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5 Common Marketing Mistakes You Need to Look Out For As marketing evolves, so should your strategy. Here are five common pitfalls that marketing teams fall victim to.

By Sergio Alvarez Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A strong marketing strategy is one of the key components of building a successful company. Despite its importance, it is also one of the elements of business that companies most often struggle with.

Marketing is not merely something that is nice to have. If you want to increase your sales and build your brand, it's essential. It should be a major part of any company's budget, but it's also important to ensure that you are making those marketing dollars work for you. Keeping an eye out for these five most common marketing mistakes will help you to increase revenue and secure repeat business from your customers.

1. Putting brand and lead generation in separate silos

Brand awareness and lead generation within a marketing space have very different KPIs. As a result, we often put them in separate silos, because we don't think they belong together. When you separate these two elements of marketing, though, you risk losing sales by making it difficult for prospective customers to figure out where to buy your product. Customers may be exposed to your brand through your branding efforts, but if those are separate from your lead generation tactics, it's almost impossible for the customer to connect the dots.

Brand and lead generation must be linked from the point of first engagement regardless of their different KPIs. Multi-channel attribution is vital to achieving this. If you are focusing solely on individual criteria, you are missing the big picture, and as a result, many sales.

Related: Lead Generation Without Brand Trust is a Losing Game

2. Tactic disconnect

Incorrect attribution often happens when we are not correctly tracking a customer's entire journey. Your customer might see your product on a social media platform and not be ready to buy at that moment, but your product sneaks into their memory bank. Then, days or weeks later, they'll be on another platform, see your product again and make a purchase. When you're tracking sales attribution, you may assume that the social platform provided no value — which would be a costly mistake.

To avoid tactic disconnect, acknowledge that all platforms are working together to produce that sale and understand how that is happening. If you are pulling levers within a marketing campaign based on the last tactic that seemed to close the sale, you're missing out on a lot of information. While an Instagram ad, for instance, may not be set up to garner direct sales, it still contributes to the customer's decision-making process. If you're allocating that sale to a Google ad instead, there's a disconnect. You are disregarding an entire leg of the customer's journey and misinterpreting their route to your product.

3. Under-utilizing phone calls

Phone calls are not being utilized by marketers. Most marketers see phone calls as sources of either complaints or spam, but they are actually gold mines of information and opportunity. 60% of smartphone users will use the "click to call" function to contact a company, which means that your digital campaigns are working together with phone calls to track sales, but you're likely only tracking the final sale.

To counter this under-utilization, start actively using phone calls to your advantage. Your customer base is made up of many different kinds of people. In one study, all respondents in the 40+ age category considered telephone calls to be one of their top two methods of contacting a business. If you are not currently including telephone calls in your multi-channel attribution, you need to start.

Related: The Underestimated Value of Phone Calls That Marketers Miss

4. Not investing in brand development

Many marketers believe brand investment is wasted. Often the KPIs for brand measurement are softer than other marketing analytics. As a result, brand measurement is seen as an element that is not "real" and therefore wasteful.

It's important to acknowledge that your brand elements and name are very real and important parts of your company's image and public persona. Brand is the point at which prospects convert to customers, and when there is real brand buy-in, they will become return customers too. If a large part of your marketing budget is dedicated to brand-building and maintenance, it will pay off in the end.

5. Not having a single source of truth

Many companies rely on platform-specific analytics tools for your attribution data. However, if you use Google's tools to tell you where to attribute your conversions, the answer is almost always going to be Google. The same applies to all the various social media sites. This is not to say these platforms are blatantly providing false information, it's just that their algorithms are skewed to favor their own platforms — a fact that is entirely unhelpful if you're looking for accurate attribution data.

To avoid falling for the platform-specific analytics skew, you need one single source of truth where attribution is concerned. This needs to be a reporting system that holistically assesses multiple channels of data and is entirely independent of any of the platforms you use for marketing. This will not only tell you which levers to pull within your campaigns, but it will also show you the various touchpoints of your customer's journey.

When marketing is done correctly, it can be the powerhouse of your company. A marketing plan that avoids these five common mistakes can connect you with customers who've never even heard of your brand before. So, are your marketing dollars working for you, or against you?

Related: Are You Making Any of These 6 Marketing Mistakes?

Sergio Alvarez

CEO and Founder of Ai Media Group/ Atrilyx

Sergio Alvarez is a performance-marketing expert, digital-attribution leader and CEO and founder of Ai Media Group.

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