Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

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

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 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 one lump group.

There are 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, most visitors are likely viewing your site 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 loads quickly and displays well.

Most platforms incorporate responsive design into new sites by default, making it easier than ever for your site to display well on all device types. However, you should still 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 allow you to hide certain sections if needed. Page speed tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights also provide insights into ways to improve your site experience 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 projects and improve the quality of the work. However, AI still has limitations as any other tool. Delegating robust projects like content creation or AI ad management without proper human oversight can be disastrous.

AI lacks the contextual understanding humans can bring to a project and operates from historical data it must find elsewhere. When using AI, you should define the scope of a project that AI can safely absorb and plan for the human capital needed for the remainder. AI should be provided sufficient data and prompts from which to work, with its output always being reviewed by a human.

Not Properly Leveraging Ad Targeting

Digital ad 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 much more.

However, most businesses fail to utilize these platforms’ targeting to their fullest potential or properly set up their campaigns. 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 followers or produce the top-of-mind awareness for which social media is well-positioned. Instead, commit to a posting schedule that’s sustainable long-term and use tools like a content library and post 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 your “asks” sparingly to maximize their impact. Many organizations follow an 80/20 rule of 80% of their content being educational 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 and managing projects with a thoughtful approach can go a long way in avoiding common pitfalls. If our team can answer any questions or assist your business with its marketing, contact us.

Picture of 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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