How Overzealous Marketing Hurts the Brand
It’s good to have a strong drive and commitment to promoting your brand, but there can be such a thing as too much. The thing is, there is such a thin line between excellent marketing and over-marketing that it can be difficult to tell when one crosses over. This is especially the case if one is working in a vacuum, where you don’t have access to customer or market feedback, and are instead just blindly pumping out campaign after campaign without taking the time to properly gauge their effectiveness.
Below, I’ve listed a number of ways that excessive over-marketing can damage your brand.
Overprotective Brand Police
You can be very good at protecting your brand, but can you protect it from yourself?
At some point, a brand will develop a trademark look or feel to its marketing materials, and the smart brand manager will try to preserve its integrity as much as it can via usage guidelines. But at what point does it begin to stifle creativity and the flow of communication? Having such rules in place can help maintain a consistent image, but one should balance process and creativity in order to generate truly effective marketing messages. Otherwise, your advertisements and marketing materials will begin to look flat, generic, and uninteresting and create a brand disconnect.
Excessive Customer Segmentation
When you segregate customers into different markets and tailor your message to these groups, you are connecting on a more intimate level that will, hopefully, prompt a more favorable response than generic communication.
However, you should be careful that you don’t overanalyze and begin categorizing customers into more groups than you need to. Not only is this needless pigeonholing, but tailoring your marketing to a larger number of groups is going to be a serious drain on your time and resources. And you’re not even sure that such hyper-specialized marketing will result in increased effectiveness, or if that increase is enough to warrant that much spending.
Sales people fall into this trap all the time. In the rush to complete the sale, they make exaggerated claims and misleading assertions when talking about a product’s features. Low-level errors like these can be sorted out at the customer service level, and don’t have an impact beyond the affected customer and the sales person responsible.
When marketing does it, however, it’s a whole different ball game. Because marketing has such a wider reach than your individual salesman, more people are affected and misled by the false advertising, with greater consequences. False advertising can lead to serious penalties such as legal cases, as well as punitive action by government or industry agencies.
Always verify your marketing material to make sure your claims are accurate and your product features completely listed. You can dance around parts that aren’t relevant or advantageous, but don’t stray too far from the truth, because the customer is sure to catch you eventually.
Saturating the Medium
As a marketer, you want to maximize your exposure as much as you can. But too much, and you risk overexposing your brand and saturating the medium. Customers will indeed see your brand all over the place, but they may start feeling negatively towards your brand instead, and be annoyed at your ads instead of interested.
One way of keeping up a high number of ads while not risking overexposure is to have different ads promoting the same product. This way, you can maximize your brand exposure while the rotating ads switch things up and keep customers from getting tired of seeing the same thing over and over. I have seen this style of marketing done by one of our clients, for whom we created a wedding photographer studio logo design, that uses focused marketing with great success.
By far, the best way of keeping yourself from over-marketing your brand is to constantly measure and evaluate your marketing efforts and people’s reactions to them. This way, you will be able to tell early on if there are problems with a brand campaign, and what you can do to improve the next one.