The 13 Scariest Moments in Marketing


Marketing isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether it’s an unhappy client phone call or a misspelled post (eek!), there are plenty of moments in the average marketer’s day that can inspire terror – or at least a fair amount of of annoyance.

But what are the 13 scariest moments in marketing? We asked around the office and on social media to find the top terrifying tidbits. (And whenever folks gave us their names, we made sure to attribute their great quotes.) Let’s count them down!

13. The disappearing idea

The brilliant marketing idea that you wake up with in the morning – but can never recall again.


Photo via PHD Comics

12. BuzzFeed despair

The moment you realize a post with 21 photos of cats will always get more traffic than your smart, well-researched opus.

11. Black hole blog posts

Thanks to Raven’s social media tools we know that “People read it – you know by the view count or clicks, but people do not comment…makes one wonder, are they reading because they like it or reading because they want to steal it?” – Antona Brent Smith

10. FOMO fright

9. Publishing paranoia

“Just pushing the publish button is frightening! It doesn’t matter how confident I am with an article, I still have a hard time pressing the publish button without breaking a sweat.” – Shannon Callarman

“Hitting ‘send’ on an outbound campaign.”

“Nothing is scarier than knowing you just sent your work out to hundreds of thousands of people to critique.”

8. Cobwebs on your website

“Honestly, I think the scariest feeling is when you’ve tried everything and you’re still not getting engagement. Where do you go after using keywords, hashtags, asking questions, pushing content out, holding contests…and still no one likes or follows you, or engages with your posts? – Fatemeh Fakhraie


Photo via The Rumpus

7. The big chill

“Selling something for the first time — and waiting for the first sale.”

“When you go with your gut when data or research suggests otherwise, and you’re waiting to see if you f’d up by doing so.”

6. “It’s coming from inside the house”

“Discovering you’ve got a rogue agent that’s gone wild on your social feed and the content has already been seen by ‘them upstairs.'” – Anthony Hill

5. The walking dead

“Zombie SEO, of course – it’s died a hundred times and keeps on coming.” – Ammon Johns

4. Scary social media

The fear that your social media account will be publicly mocked by @urtweetsrbad or Condescending Corporate Brand Page.

3. The bird of prey

“There’s something very scary about that Penguin. It’s the Chucky of flightless birds. It’s even black and white like those classic old movies.” – Ammon Johns


Photo via WinLocal

2. The keyword-less marketer

“Google Analytics chopping your hands off so you can’t touch your keyword data.” – Ardala Evans

And finally, 1. (by a giant margin): Typo terrors!


“Realize; when a few people have already seen my post, that I have misspelled a world giving another meaning to my statement.” – Ambar L

“You just hit send on an email going to 500k + people and you mailed a message to the wrong mailing list, maybe to, I dunno, the wrong country.”

“Catching a typo after your pieces have been printed and delivered.”

“And that little hopeful part of you hopes ‘maybe nobody but me will notice.’ But of course that mistake that made it past at least 10 sets of eyes in the creation and production process is now glaringly obvious to anyone and everyone who sees the piece. ‘You spelled ____ wrong’ is the worst phrase in the world.”

“Realizing the campaign you’ve spent so much time and energy on sends the exact wrong message or has a terrible translation.”

“Definitely, definitely misspelled words! Nails on blackboard, man!” – Neha Bawa

Know a scary moment we forgot? Tell us about your terrors in the comments. Happy Halloween from Raven Tools!


Top Photo Credit: Luz Adriana Villa A. via Compfight cc

Courtney Seiter

Listener, storyteller and petter of all animals. Content crafting at Buffer; sharing stuff about social media, workplace culture, diversity and music.

Listener, storyteller and petter of all animals. Content crafting at Buffer; sharing stuff about social media, workplace culture, diversity and music.

  • DanielleMontgomery

    Great post. I can resonate with cobwebs, black holes and typo terrors as a B2B community manager! However the only reason buzzfeed scares me is because it has an extraordinary power to lure me into procrastination…!

    • RavenCourtney

      Very good point, Danielle! I’ve fallen victim to that, too!