5 Deadliest Marketing Sins | office desk and chair

5 Deadliest Marketing Sins Every Company Should Avoid

Over the course of my copywriting career, I’ve worked for many companies, both as a freelancer and full-time employee—and I’ve seen some seriously dumb marketing shit happen.

It doesn’t matter if the budget for a campaign was $10,000 or $10—I’ve seen marketers put their companies at risk of either losing tons of revenue or not gaining a single cent.

If you want to be a savvy marketer who will lead your business to salvation, then steer clear of these 5 deadliest marketing sins:

1: Thou Shalt Not Use Images Taken from a Google Search

I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen highly intelligent marketing professionals at Fortune 500 companies just grab an image from a Google Search and use it in their promotional material without even a second thought to the consequences. But let’s be real, copyright infringement can deplete you and your company of funds in an instant—I’ve seen it happen and it’s not pretty.

There’s a reason why stock photo sites like iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, Shutterstock, etc., exist and there are plenty of low-cost options that can fit into any budget—don’t be afraid to use them!

2: Thou Shalt Not Allow too Many Cooks into the Kitchen

At one of my old workplaces, there would be up to five people reviewing, editing, changing the design, and then re-reviewing an email before it would deploy. By the time we would send the email, the message was so completely convoluted that it didn’t resonate with the audience and the response rates were embarrassingly low.

The old adage about too many cooks in the kitchen is true—if you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too many flavors, then scale back on the amount of people who give their input.

3: Thou Shalt Not Multitask on Several Projects at Once

Multi-tasking is the devil–and not just for marketing tasks, but for any work-related project.

It seems like one of those “positive” words everyone wants to put on their resume, but it can be a detriment to projects. If you’re trying to brainstorm on a slogan for a banner ad, while figuring out which clients to send a “welcome back” email to, while also balancing budgets, and pulling analytics, then chances are your work will either be filled with mistakes or miss the mark.

Focus on one project at a time and give it all of your love to yield the best possible results.

4: Thou Shalt Not Try to Make Everything Perfect

Remember, done is better than perfect. If you’re spending all your time trying to get every little detail right, then guess what? You’re either going to miss your deadline, or it’s never going to be finished.

Do the best you can with the email, billboard, campaign or commercial you’re working on, but make sure you do it quickly and efficiently.

5: Thou Shalt Not Always Take the Safe Route

Take risks! I encourage them to be thoroughly calculated risks (or, at the least, based on a strong gut feeling), but don’t play things safe and expect to see your results grow.

So many marketers do things the way they’ve always done them because that’s what’s brought them moderate success. If you’re not into growth or preparing for major disruptions to your business, then by all means, play it safe. If you want to start reaping in big rewards, it’s time to take some risks.


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