Limited Time Offer: Save 30% on PRO with code GETRESULTS »

Real-World Education for Modern Marketers

Join Over 600,000 Marketing Professionals

Start here!
Text:  A A

How to Ruin Your Brand, Your Business, and Your Career: The 13 Worst Marketing Mistakes, Part 1

by M. P. Friedman  |  
July 6, 2010

This article originally addressed the seven worst marketing mistakes. But seven wasn't nearly enough. The list grew until it reached an unlucky 13. Since mistakes are discovered all the time, please think of this article as a work in progress.

1. "We'll make it up in volume"

Well, no, you won't. Volume helps absorb fixed costs, but low margin is low margin. It dilutes your entire financial picture, it infuriates your CFO or banker, and it generally fails.

Back in the early '80s, Procter & Gamble's Beauty Care business had a high cost structure. P&G thought it could fix the problem with volume.

Its launch of Ivory Shampoo and Conditioner as a value brand, supported by the category's first-ever $1 coupons, was the biggest introduction in hair-care history.

You couldn't walk into any store in the country without feeling dwarfed by the massive displays (88 cents for 16 oz. bottles!). At some retailers, you could walk out with a couple of bottles without paying a cent and without getting arrested!

P&G got its volume.

But its variable costs soared. Value brands need to keep delivering low price, and once you've taught consumers that your product is worth 88 cents, or nothing, they're not going to pay more. P&G found it needed to keep dropping $1 coupons to keep up the volume, and that ate up the thin margins.

Sign up for free to read the full article.Read the Full Article

Membership is required to access the full version of this how-to marketing article ... don't worry though, it's FREE!


We will never sell or rent your email address to anyone. We value your privacy. (We hate spam as much as you do.) See our privacy policy.

Sign in with one of your preferred accounts below:

M. P. Friedman is founder and principal of FastGrowth Advisors (, a Boulder, Colo.-based consulting and coaching firm. He tweets as @MPFriedman and blogs at Reach him via

Rate this  

Overall rating

  • This has a 4 star rating
  • This has a 4 star rating
  • This has a 4 star rating
  • This has a 4 star rating
  • This has a 4 star rating
13 rating(s)

Add a Comment


  • by Tara Tue Jul 6, 2010 via web

    Great article.

  • by M. P. Friedman Thu Jul 8, 2010 via web

    Thanks, Tara! I appreciate the support. Please see new blog and articles on


  • by Sammy Fri Jul 9, 2010 via web

    Gold...Nothing new, but people make the same mistake over, and over and over......Build strategies based on survival rather than lasting growth and leave some one else to pick up the pieces..

  • by Elaine Fogel Fri Jul 9, 2010 via web

    Good article, Mark!

  • by M. P. Friedman Fri Jul 9, 2010 via web

    Sammy, Elaine - thanks much! I look forward to your comments on Part 2.


  • by Manasi Shah Wed Jul 14, 2010 via web

    Great article..interesting insights..can't wait for the second it out already??..

  • by M. P. Friedman Wed Jul 14, 2010 via web

    Manasi - part 2 came out this week. Part 3 will probably be published next week. These articles are excerpted from a slightly longer e-book that will be on my site as free download sometime in August.


  • by naveen sharma Sun Jul 25, 2010 via web

    thanks i learn lots of things after reading this

  • by R Badum Tue Jul 27, 2010 via web

    Refreshing. Thanks

  • by henrydes Sat Aug 28, 2010 via web

    What a practical and nice way of thnking and putting things up! Excellent.!!

  • by Webmaster Wed Oct 6, 2010 via web

    I love this article. Well done

  • by Rumaizon Sat Nov 6, 2010 via web

    This is refreshing! I'm already hungry for Part 2.

MarketingProfs uses single
sign-on with Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to make subscribing and signing in easier for you. That's it, and nothing more! Rest assured that MarketingProfs: Your data is secure with MarketingProfs SocialSafe!