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The Seven Deadly Marketing Sins: Are You Guilty?

Many people are under the impression that marketing is easy. Unfortunately, this mindset often leads to a series of errors which we like to call the “Seven Deadly Marketing Sins”. These mistakes can be really detrimental to a business, so it’s really important to know exactly what you’re doing before diving in head-first (or worse yet: winging it!). In this blog post, we’re going to talk about these sins so that you know what pitfalls not to fall into!

1. Envy

This common marketing sin is committed when you see a campaign delivered by a competitor and wish you’d thought of that first. It can be a real kick in the teeth when you’ve been trying to think of an impactful campaign for a while, only to see one from a competitor which strikes all the right chords.

In marketing, jealousy is only ever going to hold you back. That envy isn’t going to get you any closer to your goals, in fact, getting caught up in your emotions is one of the worst things you can do. Instead, set that feeling aside and start analysing instead. Pick the campaign apart and recognise what you like and don’t like about it. The process should almost be the reverse of creating a new campaign.

By recognising what drew you to the campaign, you can leverage your own marketing efforts. Using what you’ve discovered you can create a similar campaign, which evokes similar emotions, without completely imitating the work. Not only can this approach end up saving you a whole lot of time, but it’s also based on a tried and tested model so you’re more likely to succeed.

2. Gluttony

Don’t ever fall into the trap of being too gluttonous. When setting your target audience for campaigns, you should never be tempted to broaden your market so you can reach more people. Remember: if you try to appeal to everyone, you won’t appeal to anyone! If you aren’t certain who your target audience is, make sure you conduct some market research before moving forward with any campaigns.

target audience dart bullseye

Always keep your ideal customer in mind while developing your campaigns, and constantly ask yourself if you’re appealing to them. If you feel like you’re straying away, go back a few steps and make tweaks to make sure you’re hitting the nail on the head.

When you target your niche, you won’t be wasting money on reaching people who won’t be interested in your product or service. You’ll also end up with a much better engagement rate, which will improve the accuracy of your statistics so you can use them to refine your next campaign.

3. Pride

There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your business. It’s being too proud that you don’t feel the need to market with a USP (unique selling point) that’s the problem. You may know that your business is great, but you can’t assume your market already knows that. 

Essentially, your USP tells customers why they should buy from you and not your competitors. Getting your marketing material in front of them isn’t an automatic win, you need to sell too. 

Saying things like “top-rated”, “award-winning” or “better” doesn’t class as a USP. These are just vague claims about superiority and don’t help your customer understand the benefits of your product or service, so won’t set you apart from competitors.

Avoid this marketing error by basing every marketing decision on your USP. This will help customers understand why they need your business and not anyone else’s.

4. Greed

In business, it’s natural to want to cling onto hard-earned cash but that isn’t always the best way forward. Sometimes you’re going to need to go backwards in order to make progress. Profit shouldn’t all be hoarded away, some needs to be invested back into the business to see some growth.

marketing budget pennies

Many companies have plenty of budget available but don’t want to invest it in marketing. When this happens, marketing takes a backseat and the overall profits will suffer.

To overcome this marketing sin, you need to be proactive with your marketing plan; marketing should be a priority, not an afterthought. You need to invest enough money into marketing campaigns to create better results and boost the success of your business.

5. Lust

This marketing sin is similar to gluttony and it’s committed when marketing and advertising budgets are spent on generating short-term results.

As one of the most common marketing sins we see, lust pushes marketing teams to focus on their immediate gains – which can often be at the expense of effective, long-term strategies.

To avoid this marketing sin, you need to be smart with planning and budgets, to consider the long-term benefits that marketing can bring to your business. It’s not all about generating immediate sales; marketing creates brand recognition, delivers leads and creates opportunities over time.

6. Wrath

Sometimes dabbling in a bit of controversial marketing can be a really beneficial strategy. It may cause a bit of a stir, but you’ve addressed something that a lot of your target audience has been dying to say. Doing so will bring you closer to your audience and make them relate to your brand even more.

If you’re going to give this a go, it’s important not to encourage marketing wrath by crossing the line and becoming offensive. Being controversial can put you in a risky position, so to avoid this marketing sin it’s important to put extra time and care into the campaign.

offended monkey controversial marketing

It’s always best to run campaigns like this by other people before it gets out to your customers so that you can gauge reactions and decide what’s appropriate. A good rule of thumb is that if you feel hesitant about putting it out there, it’s probably not a smart move. If you feel as though you have something that might attract attention with a varied response, then you’re in a good position.

7. Sloth

Having a website is good, but having an active website is better. Your website is your best marketing tool, so spending time nurturing it is crucial. The best way to keep your website active is by blogging.

Blogging might be time-consuming and laborious, but it’s not one of those areas where you can cut corners. It’s a great opportunity to shout about your business successes, share your expertise with customers and let them know about industry news. To avoid this sin, try to aim for at least one blog post per month, focusing on what your customers will actually be interested in reading. 

sloth lazy blog writing

Adding a consistent blog into your content marketing strategy will increase organic web traffic, create shareable content and boost your SEO. If your blog isn’t a high priority at the moment, it really should become one.

Try setting some time aside for blog writing once a month and make a list of blog post ideas to make the work more manageable. If you find you’re really strapped for time and inspiration, get in touch with our team in the studio who will be more than happy to relieve the pressure.

What Next?

So, now that you have a better understanding of the deadly sins of marketing, you should be aware of what to avoid and how to move forward. Knowing these marketing pitfalls will save you time, money and hassle in the long run.

Try to keep these sins at the front of your mind when running campaigns, so that you can always be sure you’re shooting in the right direction. Following the same set of rules will also help to keep a degree of consistency to your campaigns. Doing this while also adhering to your brand guidelines is a recipe for success. 

If you feel you would benefit from some more marketing support, give us a call and we can chat through your options. We enjoy getting to know new businesses and finding unique solutions to make them shine. We can provide various levels of assistance based on your needs.