How to Handle Marketing Disasters

Marketing issues

There’s no doubt that digital marketing is a fantastic tool to reach audiences far and wide about your products and services. But sometimes even the biggest of companies can experience digital marketing disasters. Workers should know how to approach and handle anything from simply the wrong link in a post to an insensitive tweet about a newsworthy event. Having a company-wide contingency plan in place on how to address and control any level of digital marketing disasters leaves no wiggle room to exacerbate the situation and turn your company into a trending topic for all the wrong reasons.

Marketing emergency planning

Obviously, you want your team to be able to deal with an emergency before a marketing crisis can hit, but in dealing with the chaos, how quickly will they fare to fix it with no strategy in place? That’s why it’s best to prepare a plan and make everyone aware of it. A quick internet search will show all the various different types of marketing catastrophes – CEO scandals, an offensive employee tweet, product recalls, etc. – so have a plan that will cover all your bases. Also make the team aware of the important issues that could cause a marketing crisis, such as a search algorithm change, SEO penalty, website outrage, etc.

Plan for human disruptions

What will your company do if there is a sudden loss of a team member? Being one person down in the marketing department (especially if that person was the marketing department) can cause a scramble to create content. Have a plan to make sure your audience still receives their tweets, Facebook posts, or Instagram photos regardless of who’s in the office.

Include everyone in on planning

The reasons for this are simple:

  • If there is a human disruption, cross training employees allows everyone to be familiar with their colleagues’ core job.
  • If disaster strikes and the only person available doesn’t have the necessary passwords or access codes to be able to fix the issue, time will continue to lapse and exposure will become imminent. Establishing a password protocol ensures that someone within the company will have access no matter what.

Use various alert devices

So, disaster struck. But where are people seeing the mistake? Are the sharing it? Through which social media platforms? Or is it flying under the radar? Knowing how the situation is developing is key to figuring out where to stomp out the fires. Set up Google alerts, social alerts, search ranking alerts, and any other alerts the company can think of to monitor the issue as close as possible.

Keep a back-up supply of content

Even if a business is scrambling to repair a marketing issue, letting the content dry up during that time period can harm a company even more. Instead, stock up in advance on content that is broad enough, as well as helpful to the general public.

Set aside resources for marketing emergencies

Like most disasters, it’s very rare to see them coming. Create a budget to use as a safety net for such situations, especially from each marketing channel. This is particularly helpful for websites or social media platforms that need a content overhaul, or for product recalls.

Security measures

An errant tweet or callus marketing strategies are not always to blame – security breaches affect even the biggest of companies. Target, Kickstarter, Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn are just some of the few businesses to recently have a major data breach, affecting millions of customers. While dealing with the data fallout, also have a plan in place on how to address the situation and how best to compensate anyone who got caught in the middle.




Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.