Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Discover common mistakes to avoid in marketing your business with our tips to improve your marketing ROI and better engage with shoppers.

Marketing is a skill that is highly dynamic. Change often (and rapidly) occurs as the industry adopts new platforms and technologies like AI. In this constantly changing landscape, discover these common mistakes to avoid in marketing your business for growth.

Not Tracking Leads (Source & Quality)

A cardinal sin in marketing is not tracking the leads brought in by your efforts. Without properly monitoring which channels brought in the most leads and the highest-quality shoppers, you’re unable to decide which efforts should be doubled down on and which expenses can be safely cut.

Modern tracking technologies allow you to accurately measure important conversion events including phone calls, website forms, and e-commerce sales – while assigning credit to the sources from which these shoppers arrived.

For example, if you’re advertising on Google and social media, you’d want to go beyond basic metrics such as ad displays and ad clicks to understand what these visitors did after seeing the ad. Hypothetically, you might find social ads brought in more visitors to your site, but that visitors from Google were twice as likely to purchase something from you. In that simplified case, you might consider shifting some funds away from social ads and toward Google.

Marketing to Everyone Identically

If we pay attention to prospective and existing customers, it’s clear that every business’s customer base is comprised of unique individuals. Customers often have differing needs, are diverse demographically, and may be at varying stages of their purchase journey. However, many businesses market to shoppers as though they’re one lump group.

There are so many personalization options for marketers, ranging from precise ad targeting to email segmentation. Tailoring your messages to each customer segment allows you to better connect with them and increase the likelihood of securing (and retaining) their business.

Ignoring Mobile Experiences

If you review your website data, it’s likely most visitors are viewing your website on a mobile device. However, web developers and marketers often focus more on their site’s desktop experience and forget to ensure the mobile version of their site loads quickly and displays well.

Most platforms incorporate responsive design into new sites, making it easier than ever for your site to display well on all device types. However, it’s still important to review your pages with a simple “eye test” to ensure your page elements display as expected and load quickly on mobile devices. Platforms such as WordPress allow you to customize how elements display on smaller screens and offer the ability to hide certain sections if needed. Utilizing a page speed tool such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights also provides insights into ways to improve your site experience for users on multiple device types.

Blindly Trusting Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the world including the field of marketing. AI-driven tools can minimize the time requirements of many projects and improve the quality of the work. However, AI still has limitations as any other tool. Handing over the reins for a robust project such as content creation or AI ad management without proper human involvement can be disastrous.

AI lacks the contextual understanding that humans are able to bring to a project and operates from historical data it must find elsewhere. It’s best to define the scope of a project that AI can safely absorb and plan for the human capital needs of the remainder. AI should be given the best possible data and prompts from which to work and its output should always be reviewed by a human.

Not Properly Leveraging Ad Targeting

Digital advertising platforms provide unprecedented ability to reach shoppers precisely and affordably. Targeting capabilities offer the ability to reach shoppers based on their location, demographics, purchase intent, and so much more.

However, most businesses fail to utilize these platforms’ ad targeting to their fullest potential or fail to set up the campaign in the proper format. Either can waste a significant portion of an ad budget. A digital advertising expert (in-house or via an agency partner) can identify these leaks and optimize a campaign to maximize its ROI.

Misusing Social Media

Social media is a great way to connect with new shoppers and existing customers. However, many businesses ineffectively manage their channels which can minimize these benefits or even produce adverse effects.

A critical mistake is posting inconsistently. These channels might go dormant for months, only to “binge post” several posts in a day or week. This behavior doesn’t foster a relationship with the channel’s followers and doesn’t produce the top-of-mind awareness for which social media is well-positioned. Instead, commit to a posting schedule that can be sustained long-term and use tools such as a content library and scheduling to assist you.

Another error is to post exclusively sales-focused content. Let’s face it: people don’t enjoy being sold to and often unfollow these channels rather quickly. Instead, provide your followers with the content they want to engage with and mix in sales content and other “asks” sparingly to maximize their impact. Many organizations follow an 80/20 rule of 80% of their content being educational and/or entertaining with only 20% or less being sales-focused.

Read More: Social Media Best Practices


As with any endeavor, marketing a business presents a minefield to navigate. This is only heightened by the industry’s ever-changing landscape. Following our tips above, along with managing projects with a thoughtful and intentional approach, can go a long way in avoiding common pitfalls. If our team can answer any questions or assist your business with its marketing, feel free to contact us.

Taylor Brown
Taylor Brown

Taylor is the owner & digital strategist of Go-To Man Marketing. With a passion for digital marketing and analytics, he's helped clients to grow their businesses for more than a decade.

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