8 Common Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

By Ashley Orndorff, aka Marketing Geek business marketing meeting - people sitting around a table covered in charts, papers, and laptops

Some marketing mistakes provide valuable insights and lessons you can use to improve your business. On the other hand, some marketing mistakes can end up costing your business big over time in missed opportunities and revenue. Here are a few common business marketing mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 – Thinking They Don’t Need Marketing

Even in the age of technology and increased competition, there are still businesses who think that if they build something, like a website, customers will show up simply because it’s there. They are adamant that they don’t need marketing and are certain referrals will sustain their business long-term. Referrals are certainly a testament to your business and are valuable, but they cannot be your only way to gain new customers; at least not if you want your business to continue to grow and succeed, you need marketing for that.

Mistake #2 – Targeting the Wrong Audience

Another common marketing mistake businesses make is targeting a customer they don’t actually know or targeting customers that aren’t the best fit for their business. Instead of putting in the time and research to identify their ideal customer, many businesses jump right into marketing and target customers similar to their current customer base or just start blasting out messages without considering whether that customer is actually a good fit for their business. This results in your business trying to sell everyone, instead of focusing on who matters.

Taking the time to create buyer personas for your business will help you personalize and craft your marketing efforts and messaging to appeal to your ideal customer. Buyer personas are imperative to any marketing strategy or campaign – you have to know who you’re targeting, what their main pain points are, and how you can help them. If you don’t take the time to figure this out, your messaging can fall flat or attract people who will never buy from you.

Mistake #3 – Not Speaking to Customer Needs

Your customers are searching for solutions to their problems. If you’re not speaking to your customers’ needs, you won’t connect with them. If you think you know what your customer needs, but you don’t know your customer, you won’t know what content, messaging, or other assets they will find most valuable.

The point of marketing is to convert customers that are ready to buy and to keep your business top-of-mind for customers who aren’t ready to buy so that they think of you when they are ready to purchase. If you don’t know your customer or speak to their needs, your marketing efforts likely won’t help you reach your goals.

Mistake #4 – Ignoring Social Media

Social media provides another way for potential customers to connect with you and can add credibility to your business for potential customers who are unfamiliar with your brand. Additionally, complete and active social media profiles are branded web properties for your business, which helps increase your brand’s overall web presence. On top of that, most social networks provide additional advertising opportunities your business can use to reach a far wider audience than you would otherwise.

Mistake #5 – Never Trying Anything New

It’s easy to stick with tried-and-true marketing methods and shy away from anything new. Never trying anything new in your marketing can hurt your business long-term. Technology changes and customer expectations and interactions change with it. If you’re not trying new things to keep up with the changes, you’ll often end up being left behind and you’ll certainly miss out on valuable opportunities.

If you’re doing things right, you’ll gain valuable insights about your customers and future marketing efforts even if what you tried doesn’t work out as you initially expected. Just because a campaign doesn’t meet its goal doesn’t make it a failure and doesn’t always mean that it wasn’t worthwhile. Also, “failed” marketing campaigns should not keep you from trying new things or figuring out why it didn’t perform as expected, making changes, and trying again. Many times, you can make updates to an underperforming campaign, re-launch it, and see fantastic results.

Mistake #6 – Not Tracking or Testing Anything

Tracking Results

Another common business marketing mistake is not tracking or testing anything. How do you know your marketing efforts are working if you’re not tracking results? You may be able to associate a campaign or overall efforts with an increase in leads or revenue over a certain period of time. However, without data from analytics to back it up, you won’t have any idea what is or is not responsible for that growth. Tracking your campaigns, efforts, and results allow you to attribute growth with specific efforts or campaigns. It also allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of individual campaigns. This will help you determine what is or is not working for you and will help you better focus your marketing efforts and budget on what is working.


Unfortunately, some businesses still don’t consider a marketing budget to be essential for their business, let alone any extra budget to allow for testing – this is a mistake. Marketing is not just an expense, it is an investment and should provide your business with positive returns. Testing allows you to discover what works and get more of those returns over time. For example, you could have tons of traffic coming to your website, but if none of that traffic converts into leads, it doesn’t do you much good. Tracking data and strategic testing allows you to make informed decisions that turn more of that traffic into leads.

Conversion Rate Optimization

A conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit your site that converts into a lead for your business. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) encompasses testing, updates, and everything you do to increase that percentage. In some cases, this could be as simple as changing the color, placement, or text of a button. In others, it can be far more involved, like overhauling the checkout process on an ecommerce site. Regardless, making updates and testing the results can have real positive effects on your leads and revenue. Ignoring opportunities like these can result in a lot of missed potential revenue for your business.

Mistake #7 – Forgetting About the Competition

Forgetting about your competition and ignoring them is a good way to risk being outperformed and left behind. Between technology and a highly competitive landscape, businesses no longer control the buying cycle – customers do. In most industries, customers have several options to choose from and they’ll go with whoever they trust more and whoever is most convenient for them at the time of purchase. If you’re not paying attention to who your competition is, where they are, and what they’re doing, you’re putting your business at risk of losing customers to them.

Mistake #8 – Not Prioritizing Customer Loyalty

While acquiring new customers should be an important part of your marketing plan, building relationships with existing customers should be too. Customer acquisition is more costly than upselling or cross-selling an existing customer. On top of that, a loyal customer has a much higher lifetime value for your business than a newer customer.

Loyal customers purchase more often and also tend to have a higher average order value (AOV). Yes, you should still focus some efforts on acquiring new customers, but you should also ensure you have a pathway towards customer loyalty for new and existing customers. Not only does this increase your customer retention, but it also results in more referrals for your business over time.

Your marketing efforts should boost your brand awareness and benefit your business. These common business marketing mistakes can seriously affect the effectiveness of your marketing and could result in a lot of missed opportunities and revenue for your business over time. If your marketing and your website need an upgrade, contact us for a meeting of the MINDs to get everything up to speed!

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