"Most of us have heard of the seven deadly sins: Vanity, Anger, Envy, Lust, Greed, Sloth, and Gluttony. But did you know that these could be applied to marketing?" asks Toli Cefail, Chief Operating Office of In Touch Media Group, Inc. (www.intouchmediagroup.com), a full-service marketing company that specializes in using the Internet as a key public relations and advertising tool. "In fact, learning how these sins can negatively affect your marketing can pave the road to greater success."
Cefail has also uncovered an eighth deadly marketing sin, though she's keeping a tight lid on it for the time being. "It's as big a sin as the other seven, but I'm saving this one for last," she says. Cefail plans to reveal each of the "Eight Deadly Sins of Marketing" over the next few weeks, in the knowledge that awareness is the first step in preventing businesspeople from undermining their marketing efforts and their companies.
"The first deadly marketing sin is vanity," continues Cefail. "It's the most subtle of the seven deadly sins, but it's particularly dangerous when you're marketing a product or service."
Cefail cites the vanity ad as the primary example of this marketing no-no. "These are TV commercials, or print or other ads that are created primarily to appeal to the egos of the company owners," she says. "These ads have nothing to do with the consumer. They're not designed to appeal to any target market or to sell the product."
For instance, because the owner of a company likes Harley Davidson motorcycles, the company's advertising agency creates an advertisement that prominently features motorcycles. They place the ad despite the fact that the company sells cosmetics.
"The executives and ad agency folks sit around the conference table, smiling and clapping," says Cefail. "It's a hit! With whom? With the corporate execs. After all, that's who pays the bills, right?" she asks, quizzically. "Wrong!" she says emphatically. "The customer pays the bills. And if your ad doesn't sell them, they won't pay."
Cefail concludes, "So stay away from vanity ads and vanity campaigns. Instead, stick to what will appeal to your customers."
© Kris Nickerson, 2006.