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As a marketing agency, we are probably in a good position to answer some of these questions;

Could it be that the anticipated results didn’t eventuate? Perhaps the expectations of the business owner were not well-managed?

Marketing campaigns missing their target could be for any number of reasons. There are some good audio books/recordings by Jay Abraham, where marketing professionals tell stories of their worst failures. You may or may not be surprised at some of the reasons marketing can fail, from incorrect telephone numbers to not clearly stating the offer. Marketing can even fail if it creates too many sales leads that the business is not ready for.

What has been your least successful marketing campaign?

Seeing as this is some kind of confessional, and being candid, the least successful marketing campaign I have ever been part of was one for a major printer manufacturer. We were producing sales brochures and flyers to be sent out as part of a large direct mail campaign across Australia and New Zealand. About half of the packs went out before we realised there was a MASSIVE typo in the heading. 20 people, including the client, had signed off on it, never noticing the problem.

What do you believe was the reason it didn’t work?

Poor quality control. This can undo any marketing campaign, or even any project. Programmers have a technique, that we have since borrowed, called the “Rubber Duck” technique. What you do is, when you have come to the final draft of a project, you then carefully place a rubber duck next to you on the desk, and you read the campaign out loud to the rubber duck. The duck sits there in silence and listens to your fumbling carefully.

You would be surprised at how a featureless duck can make you realise the mistakes you are making.

Without divulging confidential details, did the campaign cost you money you could ill-afford to “waste” on poor results?
In rough approximates, how much did the campaign cost you and lose you?

All poorly executed marketing costs money. In the printer example I gave that probably costs tens of thousands in material costs, plus a few months of planning and design.