketing calls during dinner – these traditional marketing techniques hope to draw your attention away from something you are doing. Marketing rock star, Seth Godin wrote the book Permission Marketing almost 17 years ago. Somehow, it hasn’t made it into the libraries of any of the presidential candidates. Permission Marketing builds relationships, trust and awareness by marketing to people on their terms at the right time for them rather than interrupting them.

5. Over Saturation with Repetitive Junk

Yard signs lined up as far as the eye can see, multiples of the same exact flyers in the mailbox, robo-calls… There seems to be a fire sale useless repetitive junk messaging. People want new and relevant information, not the same old message shoved at them from all directions again and again.

If you feel like your marketing dollars are being wasted like your a presidential candidate, contact the Charmers at CharmLab for a free marketing assessment.

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