Tips & Insights

5 Common Marketing Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague

5 Common Marketing Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague

Let’s face it: for all the talk about failure as a learning experience, no one likes making mistakes. And marketers are no exception. That’s because marketing mistakes are more than just embarrassing or time-consuming…

Marketing mistakes cost your business customers.

And, of course, I don’t need to tell you that when you lose customers…you lose money. Which might make you do a lot of this:  

sobbing over lost customers

So, that’s why I put together this post:

To show you 5 common marketing mistakes you can easily avoid when developing your marketing plan.

Ready? Then let’s dive in.

#1. You don’t have a website.

I couldn’t believe this statistic the first time I saw it:

46 percent of small businesses in the U.S. do NOT have a website.

disbelief over no websites

I know…crazy, right?

And as if that’s not enough, the top two reasons businesses cite for not have a website were:

  • Having a website isn’t relevant to their business or industry
  • It’s too expensive to build a website

marketing mistakes no website industry and cost data

(image source)

Look, I’m not here to judge. But, if you’re a small business owner in 2017 thinking you’re in an industry where websites aren’t relevant…you’re just plain wrong.

Let me break down the stats that prove this is one of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make:

  • 88 percent of U.S. adults have internet access
  • Over 70 percent of consumers research companies online before visiting a physical location or making a purchase
  • The average B2B buyer is 57 percent of the way through the sales process before contacting a sales rep
  • 47 percent of B2B buyers reviewed 3-5 pieces of content online before engaging with a sales rep.
  • 94 percent of B2B buyers view multiple pieces of content on the website of the vendor they ultimately select

Do you see now why EVERY business needs a website regardless of industry?

Now, the cost excuse makes a bit more sense. A custom designed website costs $5,000 to $10,000 on average, which can be a significant investment for a small business.

But, with templated websites built by Squarespace or, you can get your business up and running with a beautiful website (including a blog, e-commerce platform, and anything else you need) for as little as $18 per month.

example of a squarespace site

(image source)

So, there’s really no excuse anymore to miss out on the brand awareness building and revenue a website brings to your business.

#2. You don’t set marketing goals.

One of the most common marketing mistakes made by both newbies and veterans alike is focusing too much on the what of marketing and not nearly enough on the why.

In other words:

Many marketers spend all their time on different marketing tactics without any real understanding of the strategy behind those tactics.

And even for those organizations that do attempt to put a strategy behind their marketing activities, it’s a mixed bag on whether the marketing strategies you employ are actually effective.

In fact, HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound report found only 61 percent of marketers believe their current marketing strategies are actually effective:

61 percent of marketers confident in their strategy

(image source)

So how exactly do you set effective marketing goals for your business?

Luckily for you, I shared fours steps for writing amazing marketing strategies in a recent post here on the Zapty blog. The post walks you through how to align your marketing strategies to bigger business goals and introduces you to another of the most common marketing mistakes…

#3. You don’t measure your results (or return on investment).

In case you didn’t know, marketing budgets are the highest they’ve been in years.

In fact, Gartner’s 2016-17 CMO Spend Survey revealed that 12 percent of overall revenue is now being allocated to marketing. I’ll wait while you finish your happy dance…

happy dance for more marketing budget

But, in order for marketing budgets to stay high (or even grow), marketers need to prove a return on investment.

According to HubSpot, marketers who calculate ROI are 1.6x more likely to receive higher marketing budgets.

But, surprisingly, calculating ROI remains a challenge across nearly all marketing channels:

  • 61 percent of marketers cited “measuring ROI” as the biggest challenge in developing social media campaigns
  • 28 percent of marketers do not currently measure content marketing ROI (despite the fact that content marketing makes up an average of 29 percent of overall marketing budget spend)
  • 20 percent of marketers do not measure the ROI of any marketing programs at all

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to measure marketing ROI and keep your budget high headed into next year.

#4. You ignore social channels.

Look, I get it. Spending time managing a Facebook page or responding to people on Twitter may not be what you envisioned when you were in school dreaming of a job in marketing.

But of all the marketing mistakes you can make, ignoring the channels where your target audience are most active might be the biggest one.

Today, 81 percent of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile. Of those, over three-quarters of Facebook users login daily.

frequency of logins per social network

(image source)

More than half are using Instagram each day. And though only 18 percent of LinkedIn’s 530 million users log in daily, LinkedIn is the most preferred social channel for business-related content among B2B buyers.

Needless to say, a solid social media strategy should be a part of your marketing plan in the coming year. Being active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to build brand awareness and create a great customer experience for your audience through direct engagement.

#5. You only focus on lead generation.

Fact: according to Gartner, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one satisfied.

And here’s another one for you: you’re 14 times more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new one.

One last one: 83 percent of consumers say they are willing to refer your business after a positive customer experience (however, only 29 percent do, so it’s important to actually ask for the referral).

Put all of those together and this is what you get:

Marketing to your current customers is cheaper, more effective, and generates leads of its own.

Which is why designing campaigns for your current customers makes so much sense. By shifting some of your marketing focus toward your existing clients, you’re able to create a best-in-class customer experience that:

  • Enables more upsell and cross-sell opportunities
  • Reduces churn rates
  • Generates more referrals

Kissmetrics shared some tactics for increasing customer lifetime value over on their blog — check it out here.

Want to Know How You Can Avoid All 5 of These Marketing Mistakes?

Shameless plug time:

Zapty is a project collaboration platform designed to guide you on your marketing journey. Whether you’re brand new to marketing or an experienced veteran, our platform helps you avoid marketing mistakes like these and achieve big things with your marketing budget.

Interested in learning more? Check us out at and sign up for free to get started.


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