Wax Marketing Blog

When marketing is a waste of money

I have a client who is always thinking about not only what to market, when to market and how to market…but what’s going to happen on the operational side when a campaign hits. Although we all have a tendency to think of this person as a “debbie downer” when we’re being creative-y and inspired, she’s the smart one. Without good customer service you might as well be flushing your marketing money down the toilet.

I had a an experience with a window washing company a few months ago. Great social media campaign, well-placed ads, etc. But after I booked them, they showed up hours late and then decided to take lunch after working for about 45 minutes. When I called the manager to let him know I really didn’t have all day for this, I got a bunch of excuses and insinuations that I was being a pain. Needless to say I won’t work with them again. I also left a review on Yelp that shows up very high on their search results. All that marketing went down the drain in my case.

It’s sometimes hard to experience your own customer service. In some cases you may have been working with an office manager or other employee for years, and built up a bit of denial. Here is a short checklist to make sure that your customer service capability can meet the new marketing demand. 

  • Involve whomever will be on the receiving end of responses in the marketing planning. Not only will they have ownership in the program, they will help you create a process that will work AFTER the campaign starts.
  • Run tests and pilots to begin with. You probably aren’t going to get a big response from your first time out, but keep it manageable in the beginning and build on what works. This will be easier on your staff and easier on your budget as well.
  • Engage your customers and ask them for reviews.  Or better yet, use someone as a “secret shopper” to test the experience.
  • When complaints come in, don’t be defensive. See it as a learning opportunity to improve your service and solidify a customer relationship. NOT as a headache.
A marketing campaign ends with customer service. If there are problems, embrace them and use it as a tool not as an annoyance. You may find those obstacles turn into even more marketing opportunities.




  1. shoes
    Posted on February 21, 2012 at 6:05 am

    good article

  2. Andersson Says :
    Posted on February 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

    As a consumer, when a marketing campaign starts and I’ve become interested in the product/service, I expect to have at least a good customer experience with the business. Of course customers are enthusiastic and sometimes have high hopes from the hype created. When these expectations aren’t met, that’s one potential customer out and one bad review in.

  3. Ascentive Says :
    Posted on February 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Hi Bonnie,

    I am able to read between the lines of reviews and understand the real facts and exaggerations and with that make my judgment to go for it or not.

    If the company you had the problems with was smart, they would get back to you to see if there is anything they could do to make you happy.


  4. Ryan@ Vail Homes For Sale
    Posted on February 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Great ideas here on what not to do. Thanks for making this available – no one likes dumping money down the toilet.

  5. SEO Experts USA
    Posted on February 22, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Thanks for information sharing with us..

  6. Rizza Gamutan Says :
    Posted on February 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    This is great information. It’s a good thing to be wise in investments especially with marketing. It would be a waste if it goes out for nothing.

  7. free mp3
    Posted on February 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

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  8. Receivable Funding Says :
    Posted on February 23, 2012 at 2:13 am

    As a consumer, I always want an establishment that offers goods and services with good customer service. I keep coming back whenever I experienced a good service. I admit, I easily get attracted to advertising campaign on the television, internet, billboards etc..if I find it interesting I go for it.

  9. raresms Says :
    Posted on February 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

    it amazing post

  10. Diesel fuel additives comparison Says :
    Posted on February 29, 2012 at 3:16 am

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  11. americki plakari
    Posted on February 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

    great post. thanks for information

  12. Sachin Gupta
    Posted on March 5, 2012 at 6:07 am

    I found lots of interesting information here. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in the subject. Keep it that way.
    Searching good blog is not an easy task because number of blogs with exaggeration is available but the information on this blog is completely based on research. It will help you in getting information and gaining knowledge.

  13. Curtis Wallis
    Posted on March 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Marketing gets them in the door, gets them to the isle, but sometimes someone still has say hi to the customer. Nice article.

  14. Klingshield Says :
    Posted on March 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I think Financiers keep all point in their mind while they are going In invest in business, I really like the way you Expressed your thoughts! thanks for sharing.

  15. Domed Stickers Says :
    Posted on March 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    This is so very true, thanks for sharing your experience with everyone. I did work with a company though their marketing was pretty low budget but with excellent customer service they were able to get a lot of repeat business and referral business.

  16. Lifeguard Store Says :
    Posted on March 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Advertising is a combination of signs and symbols that identify a product and the organization has having a sustainable differential advantage. Well chosen topic!

  17. americki plakari
    Posted on March 12, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Great post! Thanks for information sharing with us.

  18. Archie Ward @Dejan SEO Sydney
    Posted on March 20, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Looks like it’s becoming harder and harder to find “legit” marketers in the information age. Every man and his dog can pose on the internet these days as an expert or something, ‘marketing’ and associated industries are getting a bad rap because all the amateurs out there.

  19. Limos in Orange County
    Posted on March 24, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Is it bad marketing or weak marketing management that is the problem?

  20. Globay HR Consultants
    Posted on April 4, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Should you be spending money On marketing? This is a good question. What I personally feel is spending money on marketing is not a waste of money, but if you don’t have any system in place then it is.
    Secondly, it depends on how mature your business is. You should measure your percentage of sales and then accordingly fix the amount of money for your marketing. But if your business is new, then you should invest as much as possible.

  21. Accounts Receivable Finance
    Posted on April 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Excellent Points! Good marketing can sell anything, but it’s good business that keeps customers.

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