The Biggest Digital Marketing Mistake I have Made In My Career

Successful Agency Founders share their BIGGEST digital marketing mistake and what they learnt form it, so that you can avoid making the same mistake!

Etan Polinger, Owner & CEO, Prosperous Media

The biggest mistake I made was not implementing marketing production systems sooner.

I wasted about 15 – 25 hours a week reinventing the wheel, producing content and ads that were unpredictable in outcome and quality, and having to re-do and edit many, many times often late into the night.

What was clear was that I could not keep doing that or it would continue to eat up my profit margins, my time, and frankly, my relationships. So I have implemented a system-based approach starting with a clear strategy leading into what I now call the marketing production engines. I built a content production engine and an ad production engine. This really means a hub within a spreadsheet that walks me and my team through a step-by-step process developed by a decade of experience and over 70K invested over a year in the best practices to produce a system that delivers consistent & profitable results in a fraction of the time. When I say fraction, I mean from the original 10 -25 hours a week to 10 – 25 hours a month. This made more money for me, more high-converting ads, higher quality content for my clients, and much better relationships.

Michelle Gifford, Social Strategist & CEO, Michelle Gifford Creative

The biggest mistake I made was not niching down soon enough.

This lead to a lack of focus, clarity, and growth.

In 2022, I changed my whole Instagram strategy. I was creating content on all aspects of business: email, blogging, Pinterest, social media, everything. I decided to focus on Instagram marketing. Narrowing down my niche helped me create better, more specific content. This focus also enabled me to start using the Instagram algorithm to reach more people. The second part of that strategy was to create content for all phases of the content funnel: Attract, Nurture, Sell. Different people are in different phases of knowing you. If you want to grow, you need to create attraction content. If you want to deepen your trust with your audience, you need to create nurture content. If you want them to buy, you have to create sell content. You need all of these types of content in your content strategy in order to grow an audience that is ready to buy your products.

Lauren Petrullo, Founder & CEO, Mongoose Media

My biggest mistake: Inconsistency! (only need 1 word).

As a marketing agency ourselves we have started so many campaigns and then got derailed because, “Client work takes precedence”. We have/had so many half-built bridges that yielded just about nothing. Ad campaigns where we generated leads, but never finished the email sequence and made no sales, etc etc.

Things did not turn around UNTIL I hired our agency as a client. Yep, I hired myself. Then we built a team within our team that handled our account. Once we did this, things changed. We went from half-built bridges to bridges that were fully built and profitable. We went from our own marketing being an afterthought to becoming a priority. We started this 18 months ago and have not had a quarter with less than 30% growth since. Inconsistency is a killer to momentum.

Christene Marie, CEO & Founder, The Knowing Agency

My career’s most significant digital marketing misstep was an initial inability to fully utilize the power of data to calculate Return on Investment (ROI) and inform critical business decisions on behalf of our clients.

This oversight led to a lack of strategic decision-making, blurring the true efficacy of different marketing activations and resulting in wasted resources and missed opportunities to optimize and pivot strategies.

Successful digital marketing is not just about mastering tactics – it is about grasping the power of data analytics. Often, training courses focus heavily on equipping us with an arsenal of marketing tools and tricks but tend to overlook the critical role of data analysis. This oversight can lead to a skewed perception of what drives marketing success. While tactics are certainly important, the strategic use of data truly augments our marketing efforts. ROI is not just another metric; it is a pivotal indicator of effectiveness and value. This realization has altered my approach to digital marketing at a foundational level. Instead of solely concentrating on tactical execution, I now pay equal – if not more – attention to data analytics. Each campaign is meticulously evaluated based on its contribution to overall ROI, and these insights inform every future decision. The journey was challenging but incredibly enlightening. In fact, it has fundamentally altered our business offerings from focusing on the output to the input: the strategic direction based on data from past outputs. Yes, I am still overseeing the output as Fractional CMO for organizations; however, our entire approach has adapted to leverage data to create measurable, ROI-driven marketing campaigns.

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