Warning: Do not attempt to do what we are about to describe here. We mean it. Don’t do this at home…
The point of this post is simple: describing common mistakes in digital marketing. It’s a topic that often goes unnoticed, mainly because such advice tends to be… boring. No matter how meaty the core of the content, readers don’t have the drive to study up on such an unappetizing topic.
We hope to tackle the issue today by giving you 23 ways to make your customers hate you. This is a reversed tutorial, which means that it presents the exact opposite of the things you should be doing.
Be honest with yourself when going through this list. How many of these practices are you guilty of doing? Maybe it’s time to fix the situation and reset your digital marketing efforts to a more customer-friendly direction.
1. Don’t plan, ACT.
Whatever digital marketing tutorial you stumble upon on the web is surely the exact thing you need to be doing right now! Don’t worry about evaluating whether or not it plays into your overall marketing strategy. Just allocate some resources to it and implement it right away. It’ll surely pay off!
2. Separate digital from off-line marketing.
Without a doubt, your customers will appreciate being approached from two separate directions – online and off-line – and with completely disconnected messages. Why would you run the same campaign both online and off-line and multiply your results? It’s always easier to have two completely different directions working against one another.
3. Neglect mobile users.
Whatever digital campaign you’re running should be optimized for desktop computers first. Does it really matter that mobile is now the leading digital platform? So what if total activity on smartphones and tablets accounts for 60 percent of digital media time spent in the U.S (comScore data )? Mobile presence is just a fad anyway.
4. Publish a ton of content just for the heck of it.
Sure, you’ve heard of that whole ‘content marketing’ thing and what it can do for a brand’s online exposure. Forget “less is more.” More is more! The true key to cracking the code is QUANTITY over quality. Hiring cheap writers, buying re-purposed articles, even getting some stock articles. As long as you publish loads of content in a short span of time, you’re golden. And your customers will appreciate the insanity.
5. Publish only promotional content.
Why would you publish anything of acumen to your customers without asking for something in return? That isn’t a rational business tactic. Instead, only share content that mentions your products and slyly asks for a sale.
6. Be everywhere.
It’s crucial to be on every single social media platform and blog available. No matter if the majority of your customers are on just one or two of those platforms. You should still allocate ALL the resources. This may impact the interactions with customers on those two main sites, but don’t worry because… collateral damage.
7. Build a blog with placeholder content.
Blogging continues to be one of the best ways to get new business coming through the door. Data confirms that 82 percent of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog . So just start a blog already! Don’t give a thought to what you’re going to post there. Having a blog is good enough. Your customers will love it and share it through social media. Whether or not your content is good is besides the point.
8. Ignore all comments.
If you manage to convince your customers to visit your blog, don’t bother responding to their comments. You’re giving your customers the possibility to share something and that’s downright good enough. Besides, responding to each and every comment takes time. No one ever really expects a response from a busy blogger anyway.
9. Be on Twitter, but only have a hollow presence.
All you need is an abstract presence on Twitter. First, create a profile for your business. Second, link your site and marketing materials to it. Third, completely forget about it! No need to check what your customers are tweeting at you. Believe it or not, many businesses are already doing the very same thing. Get on the bandwagon!
10. Disregard word-of-mouth marketing entirely.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most valuable form of marketing these days . But who cares? You’re better off investing in outdated practices and marketing clichés. Even though 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from their friends and family above all forms of advertising, this isn’t something you should worry about (Nielsen data ).
11. Don’t provide any customer support.
Naturally, when selling your product to a great number of people, some of them are bound to be unhappy with what they get. But don’t go out of your way to fix anything. Try reversing the situation by convincing the customer that their dissatisfaction is their own fault. Don’t even think of implementing Zappos’ approach to customer service:
12. Delete all bad comments.
If a user posts something negative about your brand, on your site or social media, delete it immediately or at least ban/flag the person. Remember, you don’t want any bad buzz circulating about your business! Why would you try to respond and start a conversation? Deleting is faster and easier. Plus, it’s your blog-written right!
13. Have a “one-week-response” email policy.
When a customer emails you, just mark their message and come back to it in a week’s time. There’s a good chance the problem will solve itself by then. In your response, say that it’s the company’s policy to respond to all communication within seven business days. Customers will love that.
14. Make your email newsletter promotion-only.
Start by doing whatever you can to convince users to join your [email] newsletter. Try not to divulge what they’re actually signing up for: a never-ending stream of promotion. They’ll find out soon enough. When you start sending them email propaganda every other day. Bottom line is, sell sell sell!
15. Have an aggressive Autoresponder Sequence.
Right after a person subscribes to your newsletter, start assailing them with a sequence of automated messages each day. A minimum of 14 emails is best. Once the series ends, stop emailing them completely. They’ll be sure to remember your business when you reach out to them a year later. For who could ever forget such an abrupt and fleeting attack on their inbox?
16. Conclude that your design has nothing to do with your digital marketing.
Because why would it? After all, your website was probably built a while ago. There’s nothing you can, or should do to make it more current and in tune with modern digital marketing efforts. It doesn’t matter what your website looks like. It has every chance of progressing well into the marketing space of 2015.
17. Don’t test anything before unleashing it on the public.
Customers love when sub-par products or campaigns get unleashed into their possession. Here’s a great example :
Who would have guessed that the message would get truncated like that? Everything could be it’s own bit of actual testing.
18. Track everything.
Everything that can be tracked, should be tracked – no matter if it’s connected to an actual business goal. How many Twitter followers do you have? How many have you gained in the last month? Do people re-tweet your messages? This is just a handful of things you can track on Twitter alone. Why would you only trail crucial metrics when you can track everything?
19. Adapt just one technology and stick with it.
There’s so much going on with web technology right now – trying to stay up-to-date is futile. In most cases, the digital channels you started using two years ago are perfect just the way they are. No reason to update. No need for new platforms. Why get up and move around when you’re perfectly fine sitting cross-legged on the carpet?
20. Don’t try to find out who your customers are.
Sure, customers may be real people, but to you, they’re just numbers in a spreadsheet. It’s a waste of time to try and get to know them. Same goes for solving their problems more effectively or learning how to create a marketing campaign that truly resonates. While preparing for your next crusade, it’s best to rely on numbers alone.
21. Don’t learn from your competition.
You have your own identity. If a competitor is doing something amazing, you can always come up with something better on your own. Build your approach on top of tested and effective case studies? No way. That twaddle is for the weak!
22. Don’t ask your customers for opinions.
You have your vision, your business plan, and you already know what needs to be done both in the marketing and development fields. When it comes to what you’re offering, you don’t need to spend time asking for other people’s opinions. Remember that you know best. Just because your business is based on serving clients, doesn’t mean you need to know about what they actually have to say. Besides, what sort of wisdom would they really have to impart on you? They’re only customers.
23. Don’t do anything special for your customers.
Hold off on things like bonuses, extra gifts, and over-delivering on your promises, in general. Yes, your customers may appreciate those, but that would just be another expense and you can’t afford that sort of thing.
24. You tell us…
Okay, it’s time to turn the gimmick off and get serious for a minute. There are many mistakes one can make when diving into the world of digital marketing. And a big handful of those mistakes can go unnoticed for some time. They could even seem like the right thing to do at first.
But over time, faults add up and the result could be a complete digital marketing crash for your company. Nobody wants that. So we recommend setting aside an hour from your schedule to evaluate and take a closer look at your strategy; see if you’re making any of the near two dozen mistakes we mentioned above. (They aren’t all as outrageous as we made them seem.) And then think about what you can do to fix them.
Bonus points: what could have its place as our #24?