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Marketing 101: The Importance of Proofing

3 examples why you should proof early and often.

Nightmare scenario: You’ve worked hard to land a client, diligently applying your sales skills to convince a prospect of the power of promotional products. You offered creative solutions to their marketing dilemmas and provided sample products for them to see and feel. Everything’s a go, the products get printed, and they end up looking something like this:

Yes, that’s a Maryland Terps-branded T-shirt sitting atop the backdrop of a state. Only thing is, it’s the state of Massachusetts, not Maryland. See the problem with that?

At the end of the day, failure to proof the final product will spoil even the best promotional ideas. Of course, it’s even worse when the seller – in the case of this shirt, Walmart – actually tried to defend the mistake on Twitter by claiming it was no mistake at all:

Or, maybe your St. Patrick’s Day-themed promotional hat went out looking like this:

Looks good, right? Beautifully embroidered shamrock on an emerald-green hat. Except that’s a four-leaf clover, not a shamrock. Big difference. But this was the $50 St. Patrick’s Day-themed “Make America Great Again” hat Donald Trump was selling on his site earlier this week.

Or maybe, your Notre Dame Figthing, er, Fighting Irish souvenir cups made it all the way through the proofing process looking like this:

Not only did this souvenir cup cost $8, but it overshadowed a Notre Dame win as fans flocked to social media to point out the embarrassing typo.

Everyone has busy schedules these days, we get it. But if you’re going to invest your time and effort into marketing materials, you want to get it right, especially if it’s a new client. Proof early, proof often or you might end up like one of these infamous promo items.