Succeed at digital marketing failure

Digital Marketing How to Succeed at Failure


We preach. We advise. We recommend. We execute. Yet, sometimes, we encounter a client that subscribes to the “nope, I want to do this my way” mentality. So, my colleagues and I decided to create a list of our best advice on how to fail miserably at digital marketing. If we missed any cardinal rules, please be sure to let us know.

11 Rules to Insure You Fail Miserably

1.    Keep Upper Management in the Dark

Effective digital marketing contributes to sales efforts in a multitude of ways. If upper-management does not fully understand the ROI value of your digital marketing plan, your funding (and maybe your job) can be jeopardized at any point. Imagine what would happen if upper-management refused to be involved in marketing. Needless to say, your ability to be found on the web would be a fraction of your full online potential. If you are looking to minimize your results, “keep management in the dark.”

2.    Adopt a “Need to Know” Management Style

Digital marketing success demands a 360-degree marketing mindset. In a recent post, I listed the number of skill sets required for effective digital marketing results. Each skill set affects your results. Ignoring collaboration among team members is a sure-fire way to fail.

3.    Keep Focused in Your Comfort Zone

It is virtually impossible to be an expert in all the skill sets required for effective digital marketing. Marketers do not need to be technology geeks in order to create effective digital marketing success. However, marketers do need to grasp how technology is used to execute and measure digital marketing plans. Marketing techniques that have worked well in the traditional sense, do not always convert into effective online strategies. Keep looking back to your past successes. Then try to replicate them all online. That’s a great way to fail.

4. Ignore Data

Analytics allow you to measure your online digital marketing results. They provide insight into visitor behavior that offers understanding in how to refine your online campaigns, compete better and deliver content that resonates with your audience. Don’t bother to take the time to analyze the data. Just keep doing the same thing with no regard for what’s working and what’s not working. That’s a great failure strategy.

5.    Keep Your Offline and Online Marketing Separate

Internet World Stats March 2011 statistics report illustrates that almost 2.1 billion people worldwide use the Internet. That represents a 480% increase in usage since 2000. 78.3% of North Americans (over 272 million) use the Internet. Pretend that almost 80% of North Americans don’t bother researching or engaging with businesses on the Internet.  Be sure to keep your offline and online marketing strategies completely separate. That should keep your competitive advantage low.

6.    Assume Your IT Department Understands Online Marketing Because They are Geeks

Just because your IT department is technology savvy, go ahead and assume they understand everything about Internet marketing and SEO best practices. Don’t bother collaborating or checking with your digital marketing agency before making changes or updates to your website. After all, who cares if you wipe out all the backlinks, web authority and progress you have gained during the past year?

7.    Maintain Ego Supremacy

You have been a successful marketer for decades. You have collected numerous Addy’s. You have accumulated an impressive portfolio of successful media and print campaigns. You already know everything. Keep that attitude. It is a great way to alienate your team.  It will certainly limit your ability to collaboratively create online digital marketing campaigns that drive incremental revenue opportunities.

8.    Forget About Online Research – Just Tweak Your Current Marketing Plan

Who needs online marketing research? You already know your customer demographics. You understand who are your main competitors. That small company that is generating page one Google rankings across multiple keywords is small stuff at the moment. Ignore them. They can’t hurt you. Just don’t blink.

9.    Pull the Plug if You Do Not See Immediate Results

Mr. Small Fry marketing associate came up with this great social marketing idea. Reluctantly, the project was given a green light.  You are carefully watching to see if it is going to be an instant overnight success. Granted, it is gaining some momentum…but not fast enough for you. So you pull the plug after two weeks. Don’t bother understanding that social marketing is about building relationships and trust, neither of which get built overnight.

10.    Ignore SEO Best Practices Because Your Website Looks Great

You redesigned your website. It looks great and the content is updated and well written. That should be enough, right? Who needs SEO? No matter how great the site looks or how long the site has been around, you will be found more often by your desired audience with SEO best practices firmly in place. If you do not want to be found more often or generate more leads…definitely, do not bother with SEO.

11.    Fear Losing Control

No, you cannot control the Internet. Likewise, you cannot control how your staff and customers respond in social media. But you can provide a policy and create a culture of openness and transparency. We humans are social creatures. People often respond better to their friends and influencers on the web than to an advertising slogan. But if you want your digital marketing to fail, just keep pitching them.

Did we miss some sure fire ways to succeed at digital marketing failure? Add your favorite in our comments section below.

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