Marketing Life,  Marketing Strategy

How to Suck at Marketing

Marketing is tricky, and everywhere you look, people are giving advice on how to do it right.

Well, I’m a little tired of looking at marketing like that.  I cannot help myself, but recently over coffee with friends we were chatting about the marketing faux-pas.  We laughed and discussed what NOT to do, and I couldn’t help but think – what a great discussion to share.

So here they are, my top 10 ways to suck at marketing:

1. No Planning or Strategy

Whatever you do, don’t write down how you intend to market your business, product or services.  Don’t even talk about it.

If you write down in detail exactly what marketing you want to implement for your business, you have a much higher possibility of achieving it, and this won’t help you suck at marketing.

2.  Just Advertising

As a business, just buy advertising space – advertising in newspapers, magazines, local publications, various internet webpages, radio or television.

General and non-specific advertising is the most expensive and non-direct way to conduct your marketing long term, and if you only focus on advertising, you are guaranteed to suck at marketing.

3. Cheap-ass Budget

Either allocate a really low budget, or even don’t allocate a budget, but focus on spending as little as possible on your marketing.  If you are realistic and you understand that any good marketing requires a level of cost, this could throw you.

Be really tight on advertising and PR and you will definitely suck at marketing.

4. Forgetting Branding

If you want to score extra low points in your marketing, completely forget your branding in everything you do.

Don’t keep any consistency at all with your company image, logo, colours and vision.  Change your slogan often.  Communicate with all customers in a different manner.  All these things will prevent your business becoming memorable, or create that annoying repetitive image to clients and potential clients.

5. Bad Website or No Website

To suck at marketing, it is imperative that you either don’t get a website, you get a cheap one, a free blog site, or you get your 15 year old nephew to design one.

Also it would be helpful if you create a website that supports point 4 (Forgetting Branding).  Have a website that you cannot update regularly, and that doesn’t have an effective layout.  Use common stock images, make sure your contact details are hard to find, and definitely don’t integrate any social media or any ways to interact with your clients.

6. Not Knowing your Numbers

Make sure, if you are ever thinking about marketing or accidentally writing anything down about your businesses marketing, that you do not analyse your numbers and create a financial marketing budget.

Also as you spend, do not track the ROI and understand how much each new customer is costing your business.  Not knowing your numbers is important to suck at marketing.

7. Give Marketing Responsibility to the Lowest Paid or Part-time Employee

To do your worst at marketing, do not liaise with or hire a marketing professional, to handle or assist you with your business marketing.

This will also help you with Point 3 (Cheap-ass Budget).  If you have a part-time staff member, or a low paid, low experience employee, they will be perfect to manage your marketing.  Or if you are self-employed, just get yourself to do it at the end of the day, or middle of the night, or any time after the 70 hours you worked that week.

8. Misuse Social Media

This one is a tricky one.  You could look like you are handling your marketing, and taking it to the next level, by signing up for various social media and social networking websites.  BUT you can accidentally give the impression you are good at marketing, so to make sure you suck, harass as many people as possible to become your friend, and join as many groups as you can find, and bombard people with your latest products and services.

It would help if you really beg people to buy from you, and do this as many times a day as you can.

9. Disregard Existing Customers

When it comes to sucking at marketing, you cannot forget this important point – make sure you completely disregard your customers when contemplating your marketing.  Don’t consider their needs, don’t follow up after a sale/ service and ask them for feedback, and don’t ask where they found out about you.

10. Change for change sake

Ok, you have saved some money from your business, and you have an excellent idea – renovate the shop, rebrand the company, move office.  Make  a change in your business, especially when it is not necessary and this will really throw the customer off your scent, and have them questioning – “Did I do business with this company?”.

They won’t really be sure because you look different.  If the change has not been carefully considered, with the needs of your clients in mind, it will absolutely help you suck at marketing.


Just kidding, please don’t follow this advice as I don’t want you to suck at marketing.  But it is fun “food for thought” and it was a little scary that I could think of a specific actual business I have seen for each point I wrote.

I hope it’s not your business…  Good luck 🙂

Marketing Manager, Content Strategist and Writer driving Engagement and ROI. On weekends I'm a Property Investor, Traveler & Coffee Snob