Protect your business from the wrong campaigns.
By Samuele Barrili

Marketing and the waste and recycling industry need a well-defined relationship. Marketing mistakes are impactful on businesses. Unfortunately, I generally find marketing management outsourced to improvised marketing agencies. This is a scenario that is far from rosy.

In the first part of this article, I will tell you about the most critical marketing mistakes that have caused millions of dollars in losses. In the second part, I will talk about how marketing should be structured as a process.

I’ll start by telling you that the cases that have resulted in millions of dollars worth of damage on the sales side. Not to mention the image damage and the losses on the production side.

The First Case
This is about the scandal involving Sony and its Playstation Portable. It seems like an out-of-place example since we are talking about waste here, but this example shows business strategy.

In 2006, Sony launched the white version of its Playstation Portable (called PSP)—potentially an exciting product. Unfortunately, the product was not successful due to its advertising campaign.

The advertising I’m referring to showed a Caucasian woman, totally white dressed, grabbing an African-American woman’s face. To make matters worse, the text in the advertising said, “Playstation
Portable. White is coming.”

When the advertisement appeared in the U.S., public opinion defined Sony as a brand that supports racism and inequality. Even if Sony declared that it had used the images only to highlight the color contrast between the two versions of PSP, however, the damage was done.

The Second Case
The second case history concerns the brand Adidas. In 2017, Adidas was the main sponsor of the Boston Marathon. As a result, all the people registered as participants in the marathon received an e-mail with the subject line: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon.”

In any other context, a subject like that was perfect for catching the reader’s attention, but not in the Boston Marathon. Due to the 2013 bombing, it was clear that a sentence like that on this specific occasion was inappropriate.
Public opinion defined what Adidas did as disrespectful to the victims and their relatives. Even if Adidas apologized for what happened, sales dropped. This was a significant defeat for the brand that started sponsoring Boston Marathon in 1989.

Marketing is a Process
These cases represent the most diffused mistakes that marketing agencies make when they launch a campaign: not considering the audience and its environment. These companies invested millions of dollars in saving their reputation. Due to their size, they launched new campaigns immediately to remove the “bad picture” from the mind of their target audience.

Behind the mistake that appeared in their advertisement, they are very well structured to face a problem such as those that occurred. That is because marketing is a process that they have inside their structure, and even in situations like those, they have an immediate solution. However, what would happen if they did not have a marketing process? They most likely would have gone out of business.

When you think about marketing, consider it a process you need to implement in your company. Following is an example based on something that happened. A small company decided to launch a marketing campaign to attract new customers. They did not structure any process, but involved an agency that created some online ads to attract customers. People clicked through it and completed a form. As a result, the company received interest from thousands of new potential customers in the first seven days of the campaign activity.

Unfortunately, there was only one person inside the company to manage all these requests and the campaign became a boomerang. Negative comments started appearing below the ads and some of the clients that the company already had, decided to leave. The company lost thousands of dollars, and being a small company, losing a single client was a problem.

That is because marketing was a process to implement, but was seen as a campaign, or like an advertisement, that did not directly impact the company. That is the mistake. A marketing process involves all of the departments of the company—from your production department to your sales department. When you think about marketing, connect all the departments within your company and align them to the goal you want—a focus on the growth of sales through customer acquisition. Connect all the steps between your customer and waste management plant—from the truck driver to the people who start processing the waste to customer service who calls the customer to find out how they feel about the service. Every single step is part of the marketing process. Otherwise, you are losing money, customers, and reputation. | WA

Samuele Barrili is an Italian Marketer, TV Host, Podcaster, and Author. Born in Cagliari, Italy, Samuele began his career as a salesman in 2010. After earning a degree in Toxicological Chemistry at the University of Cagliari (Sardinia), he decided to dedicate himself to studying and discovering the art of sales. After nine years in the field, working as sales and marketing manager for national and international firms involved in chemicals, electromechanical, and waste management, Samuele created MiM Marketing Interim Managers, the first interim company focused on marketing for waste management companies. MiM company originates from the combination of the knowledge of chemistry combined with the knowledge of direct response marketing. Marketing4Waste is the first marketing service totally dedicated to waste management companies. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit