I have a very active imagination. As a writer, I need to, but I think I've got some extra imagination that seeps into my brain when I sleep. Which means, sometimes, I get nightmares, the kind that makes me wake up screaming and startle my partner awake.
As marketers, we have particular nightmares that are very, very scary. They can make our jobs look like a horror movie. They can even end our lives... our career lives, that is.
Here are 5 marketing nightmares that keep us up at night...
1. No marketing plan
No marketing plan at your organization, yet you're expected to provide results? Might as well be running naked surrounded by zombies. Guaranteed bad results. Research shows that having a plan--and following it--improves the positive results and ROI of marketing activities.
2. A PR crisis
These days, PR crises can be provoked by things as big as fraud and as small as a thoughtless tweet. The internet can amplify even the smallest "oopsie" to unmanageable levels.
This power can definitely keep a marketer up at night. But as long as you know how to get out of a PR crisis with grace and tact, you'll be able to go back to bed.
3. A Google algorithm update
This one's specific to digital marketers, but still, a sudden change in the Google search algorithm can wreck a perfectly good SEO strategy. SEO marketers will stay up on a Friday when an algorithm change comes through to monitor their clients' (and their own) website analytics for signs of dips or bumps in organic visits and SERP placement.
And big, game-changing updates can mean the SEO disappearance of any website. It sometimes feels like having a stroke: sudden and unpredictable. No wonder they can give us nightmares.
Seriously. Aside from Indian mystics, who calls themselves "gurus" of anything? These days, it's really easy to build hype and call yourself a "guru" or "ninja" of something without much knowledge or experience to back it up. Just use a few jargon words, and voilà! You're a self-styled expert.
Real, experienced marketers have nightmares about these people. When comes the time to do the real marketing work, those who have fallen for the guru hype often realize that none of the advice was good, and have to spend even more money hiring a competent marketing firm.
And marketers? They have to spend a lot of time undoing the damage caused by these people. What a nightmare.
5. A client insists on something that's bad for them
You know, when you hire experts, it's because of their expertise. You pay them for their knowledge and their wise advice. And any true professional will keep your best interests in mind if they want to keep you as a client.
So when a client insists on doing something that the expert has repeatedly said is against their best interest, it's enough to keep a marketer up at night. No matter how much data you show or how many arguments you present, some clients just won't budge.
In the end, it's their decision, but still, it sometimes feels like you're spinning your wheels...
What's YOUR marketing nightmare?