Marketing message

12 Dec What to do when your marketing message doesn’t land

Story ByAllison R
Illustration ByAllison R

We’re all getting a good laugh out of the tweet-storm of parodies and memes that followed the Peloton ad, you know the one, but it’s all fun and games until it happens to you. After the widespread backlash, Peloton was forced into the uncomfortable position of responding to the criticism.

On the off chance it’s your next campaign message that, however well intentioned, just doesn’t land the way you thought it would, what do you do? Modicum has a few key tips for handling a marketing misstep:

1. Don’t fight the criticism or double down on the message

It’s human nature to get defensive. Especially when you really believed in the message, but setting your ego aside and acknowledging your customers’ perception is a really important part of moving forward.

2. Don’t be afraid to gently pivot – within reason

Rather than continuing to blow ad budget on something that has not been well received, or scrapping it altogether, consider making an adjustment that leverages what you’ve produced into something a little different. Steering into the skid would fall into this category – sometimes it’s okay to laugh at your own fail.

3. Make sure the outraged parties are actually your customers and not irrelevant Twitter users

When media and the internet go haywire with hot takes on your campaign, you want to stay focused on what’s best for your customers. Try to separate your real target audience from the faux outrage of people who were never going to consider your product. 

4. Think about investing in a third-party brand audit or market research to better understand how you missed the mark 

You found your great idea, it got all the internal approvals, and then it still failed. It’s important to understand how that happened, what misunderstandings or misconceptions brought you there. Get to the bottom of the mystery and prevent a repeat performance by working with an external partner to uncover a fresh perspective.

Whether you’re looking for a solution in the form of fresh creative, new content strategy, or a combination of the two, the Modicum team can help you leverage what you have or start from fresh to create marketing that will resonate positively with your audience. 

Reach out to us anytime.



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