[Video] 2020 NAMM: The 7 Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes and the Remedies

by Frank Cowell | Updated Nov 9, 2021

Earlier this year, I had fun presenting at the annual NAMM conference in Anaheim, CA. The focus of the talk was on the 7 most prominent digital marketing mistakes and the remedies. Over the course of the talk, I dive into how you create a strategy that actually differentiates your business and converts website traffic into qualified sales opportunities.

2020 NAMM Talk


One of the biggest issues I have seen businesses experience is building an effective digital marketing strategy that differentiates their company. The problem is, this issue is getting more pronounced as industries become even more saturated.

So what can be done?

Here are 7 mistakes you can avoid making. Don't worry, if you think you're making one of the mistakes, you can find the remedy outlined as well. 

7 Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes

  1. Most digital programs are broad and generic.
  2. Most digital programs are not designed with profitability in mind.
  3. Most digital programs only address "ready now" buyers.
  4. Most digital programs have one-dimensional advertising campaigns.
  5. Most digital programs lack a nurturing strategy.
  6. Most digital programs' SEO efforts ignore conversion.
  7. Most digital programs' social media are an afterthought.

7 Remedies for These Mistakes

  1. Apply hyper-specificity to your program.
  2. Calculate your "basic business math."
  3. Infuse relationship psychology into your funnel.
  4. Deploy dynamic retargeting campaigns.
  5. Deploy consistent, value-based nurturing tracks.
  6. Use SEO as "feeder content" to a lead generation funnel.
  7. Get your entire company involved.

Let's take a deeper dive into these mistakes and remedies:

Mistake #1: Most Digital Programs are Broad and Generic.

Many businesses today are implementing a digital strategy that is attempting to appeal to anyone and everyone. By doing this, you are most likely having just the opposite effect and deploying ineffective strategies.

How can this be fixed?

Remedy #1: Apply hyper-specificity into your program.

To do this, I want you to choose ONE target audience or customer persona and focus on serving their single most prominent pain point or desire. Figure out what this is for your audience and create "experiences" with every piece of content you produce that exists to solve this one pain point for this one customer persona. Once you have mastered one audience, you can move on to focus on others.

Mistake #2: Most Programs are Not Designed With Profitability in Mind.

Many businesses operate under the impression that profitability starts on the backend once you have acquired a customer, and they have actually made a purchase. Profitability actually starts the moment you begin marketing. 

So how can you design a strategy with profitability in mind from the start?

Remedy #2: Calculate your "basic business math."

To do this, you need to understand two things:

  1. The acceptable cost of customer acquisition (COCA) 
  2. The lifetime value of a customer (in dollars)

Once you understand both of these numbers, you will be able to calculate exactly how much you can spend on marketing to receive a positive ROI. You should design all of your marketing efforts based on these numbers and make sure that every single member of your company knows them.  

The following image explains step-by-step, how to calculate "basic business math:"  

Aim to spend the MOST you possibly can to acquire a customer while still remaining profitable. Yes, I said the most. Rather than shortchanging your audience, spend more on customer acquisition. This will enable you to provide as much value as possible while staying within your financial means.

Remember this saying, "The person who can afford to spend the most to acquire a customer, is the one who wins." 

Mistake #3: Most Programs Only Address "Ready Now" Buyers.

Most businesses are generating content that only addresses people who are at the end of the sales funnel and are ready to spend right then and there. The reality of this is that the large majority of people who see this content and visit your website are not quite ready to make a purchase. 

So how can we generate content that will not just close deals, but elevate relationships and guide people through the sales funnel?

Remedy #3: Infuse Relationship Psychology Into Your Funnel.  

There is a lot of ground to cover between a prospect being ready to buy versus not ready.  To help people along that space (the customer journey), you need to understand what their relationship is with your brand.

Here is a relationship stacking order that I personally go through with my clients. Keep in mind this relationship progression starts from the bottom and moves up because we are elevating relationships.     

Mistake #4: Most Digital Programs Have One-Dimensional Advertising Campaigns. 

Most organizations' advertising efforts are only focused on explaining their products, rather than showing that they understand their audiences' pain points, desires, and interests. Every customer will be in a different phase of their buying journey, and the way you advertise to them should reflect that you understand that. 

So how can you create an advertising strategy that caters to different customers in different phases of their buying journey?

Remedy #4: Deploy Dynamic Retargeting Campaigns.

If you don't already know what retargeting is, it is essentially just a tool that causes people who have already visited your website to see your advertisements as they browse elsewhere on the internet. This can be a very powerful tool to maintain top-of-mind awareness with your audience, but it must be done correctly.

Dynamic retargeting is when you send retargeted ads to people based on the level of the buying journey they are in. This will show them that you care about bringing value to them and are not just looking to get them to buy something (see the relationship stacking image above to determine what type of content fits best for each stage).

Mistake #5: Most Programs Lack a Nurturing Strategy.       

Like I had mentioned in mistake #3, most people are not ready to make a purchase right now. In order to turn these prospects into customers, you have to maintain a relationship with them.

So once you have captured someone's awareness, how do you continue to exist in their lives, so when they are ready to buy, they come to you? 

Remedy #5: Deploy Consistent, Value-Based, Topical Nurturing Tactics.

Once they are in your database, you should be reaching out to them every 7-14 days. Rather than just promoting your business, it's important that the content that you are sending to them is on topic, inspires them through proof, and brings value to them in some way. 

This content can consist of your own original content, as well as third party content. Don't be afraid to leverage other businesses' stuff to bring value to your potential clients. This will help you save time and efficiently nurture that relationship.

Mistake #6: Most Programs' SEO Efforts Ignore Conversion.

Most businesses that utilize SEO only focus on generating traffic. The major issue here is that generating traffic through SEO means nothing if you aren't converting those website visitors into paying customers.

So how can you use SEO traffic to create more paying customers?

Remedy #6: Use SEO as "Feeder Content" to a Lead-Generation Funnel.

To do this, you should be honing in on the main questions that your target audience is asking. You should actually sit down and make a list of these questions. Once you understand what they want to know, start creating content to answer each one of these questions.

If you link this content with the "experiences" you have created (mentioned in #1), you will be able to systematically feed these people into that experience.

Mistake #7: Most Programs' Social Media Efforts are an Afterthought.

Using social media effectively is still a mystery to many businesses. A lot of companies are not tying their social media content back into the buyer's journey. Instead, companies are delegating social media related activities to the marketing department and failing to see social media is something that everyone needs to be paying attention to. 

So how can your company use social media more effectively?

Remedy #7: Get Your Entire Company Involved 

Marketing should not be something that is left to just the marketing department. In the age of two-way communication, the marketing function is something that each and every person in your company is involved with. Everyone should be answering questions, engaging with customers, and finding ways to provide as much value as possible to your audience through social media. 

If you can avoid making these 7 digital marketing mistakes and focus on the remedies listed, you will be well on your way to meeting your goals. Here is the blueprint, it's yours for the taking. This blueprint contains the methodology we use to guide the marketing strategies create to driving growth.

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Topics:StrategyDigital Marketing