7 Common Marketing Mistakes

by | Dec 7, 2020 | Business Building Musts

Marketing is my jam – I love it. I not only teach marketing, study and research marketing, but I also watch marketing from, of course, a marketers’ perspective.

And there are a number of common things I see go wrong in business’ marketing.

Today I’m writing about 7 of them – all of which I hope you can say, “Nup, not me Jenn!”

But because I am honest enough in my perspective on this, even I do maybe make one or two of them sometimes, so I’m pretty sure this list is going to be helpful to you too!  (In case you’re wondering, number 6 – it’s my weakness when it comes to marketing ….!)

7 Common Marketing Mistakes:

1. No strategy

Do any of the following ring a bell with you:

  • Posting for posting sake.
  • Posting because some crazy marketer said you have to.
  • Posting so you can tick that item off your list as done.
  • Emailing once or twice – maybe this week, maybe next week, maybe when I can think of something to say.
  • Showing up when you are ready – not when your client is.
  • Choosing hours, platforms, methods that suit younot your client.

Sound at all familiar?

Marketing your business without a strategy is like travelling without a map.  Yes, you’ll get there, probably, at some stage, but if only you had a map you could make it quicker, simpler and more fun!

They say life is not about the destination – it’s about the journey.

Marketing IS NOT like life then!  It’s all about the destination.

Perhaps the destination is a sale, perhaps it’s a lead, perhaps it’s a discovery call or someone new walking into your bricks and mortar office or store.

Step one in any strategy is START WITH THE END IN MIND – and to do this, start with the destination. That is – what you want your client/customer to do, and work backwards from there.

Please stop posting for posting sake.  It could be doing your brand and business more harm than good.

2. Treating social media as your entire marketing strategy.

I want you to raise your hand and say,

“I (say your name) promise you Jenn I will NOT put all my eggs into the social media basket and will start talking to my clients/customers offline as well.”

Ask yourself this question, in Facebook/Instagram or any of the other platforms, or all of the platforms, shut down tomorrow, do you still have a business?

Be honest.  It’s only yourself you are being honest to.

But sincerely if your answer is yes or maybe, or not sure, please, please, please start to look into other marketing strategies.

I have seen it, heard it too many times before where businesses have been lost over night because the only business they did was over social media.

Social media is fabulous – don’t get me wrong.

It just can’t be everything.

3. Good content is enough. Done is good enough.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you we live in a highly competitive and crowded market space – no matter what your business is – so, no sorry, good is not good enough.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to be putting out content that’s freaking fabulous – or at least what your clients/customers think is freaking fabulous.

No matter what industry you are in, become that go to person in your industry, in your town or wherever.

How do you become that go to person?

By putting out freaking fabulous content that your ideal client:

  • loves
  • gets enormous value from
  • builds a relationship with them

Create content that is so good, that’s there is no question, when it’s time to buy, it’s time to buy from YOU.

4. You use social as a substitute for personal contact.

Like Number 2 above, social media can’t be your everything, and it can’t be the only way you communicate with your people either!

Posting, DMing, commenting, messaging – they are all great communication strategies when used correctly.

But don’t forget about the one from ages ago – the telephone!

Or the modern one, zoom/skype etc.

Or the actual face to face meeting.

It’s so important that we are showing up the way our clients/customers need us to.

And for some, that means actual human to human contact – actually human to human conversations with words and facial expressions to fit!

5. You don’t back up your efforts.

If you say you will do something, do it!

What’s that old retail saying, “under promise and over deliver” – not the other way round.

Also, if you are telling a client or customer to go online and do x (book a call, buy that thing), make sure your efforts are backed up with a good, seamless customer experience.

And to look at it another way – make sure your social media accounts, your website and your bricks and mortar store all look like they belong to the same brand!

Wherever you are, make sure the branding is consistent, the messaging is consistent.

And, it goes without saying, make sure YOU (yes you) are somewhere in the mix!

Make sure I can see YOU – yes you the owner of the business!

6. You forget why you are on social media and fall down the rabbit hole.

Ok, so this is the trap I personally can fall prey to!  I actually think it’s a condition I have – I’m calling it the rabbit hole condition.

I hear from so many business owners that they are “too busy” to post on social media.

But honestly, I think they just go down rabbit holes – maybe trying to see what everyone else is doing to give them an idea of what you should be doing or get involved in things that don’t involve you.

Good maybe not good enough these days but done is done.  Perfection is a trap.  And there’s a huge difference between  posting something that mediocre (which squarely falls into that “posting for postings sake” I mentioned earlier), and then being held back from posting something because you think it’s just not perfect!

If you are not sure about your content then maybe get some friends to give you honest feedback. And if you think you can use a boost, then I have an awesome resource 108 Social Media Content Creation Ideas you can download (and it’s free!).

Or if you are still stuck, then maybe look at working with a Social Media Content Creator for a period of time – they should be able to get you on the right track content-wise.

7. Bright Shiny Objects

I talk about BSO’s a bit.  Be aware of bright shiny objects!  Distractions masquerading as opportunities.

Following the trends of the next best thing – even though you haven’t thought about a strategy of that “new” thing or how it will impact your current business strategy or even if your clients are there or wanting it.

Business often fail or fail to grow from simply getting distracted.

Being distracted by what someone else is doing, what your competition is doing or what Bob down the road told you was working so well for Amanda around the corner who sells bricks but you sell sandwiches – is not the best use of your time, effort or energy.

When you feel like you need to take on a new strategy or follow a different path, ask yourself those 3 little words (the ones I love/hate):


If you can clearly state the purpose, and tell another trusted source and they don’t give you the “look”, when perhaps it a good thing – if you get the look of “WTF”, then perhaps it’s not a good thing.

Remember, for what purpose?

So – there you go, that’s 7 marketing mistakes I see all too often.

Like I said at the start, I hope you don’t see yourself in too many of them!

But if you do that’s ok, acknowledging them is part of the journey to change!

To recap:

  1. No strategy
  2. Treating social media as your entire marketing strategy.
  3. Good content is enough. Done is good enough.
  4. You use social as a substitute for personal contact.
  5. You don’t back up your efforts.
  6. You forget why you are on social media and fall down the rabbit hole.
  7. Bright Shiny Object Syndrome!

So – did you find yourself nodding about any of those marketing mistakes, if so, leave a comment or send me a DM on my Socials (Instagram or Facebook)

If you aren’t already, why don’t you jump over and check out my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group – so many small business owners find it a great resource and opportunity to share information tips and hints with others. I would love to see you there!


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners.  Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast


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