Launching a marketing campaign is one of the most exciting experiences that an entrepreneur will ever encounter. Regardless if it’s your very first startup or the 50th business venture you’ve launched…It’s always an exhilarating experience. However, in the process of getting a campaign off the ground, entrepreneurs and brand managers often make many mistakes when it comes to launching and measuring marketing campaigns.

Questions like “How much should we spend on advertising?” And “Should we devote all of our budget solely towards digital marketing?” Or ” Should we purchase outdoor ads as well?” Are certain to come up during initial marketing meetings.

While those questions are inevitable for most marketers organizing a campaign, there are 4 common marketing errors that far too many brands make when launching a marketing campaign. These missteps have prevented many brands from excelling as rapidly as they could have. They’ve also led to the demise of a myriad of others. These are the 4 fatal errors that destroy marketing campaigns.

1. Failing to connect the brand’s name to a category

How many times have you seen or heard an advertisement for a brand and by the end of the ad, you had no idea which category the product or service was in? This is a huge mistake for any marketing campaign because it leaves consumers confused because at best they’ll remember your brand’s name…but they won’t recognize how it’ll make their lives better. That’s why it is imperative to connect your brand to a category in every utterance of your campaign.

Even if your brand is the first-in-category, you must emphasize that category in each touchpoint of your marketing campaign in order to generate brand recall when potential consumers are in need of your product or service. A goal for every marketing campaign, whether it’s direct-response, or a PR campaign — is to increase favorable brand awareness.

You always want your audience to know who you are, and what category your product or service belongs to in all of your marketing materials. Consumers cannot know how your product or service will benefit them if they can’t identify its category.

2. Emphasizing Vanity Metrics

How many likes did your last tweet receive? How many new followers did your last Facebook ad garner? How many comments did your last Instagram post receive? If you know the answer to these questions off the top of your head, or if you prioritize them — you probably emphasize what marketers call ‘vanity metrics’.

Vanity metrics are metrics that really have no real bearing on the growth of your business or your company’s bottom line. They’re simply “cool” things you can mention to friends and those on your team in a conversation about your brand. There’s nothing wrong with vanity metrics (be honest, we’re all a little vain right?), but emphasizing them, or even worse — setting them as a goal, is a surefire way to expend precious marketing resources on a nugatory objective.

3. Not Conducting A/B Tests

A pivotal part of any marketing campaign is measuring each iteration of your advertising. The best way to find out what’s working and what’s not working while also giving your campaign a better chance to succeed, is to conduct A/B or split tests.

A/B tests are very easy to perform. The best way to describe an example of an A/B test is to think of an email campaign with two different subject lines that you’ll run at the same time – but to different audiences.

If one subject line (A) received an open rate of 85%, subject line (B) received an open rate of only 15%, it would be best to continue the campaign with subject line (A) and discontinue subject line (B), while replacing it with another subject line that will perform better with your audience.

Failing to perform A/B tests is failing to optimize your campaign.

4. Not Choosing The Right Audience

Notice I said audience and not customers. Until someone purchases your product or service, they’re not your customer. The great thing about this is that they can become customers. Especially if you narrow the audience you target by focusing on those that will be most interested in what you have to offer.

Understanding who, where, and how to communicate with your audience is the most vital component of a successful marketing campaign. For example, there’s a story of two college students that were both opera singers at a local university that street-performed for extra cash separately at different locations. They were both great singers that performed beautiful classical music. However, given their hectic college schedule, both could only perform one night a week for two hours.

The only real difference between these opera singers is where they chose to perform.

One of the singers had a brilliant idea to perform at the city’s airport. Figuring that at a minimum, her voice would get to be heard by 5,000 people during the two hours she performed there, which would give her the best chance of making a larger profit.

The other opera singer chose to perform in front of the city’s art museum (which at full capacity could only accommodate 500 visitors at a time) on Friday nights for two hours. Which singer do you think made the most money?

If you guessed the opera singer that performed in front of the art museum, you are correct. That’s because she knew that her target audience was congruent with most people that patronize art museums.

From a psychographic perspective, they also tend to appreciate classical music and don’t mind paying for their appreciation of art. So while the singer that performed at the airport had a much larger audience, her audience consisted of people that were in a hurry at the time (and many of whom were angry and in a bad mood due to the traveling process).


Choosing the right audience for your brand and providing them quality and value where they are is paramount to a marketing campaign. For marketing managers of startups, your campaign budget probably won’t be as high as your competitors that are established. Therefore, (to quote the poet Todd Shaw) you must “get in where you fit in.”

In order to optimize your campaign budget, you should present your brand-item in front of those that will appreciate it the most. As the CEO or brand manager, consider yourself to be a great vocalist and your brand is the music.

Why not perform your beautiful music in front of a small crowd that appreciates your art and will pay you to experience it? Rather than performing in a busy airport full of people that don’t care to hear it.

Photo courtesy of Energepiccom via Pexels