The Fatal Attraction of Spaghetti Marketing 101

Throwing Spaghetti Against a Wall is NOT a Marketing Plan.png


It might look like a scene out of Fatal Attraction, but this is a marketing scene happening in start-up businesses every day. Boiling the life out of your ideas and flinging marketing ideas against the wall without a structured master plan will end in you burning out your audience.

Two years ago, I had a client who wanted to try everything. He wouldn’t listen to sound advice that works. He didn’t want to work on a structured business plan. He didn’t want to build a marketing plan. His budget changed by the week. He was excited about every idea that came to him in the middle of the night. We developed a following but he quickly discovered that throwing spaghetti at a wall does not work long-term. His followers started to disappear. His subscribers started to unsubscribe. And it seemed as though it was capitalism at its worst. With the audience disappearing, the discounts seemed desperate and last-ditch effort to grow his revenue rather than deliver on value to potential customers.

“Give me your money!” That was his constant approach. It didn’t work.

Finally, when the audience disappeared, we discussed a re-design of his website and a complete re-launch. We did it methodically after creating a business development plan and a marketing plan.

If you really want to be in the game, you have to create structured plans. You have to be willing to listen to your team or they shouldn’t be on your team. If you’re not serving the audience or losing your followers and subscribers, there’s a reason.


Re-evaluate your marketing approach and examine your analytics, review statistics and conversion rates, track what worked and what failed. Then, you must be willing to readjust in order to rebuild. Remember, there’s more than one way to do marketing. Collaboration can lead to success.

Never react with an instant NO to new ideas.

My client finally listened and we built a base, rebuilt organically on top of that base, and people noticed. It was quieter. His assets were more colorful with a thoughtful, pleasing approach instead of screaming at the audience with exclamation marks. It wasn’t all about discounts that seemed to be like an infomercial yelling at his customers to give him more money. As a result, his quieter authority grew over time. He interacted with his audience, asked for feedback, and incorporated changes into his plan.

What changed from his first creation compared to his second re-launch?

He boiled away spaghetti marketing and started listening to alternative approaches. He was a leader who wouldn’t get out of his own way. Sometimes, we need to listen to everyone from the receptionist to the janitor so we can do a better job meeting the needs of the audience. If you’re unwilling to receive feedback from your audience, it shows.

What value are you offering me?

What can your product do for me?

Why do you care about me?

Tell me why I need to believe in you.

The personal pronouns you use in your marketing matter far more than discounts. Connect with your audience in a personal way.

The discounts he had offered were fickle at best. None of the end dates stuck – they were always continued endlessly. He saw it as a way to make money fast. But it backfired. And it cost him business and respect.

The consumer audience is smart. If you’re in it only to boost your bottom line revenue, the audience will know and reject the offering instantly.

With only seconds to capture a potential customer, your website, social media accounts, and emails should be original and on point. Now is not the time to guess or repeat the same message over and over again without stellar results.

The value you deliver today will be appreciated tomorrow. Most importantly, show that you value your client’s time.

Email your subscribers with new content; don’t eblast or ebomb them every single day. Personally, I’ve unsubscribed from 12 eblast lists in the last 30 days. Why?

With the first group, I didn’t subscribe and they added my email to their list without permission. Be familiar with the law and compliance. Furthermore, always seek permission before you add an email to your list.

With the second group, they’ve sent me too many emails that start with “oops, I made a mistake.” Their mistake was trying to make me click two days in a row on the same pitch to give them money. That’s what I call a scam.

Finally, the third reason I unsubscribed was because the emails didn’t offer me new information but only seemed to clutter and spam my email account. Do you want to be perceived as SPAM? If your email marketing approach is being viewed as spam or junk mail demanding money from potential clients, it’s not working. You’re now demeaning your product and your company’s reputation.

Oftentimes, less is more: fewer emails with new content have a more positive impact over time. Put an effort into every message you send to your followers and subscribers.

In every job from a journalist to a marketer, I’ve been a storyteller. Take them back to the story. What is the story of your company? What is the story of your product? What is your story? Tell me a powerful story and make me a believer. Stories connect more than ever today but deliver it inside of a real, structured master marketing plan.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve witnessed in starting up a new business is not putting pen to paper with an overall plan that your team can see. I can’t say it enough: write it down so the entire team climbs aboard the same train.

MASTER PLAN: Start with a solid one-year master plan that you develop with a team approach:

  • MISSION: Establish the company’s vision and mission with your marketing team.
  • BRANDING: Become an influencer to establish and expand the company’s footprint in your industry.
  • BUSINESS PLAN: Design a one-year business plan with your team listing goal markers. WRITE IT DOWN and distribute to your team.
  • MARKETING PLAN: Create a detailed step-by-step marketing plan with your team but infuse some fun into it. WRITE IT DOWN and distribute to your team.
  • MARKETING BUDGET: Detail a marketing and advertising budget with your team and show exactly where you plan to invest money. WRITE IT DOWN and distribute to your team.
  • EVENT SCHEDULES and AD CAMPAIGNS: Create event schedules and ad campaigns with your team that

    focuson topics and storytelling. WRITE IT DOWN and distribute to your team.

  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR: Create an editorial calendar for the entire year.
  • PRESS RELEASES: Schedule press releases at regular intervals using keywords. If the press releases aren’t appearing in Google Alerts, re-evaluate the way you’re releasing information.
  • TESTIMONIALS: Query your current customers for honest feedback and testimonials. Feature those testimonials on your website.
  • EMAIL LISTS: Email once a month or once a week only with original content. Query your email list audience at regular intervals.
  • ANALYSIS: Review your written business development plan and marketing plan. Analyze what has been working and what has failed.
  • READJUST: Listen to your audience, listen to your entire team, and be willing to readjust.

If you’re not willing to listen or alter the plan along the way, your back tire is going to spinning in the mud. To get movement and traction, you need to take structured actions instead of reactions by the day. Remember, history will repeat itself if you don’t make needed changes that focus on an organized, structured strong plan.

Now, have fun marketing!