Wednesday, May 22, 2013

PR Campaign failure

Many entrepreneurs and brand managers run PR campaigns supporting their "new, useful, and safe" products without proper research, or any research at all. Their confidence about products' indispensability in consumer life drives them at a risky speed, as they often see products' features to be self-evident for its target market. However, practice shows the importance of getting people interested in buying before investing time and effort. It is about dialog, interaction with prospect customers.

According to Harward Business Review, over 50% out of 120 recently surveyed entrepreneurs from all over the world admitted that not selling before making often leads to complete flops of campaigns. Neither strong brand mane, nor picth will help to push sales up if people weren't interested in the first place. Proper market research makes up for campaign success in the long term.

In 2004, Coca-Cola C2 was introduced to the market and became a big disappointment for the company with $50 million spent on advertising. With its half calories and carbs C2 was rejected by 20- to 40-year-old men, who were targeted primarily during the disastrous launch. The price was set as premium comparing to regular Coke. Nobody wanted half the calories and carbs; either full-flavor or no calories, plain and simple. Even the fact that low-carb diets were evolving at that time contributed to the list of Coca-Cola's mistakes.

Marketers together with PR practitioners should have test the product first to make sure its features are distinctive enough. And if they would have done that, Coke Zero could be on the shelves instead of C2 satisfying its consumer with full-flavor and no calories and the same time. As per company statements, C2 dropped total sales by 3% in North America just over a summer of that year. Nevertheless, Coke Zero came out in 2005 completing the learned lesson.

Coca-cola C2 is one of many examples out there. Lack of preparation is the biggest factor, but other numerous factors can influence new PR campaign to fail. We live in the era of interaction between corporations and consumer who needs adequate education on the products and/or services offered. Before campaign launch PR people should always ask themselves what do they want to achieve, what the audience gets from this, what is the call to action in their PR campaign. It's about the time to craft a plan for campaign when those questions are answered. A series of press releases and solid PR tactics should serve as the tools for customer education. And that requires a lot of commitment. The message should be consistent, but not overwhelming or confusing for audience. And the last but not the least is social media! Today, it would be very imprudently to neglect its mindblowing potential. 

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