Chances are, you’re guilty of committing a marketing sin or two at some point in your career. While these sins may not be quite as detrimental as the original deadly sins, you should still try avoiding them. But in order to know what you’re avoiding, you have to know what the sins are in the first place.

10 of the Deadliest Marketing Sins and what you can do to Avoid Them

Using a spray and pray approach.
Stop sending a ton of stuff (emails, content, promos, social media, etc.) out there to see what sticks. Taking a more coordinated approach to your efforts will help with long term success. But sometimes creating meaningful interactions in a scalable way comes as a challenge. Nurture campaigns are designed to help marketers find that scalable way to deliver personalized content at the right time during a buyer’s journey. They help you develop relationships with leads by surfacing content that’s uniquely relevant to them. Once set up, automated campaigns run without marketing’s involvement, eliminating the need for a consistent reinvestment of time to develop content and execute on it.

Having a one and done strategy.
There are a ton of stats out there about the number of touches needed to get a prospect to engage. The reality is, you can’t just take a one and done approach and expect results. The trick is finding a way to stay in contact without being overbearing. Marketing automation allows you to engage with leads that are already in your database and automate communications with them, sharing relevant information based on the actions they have taken. Through lead scoring, the system provides points based off activities to prioritize the hottest leads for your sales team. Once a lead reaches the threshold you assign, they are routed to sales for follow up. And if they aren’t ready to buy, sales can easily send them back to marketing for a long term nurture so they don’t fall through the cracks.

Buying a bunch of tools without a plan (aka – “shiny new object syndrome”).
It’s no secret that there is a growing list of technologies to choose from. However, before running out and buying the latest tool, you really need to understand what you hope to accomplish with it and consider important success factors – processes, staff competency, expense. Once you do this, you can make a more thoughtful investment.

Not aligning with sales.
Sales and marketing alignment starts with communication. Ask for a meeting and recognize if there is misalignment. If there is, work to get everyone on the same page and working toward common goals. There are a few things you can do to keep the lines of communication open on a regular basis:

Write out your processes and have your sales counterpart do the same.

Define service level agreements (SLAs) for each other, that outline the timing of follow up.

Create a united front – be a part of each other’s meetings, have combined monthly or quarterly reporting, show progression with shared goals, have open lines of communication.

Failing to measure results.
Marketers need to understand what is working and where improvements can be made. Here are a few of the key metrics you should be measuring:

email metrics (opens, clicks and unsubscribes)

landing page / form conversions

event registrations

conversion rates

opportunity creation

cost per lead

cost per opportunity

revenue generated

Doing the same thing over again and expecting different results
Haven’t you heard Albert Einstein quote this as insanity? If you’re doing the same things over and not getting better results, try something new. Re-evaluate your target market to find other audiences that would be a better fit or more receptive to your offering. You should also review your ROI to see if you’re spending money in places you shouldn’t be. Testing different email subject lines, making sure you have compelling calls to action and using different email formats (HTML and text) are all great ways to update your email strategy. The list of things you could try differently for better results could go on for days, but what is most important is to remember that to break through the noise, you have to be different.

Focusing on the wrong things
To shift your focus to the more important things means you have to get on the same page as management and other key stakeholders. Make sure everyone agrees about what your priorities are and where you should focus your efforts. Define your goals each month and share those with stakeholders so everyone has visibility to what you’re working on. It’s important that you don’t get wrapped up in the individual activities and instead, focus on the larger outcomes. Finally, talk in a language that sales understands. Focus on what they care about – what you can do to generate more leads or close their open opportunities – rather than what they are less interested in – that you sent XX emails last week and had XX clicks.

Showing up and “throwing up” at a trade show.
If you have a booth and staff at the event that’s a great start, but what about next steps? Just like with an email campaign, creating a surround strategy for your trade shows will ensure you get the most out of your event. Here is your trade show plan should include:

  • pre-event mailings
  • appointment setting prior to the event
  • speaking sessions
  • booth promotions
  • customer appreciation dinner or other special event
  • press and media pitching
  • ads
  • coordinated post-event follow up

Not having a plan for social media.
There are nearly 2 billion social media users worldwide so it’s important to stay focused. If you are working to establish your social presence, don’t jump into all social media platforms at once. Instead, focus on the sites that your competitors and audience are already using. Posting consistently but not too much is key. Typically, it’s more appropriate to post several times a day on Twitter and just one or two on LinkedIn and Facebook. And don’t forget to keep the social in social media by responding, following back and interacting with other industry experts. Social media automation tools, like Oktopost can be extremely beneficial to your social strategy.

Thinking you can do it all alone.
According to the According to the 2016 State of B2B Lead Gen Survey, 70 percent of B2B organizations outsource all or part of their lead generation tactics. This isn’t surprising given how busy today’s marketers are. So if you don’t have a big marketing team, try partnering with a marketing automation vendor that offers a “do it for me” service who can take the heavy lifting off you and execute campaigns on your behalf.”

In the quest to grow your business, maximizing what you have to work with and making well thought out decisions will only provide you greater success long term.