10 Marketing Sins you should never commit

Have you realized that you have been doing it all wrong and wondered why you never succeeded as anticipated?

Well, perhaps yes. And that’s why you are here.

I will admit that I have been the victim of this myself. I have been on the other side of the river my whole life until I came across something phenomenal about marketing.

I learnt about the sins that I have been committing in marketing. And I made it a point that I will help others avoid committing the same sins that I did. (Yes, I call it sins. As for regular sins, God doesn’t forgive you, for marketing sins your audience will not forgive you).

As a marketer, you need to avoid these 10 marketing sins.

1. I need to be creative to succeed in marketing

Creativity is one of the aspects of marketing. That said, marketing is not about being creative. Marketing is a science unless you are talking to robots.

See when I say Marketing is a science, I mean to refer to the psychology part of it. You need to understand what your audience thinks and wants. This post talks more about how marketing is nothing but science.

You need to understand what your audience needs at different levels of their interactions. This is where the CATT funnel comes into the picture.

Creativity matters during execution after you understand the science behind marketing.

In marketing, Science gives you direction, whereas Creativity gives your perfection.

Kunal Parihar

2. I have to be manipulative to succeed

You see, we all are the culprit for this narrative of marketing. We have seen how black hat SEO existed, we have seen clocking, spamming, all existed to create a narrative to see things that way.

This might give you quick success. But the world has changed and transparency is the key here. If you are hiding things then you are not going to build long term business.

3. I think economics is only for CAs and RBI folks

When it comes to marketing, understanding the audience is very important, no doubt. But you should not limit your understanding of your audience to their online behavior only but an understanding of overall purchasing power is also very important.

In fact, you should start understanding your audience from a broader level first and see where they are.

India1 by Sajith Pai

As per Sajith Pai, there are about 110 million people in India1. They are categorized by different parameters that give you a hint about their purchasing power.

He beautifully calls them India1. There are other categories such as India2 and India3.

You can further narrow down based on what you think makes more sense to you and get a clear idea about your potential volume of audience and their purchasing power. Digging deep down and understanding economics never hurt.

4. I need ROI from Day 1

This stems from the impatience that we have as marketers. There is nothing wrong to expect ROI from Day 1 but you are heading towards short term quick money if you do.

We think that every penny that we start investing-in should bring-in ROI right away. But this can be frustrating. You need to plan long term.

One classic example is 1 crore financial goal. For 1 crore profit target, suppose you invest 100 INR to acquire 1,00,000 customers each and sell a product worth 100 INR. We just break-even here.

But here’s the magical thing. Now you have 1,00,000 customers or an email list of 1,00,000 ids (if you would think it that way). You can nurture this list and make unlimited future natural sales.

Your ROI will go multi-folds. So you should never commit this marketing sin of thinking to get ROI from day 1 but plan long term instead.

5. I can market any product

No, you can’t. In fact, you should not. It’s a waste of time and energy. You are on the wrong boat if you think marketing is more important than the product. The product has to be good enough to market itself.

This is why Google Glass failed. The post talks about how good product markets itself and why bad products can’t be marketed.

Marketing just needs to bring more curiosity and excitement. If your product is not worth it, manipulative marketing can’t hide it for long anyway.

We forget that marketing is not magic that makes people buy anything. Marketing is meant to bring the best visible to the masses. It’s a way to make better products more discoverable. Sooner you realize this, better for your sanity.

6. I have to be #1

What you are doing here my friend is getting a piece of a pie. Okay, a bigger piece of the pie. But how about taking the whole piece of the pie, maybe a different pie itself but whole the pie? You be the undisputed king in your territory.

When you are going to compete for a broader niche, you are bound to get a larger set of audience but you would face many already well-established players who are there to lure the large chunk of the audience.

Your only best bet to succeed in a broader niche is to come up with a unique angle (I will give you one example of the unique angle approach. Keep reading). Or narrow down to a less competitive yet profitable niche.

Now coming back to the topic: Why “I have to be #1” approach is a marketing sin, I would say that when you are trying to be #1, you are basically competing in a broader niche with multiple players.

But when you switch your approach to “be the only one,” you are basically playing in a narrowed down niche where you can be the undisputed king. Try to be that undisputed king than trying to be #1 in a broader niche unless you have a unique angle.

7. Just sell it

This is NOT how you make wealth. You need to be patient and follow steps to accumulate wealth. A straightway approach to selling will fall apart.

Let’s see how CATT funnel works and can help in wealth accumulation.

Wealth ∝ n^CATT

That is, wealth to be accumulated in marketing is directly proportional to the product of:

  1. Niche you select

    When you enter into marketing, you must know what you are actually going to market. This is where niche selection becomes very important. If you get it wrong at the start, you can’t expect it to end well.

    Your niche should be a category that does justice to your talent and you should feel passionate or committed towards it.

    This Venn diagram explains it well.
    Niche Venn Diagram

  2. Content that you create

    Your content should act as a magnet. It should be worthy enough to be consumed by your end audience. It can either be a blog post or video or Infographics or any informative webinars.

  3. Attention that you generate about your product

    You should generate some interest in your product or services using various channels such as social media, paid ads, referrals, etc.

  4. Trust that you build with your audience

    Once you have their attention, you need to tell them that you are the right guy and they have come to the right person.

    This is where prospect nurturing comes into the picture. You need to provide them with relevant information and help them understand how their problem could be solved with your product/service.

    This could either be achieved with email nurturing (if you have their email ids already) or with retargeting ads. Once they understand the value in your solution. They will do the next step. Transaction.

  5. Transactions that your prospects do

    This is the wealth builder step. This is where your audience pays you and becomes your customer. If you do the above steps properly, natural sales will happen. You don’t have to force sell anything. That’s why just sell approach is a marketing sin and you should avoid it.

8. I only need digital marketing

Digital marketing is good to drive brand awareness and create a product interest. However, if your product is very generic and has mass appeal then this is where traditional marketing tools such as TV, radio, and newspaper make a deeper impact on your bottom line.

Generic products can easily be reached to millions at a much cheaper price. You can run ads on TV, radio or newspaper to let your prospects take some action such as calling you over the phone, for example.

One great example is of Apple products that have mass appeal.

Another example could be you working on the COVID-19 vaccine yourself that everyone is desperately waiting for.

You can broadcast it on TV or Radio or newspaper once you have done the trials and are through the government approvals (Pun intended).

With that said, traditional marketing has its place and we need to understand when we need it.

9. I don’t need personal branding

Remember that unique angle thing? Well, this could be one unique angle that will help you set apart from the rest.

To set my point in the right direction, I will give you one great example of Digital Vidya and Digital Deepak.

Digital Deepak Vs Digital Vidya
Digital Deepak Vs Digital Vidya Search Trends over last 5 years

Some couple of years back, Digital Vidya brand was the most searched for when it came to training and digital courses. But over the course of time, the brand Digital Deepak has taken over Digital Vidya. Thanks to Deepak Kanakraju’s persistent focus on brand building and personal branding.

His influence in his students’ community has helped him garner this position where he has become a leading brand in the digital course.

MassTrust Blueprint

The way to build this personal brand is to build this Mass Trust. If you follow this MassTrust blueprint, you can excel at personal branding.

It starts with learning something first then putting it into practical use. Later you need to write about it on your blog and share your learnings. This is where you start your personal branding journey.

Once you have enough experience, it’s time to consult other businesses and then go on to mentoring others who dream of becoming like you or even better 😛

You can also start your own projects or create a startup as you grow while keep learning new things.

I did a small research and found that to be an undisputed brand or better yet a super brand in your niche, that none is near you and you are like God in your niche such as Google and Apple in search and mobile phones respectively, you need to have more brand search volume than your top niche keyword.

Here are a few examples with the monthly search volumes.

You can see that Neil Patel and Brian Dean’s brand searches are still lesser than their niche top keyword’s monthly volume.

Hence, even though they are big names, they don’t enjoy the crazy brand recognitions in their niche as the other 2 super brands do (Mind you, this is not apple-to-apple comparison).

To be a super brand, you need to beat your own niche’s top keyword’s search volume.

Kunal Parihar

So if you think personal branding is not that important, you are committing a major marketing sin.

10. I need to focus on one marketing channel

Marketing should be a fluid process where one channel would complement other. If you think that just running ads will get you customers for life then you need to dwell deep down in understanding how emails create a long-lasting relationship with your audience.

You need to focus on an integrated approach to marketing where one channel complements other.

Let’s see how the integrated marketing approach makes a difference.

Step 1. Create an informative blog post that is going to add immense value.
Step 2. Run a Google ad to drive attention (remember CATT funnel?). This sends the audience to a landing page
Step 3. Ask them to share their email id to see the great piece of content that you created.
Step 4. Send them autoresponders with the links to the post and other relevant information, besides taking them to the post.
Step 5. Use the email ids to send them more nurturing emails in the future and hence make more sales.

You see how all the channels work in tandem and complement each other. This is how integrated marketing works and adds immense value to your audience and hence your marketing efforts.

Now you are very well aware of top marketing sins that you should refrain from committing.

And I am pretty sure there are a few marketing sins on the list that you can quickly relate to. Why don’t you tell me which are those in the comment below? And thanks for reading.

PS: Another marketing sin would be if you don’t visit this lady’s blog here: Marketing trends for 2020

By Kunal Parihar

Hi. I have done my engineering in software. Later, accidentally made a switch to marketing. I help small and mid-businesses with Website Development, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing and Automation Services. Get in touch to learn more.