By Jennifer Ferrero, APR

The campaign that flopped


Here’s an example of a bad marketing campaign that flopped – this can happen to you!

A few years back, when my company was more website and marketing focused, I was trying to market to Washington State manufacturing companies to sell them website services. I asked my team to create a fun mailer campaign that would go out to a list of about 350+ companies to get their attention. The designer came up with a glossy brochure-type mailer that also included a fold-able paper car. If assembled, the car could be photographed and entered into a Facebook competition for prizes. The campaign looked great, and we had high hopes!

We produced and mailed out the campaign at a considerable expense to my company.

Then…the campaign flopped. 

At the time, I was frustrated because I couldn’t understand WHY the manufacturing companies didn’t BITE on our marketing and website services.

After all, we told them what they needed to know about why our services would help them.

Now, I know why it didn’t work.

Understand the market before marketing

Before marketing, you must understand the marketplace. In short, market research must be done on demographics, industry forecasts, the major players, where target companies spend their money and how they make decisions.

Companies can sink thousands into campaigns without understanding this critical market data.

Here’s a project-based scenario that I’ve seen hundreds of times with clients:

Me: “You’d like a new website?”

Client: “Yes!”

Me: “That will be $10,000 please!”

Me: “Do we know who we are targeting and what we want them to do when they get to the new website?”

Client: “It’s our customers. They know us…and our products.”

Me: “Who are your customers and how do you know what they want?”

Client: “We really don’t know…”


  • Who you are marketing to?
  • What motivates them?
  • How they like to receive information?
  • What problem you can solve for them?
  • How you will reach them?
  • Is this industry growing or declining?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What are the concerns of the customer?
  • Are they fiscally conservative?

In short, you need to get to know the people, the market and if those in this market will spend money on what you are selling.

Market research data is available to you and it will change your life!

This is Mark Pond with the Spokane Public Library. He is a business colleague of mine and his help has been invaluable to me.


Mark Pond of Spokane Public Library and market data awesomeness!

Through the resources that he provides to public relations firms like mine, I can help my customers to be Rock-stars of DATA long before the marketing tactics begin.

Lucky for you, Mark has trained me to use the market research data tools to run the reports that you need in order to understand your business.

Once I use the fantastic tools from the Spokane Public Library to run the needed reports, I analyze the reports, pair them with my Accredited Public Relations process of Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation, and from there create a tangible, action-able PR Plan to take you into HYPERSPACE with your business.

So, let’s agree together, that YOU want to CALL ME first to do some PUBLIC RELATIONS PLANNING before doing any MARKETING and YOU will be met with much more success in a more COST EFFECTIVE MANNER than if you start with a MARKETING CAMPAIGN FIRST.

Talk to you soon,


Jennifer Ferrero, APR – Glad to meet you!