Spaghetti Marketing

By Lysa Greer

Whenever I think of spaghetti marketing I think of shiny object syndrome meets target practice. It’s an unclear approach where you are literally throwing everything at the marketing wall, hoping something will stick. Any business is susceptible and it boils down to one simple thing – no understanding of why.

See if this scenario sounds familiar…

You recently attended a conference or read an article about the importance of social media. You heard people talk about how they are using the social platforms to “build SEO” and “customer engagement” and you think – Oh! I need to be on social media!

You head back to your team and instruct your marketing director to “get on social media”. “Start posting – I heard we should be posting three or four times a day – make sure you push our latest (insert service/product here).” And so, the marketing director goes about setting up your social platforms and starts to execute your new “social media campaign”.

During the course of the next several months, you vaguely see what’s being posted, and start thinking – “clearly, this doesn’t work.” And, eventually, you simply ignore it. It becomes this “thing” that you think of when you are gearing up for an event and “want to promote it” or simply have up so you can say (at the next conference) “yes, we use social media”.

This is seen also with blogs. “Oh, just use the content from our latest press release.” Or, “upload our newsletter and that should be sufficient.” Granted, those do have the potential for making good blog posts, but, that’s a different story.

Traditional marketing also sees this frantic approach;

“We need a billboard!”
“Is our Yellow Page Ad big enough?”
“Oh, I need to be on the radio!”
We need a new television commercial – let’s go go go!!!”

WHOA, Nellie.

Just thinking about this is making me break into a sweat! First, and foremost, stop. You need to take a minute and breathe. Take a minute (or several) and ask WHY.

Not taking the time to examine whether your particular marketing campaign is a good fit first leaves you wide open for wasting time – your time, your team’s time, and yes, consumer’s time.Now, it does happen, on occasion, where the pasta hits a mark – I mean, throw enough pasta at the wall and yes, some is bound to stick. But all that achieves is a false sense of success. The outcome is slightly favorable, so, the thought is – “we must be on to something – let’s keep throwing!”

Spaghetti marketing is unfocused; it leaves you and your team frazzled and ultimately costs you money. Not understanding WHY you are doing something is never a good sign, but to continue doing it, hoping to yield a new outcome is…well, you know. Before you start grabbing all the pasta off the shelves, hurling it at your team and forcing them to have a “make it work!” moment, you need to understand why.

  • What is the objective you plan to achieve using this tactic?
  • Will it reach YOUR customers?
  • What strategies do you have in place to measure the progression and outcome?
  • Is it aiming to solve a problem you currently have?
  • Can it be used or executed effectively?
  • Does it fall in your short-term or long-term goals?
  • Is the message clear?

Breaking the spaghetti marketing habit is not easy, especially if you tend to buy into every type of pasta. However, you can turn it around by picking a few mediums and being consistent.  Taking the time to regroup and reassess exactly WHY you are using the marketing mediums you are will help you refocus and regain control. It is the first step in gaining clarity.

Do you use the spaghetti marketing tactic? What marketing medium do you find your pasta sticking to? Share your experiences and comment below!


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About the Author

Lysa is a digital producer who helps service-based entrepreneurs fulfill their business vision through creative ideation, technical solutions, and relationship marketing. With 19 years of diverse experience in broadcast and digital media, she provides a wide range of opportunities to work with a variety of clients and teams, both virtually and in-person.

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Lysa Greer

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