Corporate Eye

The Case for Micromanaging Your Online Marketing Initiatives

Remember when marketers could put together programs and execute them with a carefully planned schedule?  There was time to get everything just right before rolling out new messages and materials. 

With the popularity of the social web in the 21st century, those slow-moving strategies and tactics must be replaced with flexibility, adaptability and ever-changing foresight.  Timeliness is more important than ever, and if you drop the ball, the members of the social web are standing by ready to point out your error for the world to notice and discuss.

Take for example a recent example from the U.S. Presidential Campaign of John McCain.  On Friday, September 26th, McCain and his opponent, Barack Obama, met for the first of a series of three debates.  Political pundits and media representatives from around the world were poised at the edge of their seats ready to upload a barrage of commentary and opinions about the topics discussed, the candidates, and the apparent winner and loser of the first debate. 

As far as the online world was concerned, there was no need to watch the debate on the evening of September 26, 2008, because early that morning, ads were already displayed on news sites such as the which showed a picture of John McCain with the headline, “McCain Wins Debate.”  This was news to the rest of the world who at that point didn’t even know if John McCain would be participating in the debate later that evening as he had previously stated he would not be available due to the U.S. economic crisis.  You can see the erroneous ad here.

This online advertising faux pas is the perfect example of how easy it is to lose track of the various parts and pieces of your marketing plan when widescale online marketing is involved.  When there are so many initiatives going on, it’s easy to let something slip, but the social web won’t let you get away with even the smallest error. 

The lesson to be learned from John McCain’s Magic 8-Ball-esque ad is this – hire adequate staff to micromanage your online marketing campaigns.  Check, double-check and check them again.  Even the smallest guffaw can turn into a PR scandal in the hands of the social web.  Don’t let your brand be the next victim.

Original Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.