3 Brand Damaging Mistakes Too Many Marketers Keep Making

brand damaging mistakes

As a marketer, there are a lot of things you can do right to build brand awareness, but there are just as many things you can do wrong. Below are 3 brand-damaging mistakes you might be making.

Not Monitoring What Employees Say Online

While watching to see what your employees or others associated with your company can be overdone and seen as intrusive or not trusting your employees, marketers should be monitoring what their fellow employees (as well as themselves) are posting online, especially if they publicly list the company in their bio or profile information.

People shouldn’t be completely barred from sharing what they want on social media. But if they are representing the company in some way (which is especially the case with LinkedIn or a public Twitter or Google+ profile), then they should be cognizant of the type of content they post or share.

One good thing marketers can do is work with human resources to create a social media and online branding handbook for new and existing employees that contains guidelines for appropriate behaviors when representing the company online.

In addition to helping employees avoid posting embarrassing information, confidential information also needs to be kept off of social media. Once the policy is in place, HR and those involved with the company’s social media marketing can decide whether to monitor everyone’s social media accounts on a scheduled basis, or just occasionally as they see fit. This will likely depend on the company size, industry and security.

Trying To Do Too Much At Once

As digital marketers, it is extremely easy to have a constant fear of not being active on behalf of the company on an up-and-coming digital network or platform that could increase expose. FOMO (fear of missing out) is alive and well, not only for our social lives, but at work, too.  Especially if your job is about marketing and increasing awareness about your employer and products.

However, there is such a thing as too much at once, especially online. In order for online efforts to be successful, it’s important to focus on just a few platforms at once, and do those extremely well. This is going to depend on your resources and industry as well. For example, a plumber probably isn’t going to have as much luck getting more exposure and customer recognition on Twitter as they would on Facebook.

It’s important to figure out where your audience is, and be extremely active on those platforms, instead of trying to have a profile on every network or platform just because you can. Additionally, when it comes to product or campaign launches, if you only have the resources to allocate to a few platforms, don’t try to do the bare minimum on the others.

What if a customer only sees what you’ve done on the platform where you didn’t try as hard?

It can be easy when you are already knee deep in a project to think, “Let’s add a launch party, Twitter chat, and blog giveaway too!” But if you are only a team of 5 and need to make sure the website design is done by the time the project launches – and you have 5 interviews with local press and media – then it’s time to prioritize your efforts and make those you choose the best they can be.

Not Being Open to New Ideas

At first glance, this may clash with the point of not doing too much at once, but innovation and an open mind in the projects you do decide to work on will make or break your marketing campaigns and online recognition. If you are doing the same thing over and over, your audience is going to lose interest, which will eventually make your brand seem outdated.

There are so many small, medium, and large businesses out there that have done their marketing the same way for many years, even decades. Each year follows the same, boring routine. A brochure with fall leaves on it for Halloween. A snowman holiday card sent to customers in the Winter. A “renew now!” push during Spring. And finally, the sun, wearing sunglasses, with a “hot summer deals” theme during the Summer.

If you find yourself opening up the same file to use the same design during an annual or recurring campaign, it may be time to start thinking outside the box. Have a brainstorming session with colleagues and other creative-leaning employees from other areas of the company and ask them for ideas. These meetings could be held every quarter for 30-60 minutes and hopefully birth enough ideas to keep your marketing campaigns and projects powered throughout the year.

It may take a few meetings before attendees start to feel completely comfortable sharing their ideas, so it’s important to push a “no idea is stupid” mentality and to have a positive, fast-paced tone. After all, no one likes meetings that drag on with no purpose or end in sight. Have a hard stop and make everyone feel like their time and ideas are valued. Once people begin feeling comfortable and appreciated, they will most likely share their best ideas.

In addition, if employees come to you with a seemingly “crazy” idea, at least take it into serious consideration before casting it aside. If you can’t incorporate the entire idea, is there an aspect of it that you could? New ideas are created by people working with your company’s projects and services every day – so each idea is valuable.

It is possible to focus on a few high-converting platforms, fill them with unique and engaging ideas, and have them be successful. As marketers (and employees), we are responsible for not only representing the best sides of the company, but making sure we can increase brand exposure and awareness with an audience that genuinely cares about what we have to say.

Marketers Photo via Shutterstock


Sujan Patel Sujan Patel has championed Internet marketing and entrepreneurship for over a decade. His experience, ideas, and strategies have helped hundreds of companies build and strengthen their businesses online. Sujan is the VP of Marketing at thisCLICKS, the makers of When I Work — an employee scheduling software solution for small businesses.

8 Reactions
  1. Hi Sujan,

    I have a question.

    Does a marketer or employer have a duty to let employees know that they will be monitored online? Also, who monitors the marketer or employer?

  2. I think it is up to you to treat your employees well and not monitor them. Like customers, they are entitled to their own opinion about your company. If you’re doing a good job, there is really nothing to be concerned about.

    • I do find it intrusive that some companies can and do do that, whether it’s doing a good job or not. Does seem rather controlling and encroaches on freedom of expression.

  3. Regarding the point about doing too much, I totally agree that companies should only be on a platform if they’re committed and have allotted time to the effort. Non-responses can generate a negative customer experience as easily as bad responses.

    • I agree, Robert. The most important thing is to understand where your core audience is and be active on that platform. Companies diving into the newest social media trends while ignoring their audience won’t rank very high on customer service.

  4. Sujan: Please list some brand mistakes made recently, and what the companies learned from it.

  5. Hi. it depends u to your countries’s culture. in a developing culture you should monitor them but in a developed culture you shouldn’t monitor them