It’s not that they do it on purpose; they just don’t know any better. The concept of digital marketing is fairly new and a lot of marketing and business development departments are trying to implement a strategy without a clear understanding of how digital marketing works. From a professional digital marketers viewpoint, there are things you do and don’t do in a successful digital marketing campaign. But to the untrained marketer, some of the issues never even cross their mind. Like I said, it’s not their fault. They’re just uneducated in the world of digital marketing.
Digital Marketing Sabotage: The Untrained Marketer
1. They aren't thinking long-term.
Too many marketing departments start implementing digital marketing tactics without considering the possible risks and setbacks that could be created without a thoughtful, long-term strategy. I know companies that have lost access to social media accounts because an employee created a page with their personal information. The account creator had made others in the company Administrators, but even Administrators only have certain access within the page. One can post and edit as an Administrator, but depending on the social network one cannot comment or read incoming messages without being signed in under the username and password the account was created with. All social networks must be created with a company username and password that will stay active when that employee leaves the company. Simply having access as an Administrator isn’t sufficient for smart digital marketing. This may seem like a no-brainer now that I've pointed it out, but most marketing departments are so eager to start up an account they don’t consider the possible ramifications.
2. They're setting goals and making promises that aren’t realistic.
I see this especially when it comes to SEO. My most horrifying experience was when I was talking to an employee of a company who had just begun to implement digital marketing tactics. Most of the employees were new to the concept of digital marketing and were completely oblivious to reasonable time frames for seeing results.One individual had promised the supervisor, who was later to present to the executive board, that the company could expect to see results by the end of the week. What the individual had promised was completely unrealistic within that time frame. In fact, a more reasonable time frame would have been two months. The mistake was very likely going to be a determent to the department’s image and the supervisor’s reputation.
3. They’re sending potential leads to your competitors.
Your marketing team knows they should be active on social networks and keep your site updated, but they’re publishing information that actually takes your potential leads and customers to competitors! For example, one company was very active on Facebook and was beginning to grow a large fan base. The company was updating their page at least once a day with relevant and interesting content, but the problem was that the content came from competitors’ websites instead of their own. The point of posting links to your social media accounts is to lead your friends, connections, and followers back to your site where you can begin the nurturing process. The marketing team didn’t realize this, but saw the increased activity on their Facebook page as a success.
If this makes you nervous, then I'll stop here before I mention all the other things that can go wrong when starting a digital marketing strategy. I want to reiterate that this is in no way intentional sabotage, but simply mistakes by those inexperienced with digital marketing.
How to Reduce the Risks Involved with Digital Marketing
There's really only two options when it comes to reducing the risks associated with digital marketing. One is to make sure your marketing team is fully trained in the digital sphere. That includes how to use all the programs, tools, set realistic time frames, analyze online consumer habits, and you better hope these employees are in for the long haul because there is a long and tedious learning curve.
Your other option is to outsource. Partner with a digital marketing agency that already has digital marketing professionals on staff and let them handle your marketing efforts.