There’s heaps of marketing advice around today and some of it is extremely valuable – and will have a positive impact on your business.

However with the sheer scale of marketing in 2019 there are a few pitfalls to look out for too. Here are my top eight things to avoid, in order to be successful with your marketing.

1. Undervaluing the Brand.

This is a biggie. The biggest, I’d say. If your business puts anything, I mean anything before its brand, then it isn’t sustainable.

Sounds like a big claim but 100% it’s true. On many occasions, I’ve seen businesses put sales before their brand and whilst short-term this can get you some success, there are two main problems with an approach like this. The first is that you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of extremely hard work. A strong brand will create sales passively (sales techniques won’t). The second is that you can never truly scale up – a business with a weak brand is always going to be a small business.

We have some content on this coming up, a case study of what brand can really deliver for a business – we’ll also go into what a brand is exactly (hint: it’s more than a logo and typeface). So keep your eyes peeled for that and in the meantime start putting your brand first.

2. Forgetting Who is Most Important.

A key but often forgotten aspect of marketing your business is great account management. Yes, getting new customers through the door (literal or otherwise) is very exciting. There are more metrics to look at, shinier new toys to use and the buzz you get from ‘the hunt’ is all very exciting – and an important part of growing your business.

However, your existing customers are the most important people to your business. The cost, effort and time that goes into gaining new customers far outweigh those that go into keeping an existing customer happy. Happy customers often mean greater spend over time and referrals that come through red hot and full of trust in your company. Which leads us nicely onto…

3. Neglecting Trust Signals.

Trust is the most important feeling a customer must have before making a purchase. It’s up there ahead of desire. As marketers, we spend so much time focussing on USPs and why our product or service is better than our competitors but not enough on why the consumer should trust us.

This links to my point about branding too. Focus on becoming an expert in your field or building social proof, testimonials and reviews etc. A lot of this comes hand in hand with building a great brand. Your business then becomes a reason to buy – not just the quality of the product. By combining trust and desire in potential customers, you will definitely sell more.

4. Measuring the Wrong Thing(s).

It sounds pretty obvious, right? But you’d be amazed how many times in my career I’ve sat in front of businesses where the main goal is to ‘increase sales’. After detailed consultancy and advertisements built for their audience and optimised to the high heavens. I’ve sat in a meeting and the first thing on their agenda is ‘number of impressions’.

Here’s the secret, impressions (when trying to boost sales) don’t matter. If 10,000 people have seen your ad and you have no new customers. Versus 5,000 impressions and 10 new customers, which was better at increasing sales?

There are so many metrics now that it’s easy to get swamped by them. The simple answer is to ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve and measure against those goals only. Impressions are great if you’re wanting to build awareness, dwell time is great if engagement is important to you. But to slightly misquote Einstein don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree.

5. Becoming a Superstitious Pigeon.

Those familiar with the famous B.F Skinner experiment will know that any animal including humans have a tendency to assume that outcomes or reactions are a result of short-term or recent actions. Which is where superstitions come from.

Don’t do this in marketing. Attributing success to short-term metrics is foolish and not giving you the full picture. Yes, somebody clicking on your organic Google search result is a form of success but does that mean you should stop paying for Google Ads?

The long-term outlook will give you the right answer and stop you from becoming trigger-happy with your marketing.

Don't become a superstitious pigeon with your marketing.

6. Playing to Your Weaknesses.

It’s easy to see others have huge success with a certain format or channel and think ‘I want a piece of that’. But the trick is to stay true to yourself and know what you’re good at. 

Take this blog you’re reading right now (thanks by the way – give it a share if you like it). I’m somebody that prefers to write rather than be on video. Video is huge though, and with hard work, I could build a bigger following and potentially create another revenue stream for my business.

But, here’s the point. I don’t want to present videos, it’s not my strength. I won’t enjoy it and as a result, I’d give up when the inevitable happens. Which would be that my first 50-100 videos get no engagement and I’d feel like I’ve wasted my time.

Don’t play to your weaknesses because others have had success. Be you, build your brand and win that way.

seo screen

7. Muscle Memory Copy.

It may feel counter-intuitive if you’ve found a writing formula that’s working really well. Maybe a CTA that gets an incredible conversion rate. But, you need to mix this up.

Once upon a time, ‘click here’ was a good call to action. People move on and these days, they move on quickly. Attention gets harder to grab and behaviour gets harder to dictate.

If you do have Ad copy that’s working, your competitors will start to replicate it and try to improve it. Before you know it, consumers have gotten bored and become awful good at ignoring those messages altogether. It’s important to keep ahead of this and set trends, rather than follow them.

8. Staying In.

This is an oldie, but people buy from people. It’s as true now as it was when that was first said back in 500AD.

It’s tempting to sit behind a computer, perfect your website, build Ads. Network online and create incredible sales funnels etc. etc. and these things are great and should be a part of your mix. But networking and getting yourself and your business in front of people, is always going to be a great way to garner leads and generate new business.

So get yourself to events, meet people, connect and grow your business in a more traditional way and you’ll see some fantastic results.

For more tips on how to grow your business, check out the blog at we have much more content in the pipeline too. Thanks for reading.

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