I can’t tell you how, but I was able to get my hands on a copy of Santa’s Naughty List for 2014 (let’s just say I know some elves up north).
It is meticulously indexed and separated by industry, which is weird. I flipped through the “Marketing and Communications” chapter and found some unsettling things. I won’t name names, but it gives you a good idea of what not to do, lest you want to upset Santa.
So here is a sampling of some marketing and communication tactics that could land you on Santa’s Naughty List:
1. Holding your smartphone in the vertical position when taking photos or video for marketing purposes - and then publishing them.
2. Having clickbait tendencies:
(by the way, follow @SavedYouAClick for some fun)
3. On that same note, like-baiting:
Brands that do this don't care whether or not you genuinely "like" what they are asking you. They'd rather you hit the "like" button to increase their engagement rates. Santa doesn't "like" this.
4. Astroturfing. Seriously, people still think this is OK? The public is getting pretty good at smelling B.S., and millennials are especially good. After being the target market for advertisers since we were three years old, our noses have smelled a lot of B.S. over the years.
5. Posting low-quality photos to your brand’s Twitter account or Facebook page. Santa knows that photo sharing is good and all, but his committee of elves long ago decided that no photo is better than a terrible photo.
6. Not having a responsive or at least a mobile-friendly website design. With it almost being 2015 and all, it’s time for your brand’s website to be responsive, meaning the website recognizes the device you’re using and adjusts the layout accordingly. Santa and his committee of elves understands this can be a costly undertaking, so he’s giving brands two more years to comply.
7. Micromanaging the agency you hired. Let them be experts in their field, and you can be experts in your field.
8. Newsjack. We get it. You want attention.
9. Start your public speaking opportunity by saying, "I'm not a great speaker...." Way to inspire confidence right off the bat.
10. Mislead the public. This never works, and it will always come back to haunt you, sooner or later.
This is just a sampling of what I found on Santa’s list. I even checked it twice. Make sure you avoid these tactics and you won’t be seeing any coal from Santa in the years to come.
By Kevin Dudley, Spokane MarCom President