Bad Marketing Sucks Logo

December 21, 2022

Paul Sterett

Yep, Bad Marketing Sucks.  You know it. I know it.  Everyone knows it.  Yet there is still so much of it created every single day.    It takes all the joy out of what should be one of the more fun parts of running your business.  It creates a lot of frustration for you and millions of other business owners. 

Here are three undesirable outcomes of bad marketing. 

  1. It wastes your money.
  2. It turns off customers.
  3. It becomes the standard.

Bad Marketing Wastes Your Money

It takes money to build a marketing campaign and deploy it.  Even if you do everything yourself and don’t place any paid advertising, it costs you time.  Time you will never get back.  When you hire outside (or internal) help and deploy paid advertising your cost is up.  Bad marketing is at best ineffective and at worst doesn’t work at all for the intended outcome. The stakes are high.

Poor results drive high levels of frustration.  You know you need to be marketing your business but can’t find what works.  The cycle turns what should be fun and lucrative into a necessary evil.  You’ve heard it said (and maybe said it yourself), “50% of my advertising is working, I just don’t know which 50%.”.  With a good marketing plan you should be able to know exactly what is working and what is not.   Then you cut out the bad and commit more to the good. 

There are some simple things you can learn to help make improvements.  Oftentimes the right message is delivered at the wrong time in a customer’s buying cycle.

Bad Marketing Turns Off Customers

You’ll know it when you see it.  Your customers will, too.  They know bad marketing when they see it.  Thoughtful and well executed marketing should attract customers and inspire them to take action.  The right action.  Understanding the customer buying cycle is non-negotiable..  Lack of knowledge in this area is the leading cause of wasted time, wasted money, and turning customers off.  Knowing when, where, and how to communicate with your customers should be fundamental to your marketing strategy.  

Balance is important.  Retargeting is a power tool until it becomes creepy.  Video is highly effective until a poorly executed creative idea makes you look foolish.  A mentor, marketing firm, or peer group is helpful to think critically about the elements of your marketing strategy and how they get deployed.  Get help thinking through the entire process.  It can catch some obvious oversights you may not see for being too close to the project. 

Bad Marketing Becomes the Standard

Pump enough of anything into the world becomes the standard.  Bad marketing has become the standard for businesses, marketing professionals, and what customers expect.  It’s why well done marketing shines through the fog like a lighthouse.  The more bad marketing is produced, the harder it is for you to shine through. 

The tactics used by frustrated and misinformed marketing make the problem worse.  More ridiculous sales.  More gimmicks.  More irrelevant information packed into a message.  This goes back to understanding customer buying cycles and behavior.  If you look around and follow “best practices” in marketing for your industry you’ll be emulating bad marketing.  I’ve seen this from small start ups all the way to the biggest global companies.  

Don’t make perfect the enemy of good, but don’t let bad marketing be “good enough”.   

We are on a mission to eradicate bad marketing – for clients we work with directly and those who we can’t due to capacity or not being a good fit.  We are building a community of marketers to share their insight and expertise to help businesses head off bad marketing before it starts.  You can find them at  


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