Top 7 Ways Over-Marketing is Hurting Your Business

Over-marketing is not simply inundating your audience with advertisements. It’s more unclear, has darker elements, and is trickier to avoid than one might think.

What is over-marketing and is that really possible?

Definitions on a simple internet search range from simple to thought-provoking:

  • To market excessively (com)
  • When you cross the thin line between promoting and pretending, then you go from the authority, to the next bla blaing guy” (com)
  • Marketing practices that go beyond what is considered ethical, respectful, or effective (Quora)

Over-marketing seems to occur when you overstep the invisible line of acceptable and detrimental. You think you’re staying top-of-mind, but they think you’re spamming. You think you’re luring them in with exciting announcements, but they think your claims are misleading. “This marketing blast will finally convince them to take action” you tell yourself, but they are only convinced they will never use your annoying company.

example of over-marketing mistakes image

Other than unsubscribes and unfollows, how can you know when you’ve crossed the line? Even better, how can you know you’re getting too close in time to rethink your marketing?

We can use the above definitions as a starting point. If your attempts to get views, subscribes, or sales leading to these results, you may be over-marketing.

  1. Over-marketing is a Waste of Resources

You put out time, energy, and hard-earned money to keep sales moving. If you are reaching the right people with the right message, the right time for them to switch from leads to conversions may come. If you have over-marketed your audience the cost-benefit has swung too hard toward the cost.

  1. Over-marketing Creates Annoyance

They might recognize you as an expert or an essential business interaction, but it is a necessary evil. Any little deviation from your best work becomes open season for criticizing your company. It’s step one in a bad relationship.

  1. Over-marketing Breeds Avoidance

Because your marketing interactions are undesirable, dealings are avoided. You might get some jobs from these clients still, but only after badgering or when they are in dire straits… and that experience doesn’t leave them with a great feeling.

  1. Over-marketing Destroys Credibilityover-marketing infographic

Over-selling plants seeds of doubt in your potential client’s mind. You come off as someone spouting product accolades for a paycheck. They doubt you really know it or believe it.

  1. Over-marketing Nurtures Distrust

Distrust is deeper than a loss of credibility. Now your clientele believe you have deceptive, manipulative, or downright harmful intentions toward them. You’ve gone from “friends” to “that guy” to “enemies.”

  1. Over-marketing Instigates Retaliation

Now your marketing audience has been driven to action. You can get to this place from any of the previous points, but it all depends on where the marketed person felt victimized. If their line was at “Annoyance,” they might unsubscribe from emails, but remain a loyal customer. However, if they felt you sounded untrustworthy, they may block your number.

  1. Over-marketing can Damage your Brand Image

If the relationship is completely toast, the unhappy customer may spread the word to their friends and associates, warning them away from your company and leaving your business struggling even more than before your marketing campaign.

Phew! That spiraled out of control fast! Thankfully, this is just an example of what can happen and you, as a business can intervene to salvage your good name before #6 is reached.

How to Avoid this Negative Sequence

This next list with solutions can be applied to any aspect of marketing: emails, social media ads, mailers, etc. Since we’re a video company, I would be remis if I didn’t also mention how a well-made, well-placed video can also be a part of your solution.

  1. Avoid Irrelevance – A key to prevent boring or annoying your potential client is to bring them information they will actually use or enjoy. If you make up an excuse to market your clients, they’ll probably not buy into your pitch. If it’s a concept way out of their realm of focus, you’ll be nothing more than noise. Instead, focus on real and relatable issues. Research your target population to see what they are currently facing and never fall into the trap of thinking you know it all. Thoughtfully themed videos can communicate your message in clear, concise, and engaging ways, but if the information isn’t what your audience is looking for, your efforts will be wasted.
  2. Avoid Overselling – Instead of putting customers in high-pressure situations or forcing their need, listen to what their actual needs are and invite them into their ideal scenario through your services. If you aren’t sure where the balance is between identifying their need and pressuring them, review your points of contact and put yourself in their shoes. Would your interactions feel like help or haranguing? In addition to content, the tone, wording, length, and even delivery are important aspects of a marketing video to think about when avoiding coming across as overselling to your audience.
  3. Avoid Spamming – Unwanted phone calls, unsolicited emails, anything without the recipient’s consent could fall into this category. Again, be relevant to everyone. Make it easy for contacts to unsubscribe, or even better, change their email preferences. Pay attention to customer feedback and metrics and make changes accordingly.
  4. Avoid Being Intrusive – If your video pops up and annoyingly covers over the content your marketed audience was looking at, add to that suddenly blaring audio automatically, many people will scramble to close the viewer and will harbor irritation towards your intrusive marketing. Be visible and inviting with your placement and message. Also, instead of capturing your customer’s information in order to make them part of a marketing campaign, ask for permission. You may receive a lot of rejections, but the people who grant you permission to receive emails, texts, calls, mailings, etc. are going to be the ones who will be making the purchases. You are less intrusive and your marketing dollars are more effective, a win-win!
  5. Avoid Creating Clickbait – It’s ok to be excited and try to grab your viewers’ attention, but over sensationalizing your titles can water down your message. It’s not ok to start with a big promise and under deliver (I’m looking at you promoted videos that promise fantastic insight but 5 precious minutes later have given viewers nothing but a disappointing build up to a course for purchase). Whatever you do, clearly introduce your message within and then deliver on the promised information. Stay away from all-inclusive statements, cliché phrases, and blown-out claims. They can cheapen your message, detract from your credibility, and create skepticism. This article can help you refine your edge to make your message sharp and not chintzy.
  6. Avoid Exploitation – Avoid manipulation and stick with honesty. Instead of taking advantage of their ignorance in the subject of your expertise, position yourself as their trusted guide. Being trustworthy will always be worth it and will build a stronger, more enduring business relationship in the long run. Protect their information and their interests and you’ll also be protecting yours.
  7. Avoid Deception – Making up (or paying for) testimonials represents what you hope your work is creating, but it isn’t reality. Instead, ask previous clients for their endorsements and reviews. Absolutely make promotion videos with your star clients, but make sure they are representative of the kind of business result or interaction promised to each of your clients. If you don’t have any reviews or testimonials from past customers, try offering your services at discount in order to build up your credibility. If you get back poor reviews, take that as a sign you have work to do on your business!

To sum it up, be honest, be relevant, be considerate… and maybe get someone to help you review your marketing with an outsider’s perspective. Videos can be used in marketing campaigns in ways that keep your massage fresh and entertaining. This can also help you avoid over-selling to your audience. Visit our Clients page or YouTube channel for examples of video for businesses.