September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. Tips for better branding and in-depth features on how to take advantage of marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are all in the works in addition to insights from experts. You’ll find it all at Inman, as well as our two-day virtual, flagship event, Your Playbook for the Fall Market, in October.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

At Inman, we love to share with you a host of affordable and thrifty ideas for keeping your lead pipeline filled with buyers and sellers, no matter what’s going on in the market. But sometimes there are marketing methods that cost money, promising big bang for the buck. Some of them deliver all day long. Others, not so much.

That made us wonder: What is the marketing mistake that you truly regretted? Maybe it was a paid lead source. Maybe it was an uber-expensive digital media campaign. Maybe you hired a consultant who turned out to be less of an expert than they claimed to be. Maybe you splashed out big on billboards, bus benches and buggies at the supermarket, all to no avail.

Here are your stories about the most expensive marketing mistake you’ve ever made:

  • A banner ad on 
  • I received a call from a company that I would love to name but won’t. They sell advertising kiosks that they put in stores and put your information, photo, and logo on it (they called it “artwork”). It costs almost $1800. and was a terrible experience. They placed the kiosk, then removed it, and I didn’t know why, then did new artwork, then replaced it with even worse workmanship. I missed the best and busiest time of a coordinated campaign and the customer service was for all intents and purposes poor at best. By the time the campaign took off, people were tired of sanitizing their hands, my business cards kept disappearing and I did not get any ROI. I felt like I simply threw the money away. 
  • Zillow

Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your most expensive marketing mistake in the comments below.

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