What if your marketing campaign is just too successful?

October 22nd, 2013

12020108_sYou are ready to push the button on your marketing campaign but what if it is just too successful? You could be:

  • Flooded with orders, drowning in your our success
  • Run out of stock or capacity to deliver the service
  • Be unable to fulfil orders
  • Upsetting new and loyal customers
  • Damaging your reputation for customer service
  • Heaping stress on your team
  • Stretching systems, processes and procedures to breaking point…..

Big problems lie ahead, not what you expected from your campaign, but even in these recession hit times businesses have fallen into this trap on so many occasions – each one damaging the business. The problem is the lack of planning before you press the launch button.

All too often businesses come up with marketing campaigns as a knee jerk reaction to static or falling sales and not because it’s part of the business model; part of the plan. It’s always urgent ‘we must get this campaign out today’ and the knee jerk result is that the market gets flooded with messages and offers that haven’t been tested.

With no idea of response rates all the business can do is sit back and wait. The first test is when the same message goes out to everyone at the same time – a recipe for disaster.

It’s hard to look at best practice examples from the leading companies – they’ve all made the same mistakes. Think Hoover and free flights, think Pepsi and ‘Today You Could be a Millionaire Campaign, think Cahoot’s launch and the numerous stories of Groupon campaigns that actually killed off some businesses.

But you can avoid the pain by planning ahead – don’t rush it but don’t dilly dally either. Here are 4 tips to help you avoid the problem:

1. Make the offer time specific – if you are not sure try one or two days to test it – you can always repeat it over a longer period once you know what the response is.

2. Send out a test run first – choose a number whereby if everyone bought your offer you could still deal with all of the enquiries.

3. Project your target sales from the campaign and put resources in for this. If you are planning to double sales you might need double the resource or double the stock levels – that costs money!

4. Try to project the best case and worse-case scenario – simply what if no-one buys or everyone buys?

Remember failure to plan means you plan to fail so the new mantra is ‘Send it small, test it, measure it, then repeat it big’.

What do you do to make sure you don’t let customers down when you launch an offer?


Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter @coachsme