Do you sabotage your own marketing?

February 22, 2024

You may be the best marketer on the planet and still inadvertently sabotage your own marketing.


By being a marketing contradictionist.

Yes, that’s a word we just made up – a marketer’s prerogative, duh – but the meaning is pretty clear.  It’s a person who acts in ways that go counter to their stated goals.

Tourism marketers do this often.  Sometimes, they’re aware it’s happening but just can’t manage to tame the external forces causing it.  But other times, they’re just not aware of their behavior or how it’s obstructing success.

So, the first step is awareness, y’all.  Here are five common contradictory behaviors we often see in tourism marketers.


What do we mean by “nonsense?”  When budgets don’t support the ACTUAL goals and objectives of the marketing plan.  Some indicators here:

  • Budgets spent habitually despite goal evolution. For example, if we hear one more tourism brand say they want to grow their off-season…and then continue to spend the majority of their budget supporting high season…we’re going to scream.
  • Budgets that are spread too thin. Throwing a little piece of money at an initiative or marketing channel, without enough for it to make an impact, is a waste. Choose fewer things and do them justice.
  • Budget numbers are carried over from year to year with no particular allegiance to each year’s specific goals. The goals just get shoehorned in to fit the budget.  Even if your total budget can’t change annually, you can always redeploy the line items to better support the goals.
  • Budgets with no contingency cushion. Worthy opportunities will pop up, so prevent “decision agony” by having funds available to take advantage of them.


This is applicable to recurring events and programs.  I’ve seen countless marketers do the same…exact…thing every year, every season.  It’s so easy to just follow a pre-scripted checklist for an event or package/program and then cross that baby off your list with relief.

But for recurring events and programs to grow – and increase ROI – they need to evolve.  A new hook, new element, new name, new ANYTHING.  Doing the same-old-same-old each time desensitizes your audience.  And come on, marketers…we all KNOW THAT.

Hence the love-hate.  We love formulas because they tend to make our jobs easier (oh so much easier when we don’t have to think!), but we hate them because we know they tend to sabotage our marketing success.

A tan and white dog with mouth open in a smile, with ears laid back while a woman's hand pets his head.


Second cousin to Budget Nonsense (because lack of money is often a contributing cause), “Initiative Petting” is when a marketer knows the value of a particular initiative but doesn’t devote the time/money to do it thoroughly.  We call this “petting” because it’s like giving a dog a quick pat on the head distractedly while focusing on other things.  Some common examples here:

  • Wanting to make a splash with standout PR, but watering down every package and program idea so they’re operationally easy but super duper boring.
  • Saying you’ve got to beef up your email game…but still writing drafts at the last minute to “just get it out the door,” ignoring previous engagement metrics when planning new content, and not doing any (or enough) lead generation to cultivate your list.
  • Treating your website like an online brochure (create it once, then let it sit until it gets stale and needs an overhaul) instead of a living, breathing resource that stays fresh.


This one’s a snap to explain.

This is seeing cool things your competitors are doing – say, through their press coverage and social channels – and wanting to do equally cool things too.  But then continuing to resist doing what it takes – operationally, financially, whatever – to make it happen.

It’s completely fine if you shoot for equally cool things but then realize that for whatever reason, you can’t do it.  Budgets, labor, operational feasibility…they all may conspire to block your goal.

But then you have a choice to make:  let go of your envy or remove the obstacles.  That’s it, those are your two options.

Marketing contradictionist behavior is when you do NOT remove the obstacles but still push ahead unreasonably because you really really want it.  In the end, it’s just a waste of time and money… and I’ve seen this happen too many times to count.


We’ve all seen it.  Heck, we’ve all DONE it.  Push to get creative, copy, press releases, plans, or whatever done ASAP…only to then have them then sit in a pile for an eternity before being finalized and deployed.

Yes, we know there’s a deadline.  Yes, we know other people may have moved mountains to deliver those things to us quickly. And yet, we let those items languish.

This kind of behavior isn’t usually malicious, but it can definitely sabotage your marketing.  Why?  Because it usually causes some kind of last-minute scrambling.  And as we all know, last-minute scrambling rarely produces a successful ROI.

* * *

Listen, we’re not perfect at Redpoint.  And heaven knows we’ve engaged in marketing contradictionist behavior ourselves on occasion.

But the point is awareness.

If you’re aware that your behavior is contradicting your goals, you can choose whether or not to do something about it.  And that can help ensure you don’t inadvertently sabotage your own marketing.

Get more tips here with Five Ways Tourism Marketers Often Fool Themselves.