As a marketer, you never know when inspiration — or lessons on what not to do — will appear. So I always make sure that I keep my iPod camera on while I walk around town, during visits to New York City and even while in the car (but not driving, honest…).

Now, we all know there are good ways to promote your business, and bad ways to promote your business. Looking at examples of both can help us become better marketers. Here are three more bad examples of marketing we can learn from.

Excuse the blurriness on this one, but that is not what makes it bad. Where is the price? Where is the guarantee? Where is the irresistible offer? Where is the call to action? Where is the agency that they overpaid for this terrible idea? I don’t think this would be in my small business marketing plan, and it shouldn’t be in yours either.

Great idea, but poor execution by this street vendor. You need to adapt when something disrupts your business environment. In this case, construction around your newsstand means you need to change up the placement of your signage. Move the sidewalk signs to another part of your newsstand, or hang them on the fencing so passersby can actually read them.

Imagine you have a jewelry store on Wall Street in New York City. How would you dress your brand representative on the street? Me? I would have them dressed like everyone else going to work in the area, NOT like a street vendor.

No offense, of course, to the street vendors of NYC who provide me with excellent coffee, but the ticket item difference and customer experience between coffee and jewelry is definitely not the same. The attire, demeanor and approach of your brand representatives should exemplify that.

What examples of bad marketing have caught your attention? If you’re on Facebook, share your pictures with us on the Small Business Bonfire Fan Page.

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