All All Industry Insights Industry News Media Release Member Only Articles NRA Events NRA Legal NRA Partners NRA Projects NRA Training and Development Policy & Advocacy Policy Updates Technology Tenancy & Leasing Testimonials Thought Leaders Weekly CEO Update WHS Update

When Digital Marketing goes bad

December 13, 2016

by Matt Forman, Traffika

With one of the most important periods in retail underway we’re betting you have all your ducks in a row, right?

If your marketing strategy isn’t already in full swing, it’s locked and loaded and ready to go. You’re overflowing with extra inventory geared up to satisfy the needs of frantic Christmas shoppers and your staff are trained, eager and champing at the bit…but how’s your crisis management looking?

When your digital marketing is going well, there’s not a care in the world, but when things go pear-shaped it’s important that management systems are in place and your team are all on the same page.

In this blog, Traffika take a look at some top ways to prevent your digital marketing going ‘bad’ this festive season.

Handling Negative Comments and Reviews

Significant increases in revenue and interest around the holiday period means significantly increased interaction with customers. While the bank balance will love the jump in business, logistical issues with shipping, customer service or stock and quality control can lead to those same customers feeling the need to vent their frustrations online. So what do you do?

Social media, blogs and public review sites have essentially taken the traditional internal complaints department and put it all on public show so you do need to be careful how you handle any negative feedback. While there’s no silver bullet solution, there are some key things to keep in mind: Don’t take it personally, be polite, don’t react straight away but don’t leave it too long either, try and put yourself in the customer’s shoes and always try and take the interaction offline wherever possible.


The term ‘newsjacking’ refers to the idea of using a well-known news event or special dates to promote your business, product or service. Think, the Coca-Cola Santa every Christmas or the Kit Kat ‘we don’t bend, we break’ campaign referencing the Apple iPhone bending news that went viral after the release of the iPhone 6 Plus (more examples of newsjacking here).

Newsjacking as a marketing strategy seems harmless enough but in reality it’s extremely hard to do well and it’s fraught with danger. There are countless examples of newsjacking gone wrong from companies large and small to the point where you really have to wonder how the ideas got through the marketing meeting. The Woolworths ‘fresh in our memories’ campaign commemorating ANZAC Day and somehow associating that to their ‘fresh’ food was a public relations disaster waiting to happen. If you want to have a foray into the newsjacking world here are our tips for avoiding disaster: Stay away from sensitive events or dates, be timely so it’s relevant, think about the strategy from all angles to understand how it might be received, if possible field test your message before going public.

Question and Answer Campaign

In a world where customers and marketers genuinely value transparency more than ever before the question and answer-style campaign is a common go-to, particularly across social marketing channels like Twitter and Facebook. The Victorian Taxi Association’s#YourTaxis campaign highlighted the importance of not asking a question that you don’t want an answer to when they asked social media users to tell their ‘taxi stories’. Needless to say they weren’t expecting the avalanche of comments detailing customers’ overpriced fares, accident near misses or the unwanted advances from taxi drivers. Your customers are arguably your most valuable marketing asset and you definitely want to encourage community conversation but as we mentioned, don’t ask a question if you may not like the answers.

Whatever the time of year, marketing can go bad and it’s important that you have a strategy in place across your team to deal with it in the best way possible.

Written by Matt Forman, Traffika. Traffika is a multi-disciplined Digital Business Generation team integrating strategic consulting, digital marketing and leading technologies, providing a holistic solution for growing retail or franchise businesses. Read this article on the Traffika Blog here.

NRA Media

  • National Retail Association strengthens support for members on leasing and tenancy
    June 01, 2021

    We are pleased to have strengthened our partnership with Lpc Cresa, a leading advisor to retail tenants across Australia and New Zealand, to assist our…

    Read More
    September 03, 2018

    To download the nomination form, click here

    Read More
  • Closing Loopholes Bill No. 2 passes Parliament 
    February 20, 2024

    Earlier this month, it was confirmed that both Houses of Parliament passed the second tranche of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) under…

    Read More
  • Jump start your business for 2021 and step ahead of the competition
    November 20, 2020

    2020 has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging years for all of us. It has created unprecedented trends in every industry, and shown retailers…

    Read More
  • NRA members winners in new partnership with Aussie Broadband
    November 16, 2020

    You must be logged in to view this content.

    Read More

What our clients say

Want to chat?
Contact our team today!