5 digital marketing mistakes

5 Digital Marketing Mistakes Brands Should Avoid Making

Digital marketing mistakes are easy to make. We all know that digital marketing moves fast, and because of that, there’s a tendency to always look towards the next best thing and focus less on the lessons of the past.

But developing an awareness and understanding of past mistakes is one of the best ways to pave a path to future success. When we look at how brands have run their digital marketing campaigns in the past, we’ve noticed many of the same issues coming up time and time again. Being aware of the most common digital marketing mistakes can help ensure your brand avoids them in the future, so with that in mind, here are some of the biggest missteps brands routinely make.

1 – Failing to set goals

Before you jump into executing your digital marketing campaigns, you need to establish what your objectives are and outline a set of measurable goals that support each objective. Without goals, you’ll never be able to measure your success or identify areas where your campaigns need additional support or require a shift in strategy. It will also be difficult to justify future digital marketing investment if you can’t demonstrate progress against a set of goals.

2 – Not paying attention to your analytics

When it comes to digital marketing, there’s no such thing as “set it and forget it”. Campaigns require constant maintenance and oversight, and that means checking in regularly to measure performance. That’s not to say you need to sweat every single day-to-day change in your website visitor metrics, but you should be paying attention to macro trends. It’s important to focus on the whole picture when it comes to campaign and channel performance. For example, the channel that provides the highest volume of traffic may provide the lowest quality of leads, so looking just at referring traffic won’t give you a holistic understanding of performance.

5 digital marketing mistakes

3 – Failing to test

Many of us leap to conclusions about why something is or isn’t performing without doing the proper legwork to find out for sure. Leaping to conclusions about what works and what doesn’t is a  mistake that can have serious ramifications for the success of campaigns. Making testing a priority is the best way to ensure marketing spends are put to good use and campaigns are given the best chance to thrive.

4 – Jumping on every hot new trend

In digital marketing, there’s always a delicate balance between staying current and jumping on the bandwagon. Staying on top of the trends and changes in the industry is an absolute necessity if you want to be successful in digital marketing.

That said, one mistake many brands make is to assume that just because a certain platform or technology is trendy, they should automatically add it to their marketing mix. The truth is that it’s a bad idea to blindly follow the latest trends without first gaining an understanding of how implementing a new idea or technology will benefit your brand. Be aware of the latest news in digital marketing, but don’t jump on a trend before you get a sense of how it will impact your strategy.

5 – Targeting the wrong audience

You have to spend time getting to know the audience you’re speaking to. What are their pain points? What types of language appeals to them? What words do they use to describe what they’re looking for? Knowing the answers to these questions is key to designing campaigns that will appeal to the people you’re trying to reach.

Click here to view the full article via Forbes.com! — Article originally published on Forbes.com by Gabriel Shaoolian


marketing and advertising opioid epidemic

The Opioid Epidemic: When Marketing & Advertising Turn Deadly

You may have heard about a big problem currently facing our country. It’s called the Opioid Epidemic, and it’s a deadly problem. In 2015, opioid overdose deaths surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in our country, officially climbing past the 30,000 mark. But how did we get to this point? Let’s take a look.

There are a lot of things that share the blame in this. Overprescribing, crooked doctors, societal attitudes, lack of education on the issue, and things like genetics all play a role. But, one of the main factors behind this epidemic lies in the advertising and marketing practices drug makes used to sell and promote their products.

A bipartisan group of attorneys general from across the country are investigating the role that pharmaceutical companies played in creating and prolonging the opioid epidemic. The probe, which is led by AG offices in Washington D.C. and Tennessee and includes the majority of states, will focus on whether the marketing and sale of prescription painkillers was unlawful.

According to a Wall Street Journal articleabout the investigation, “The multi-state effort is months in the making, according to people familiar with the matter, and subpoenas have already been issued against some targets. The probe is in the investigatory stage and could lead to litigation, though such investigations can be protracted and don’t necessarily lead to lawsuits in every instance.” 

Public health experts have long blamed today’s widespread addiction to opioids—including painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl—on overzealous marketing and liberal prescribing of opioid painkillers, starting with the introduction of OxyContin in the mid-90s.

marketing and advertising opioid epidemic

This is far from the first type of investigation looking into this or similar matters, and it certainly won’t be the last. Just last month, the state of Ohio sued five pharmaceutical companies,—including Purdue Pharma (maker of OxyContin), Endo Health Services (Percoset, Opana), and Johnson & Johnson (Duragesic)—accusing them of misleading doctors and patients about the dangers of painkiller addiction. As a recent Bloomberg article noted, over the past year alone, more than 20 US states, counties, and cities have sued opioid manufacturers claiming that their deceptive marketing contributed to today’s public health crisis.

The drugs used to only be used primarily for acute, or short-term pain (such as post-op pain, broken bones, etc…), but over the last two decades, doctors have increasingly prescribed them to treat chronic pain, giving them to patients for months or years at a stretch — Even decades. Drug makers promoted that change, spending “millions of dollars on promotional activities and materials that falsely deny or trivialize the risks of opioids while overstating the benefits of using them for chronic pain.”

Pharmaceutical companies surely aren’t the only ones to blame for this mess, but, they played a big role in it. If taking a look at the advertising, marketing, and promotional techniques that were being used is what it takes to make some changes, then so be it. If drug companies willingly misled practitioners and the general public on the dangers and addictive potential of these medications, they need to be held accountable. 

For marketers and advertisers, this is a stark reminder of just how powerful messaging can be. It’s also a grim reminder that in the wrong hands, these tools and trades can be used for evil. We must always be cognizant of the possible repercussions that our advertising and marketing techniques may have, and the possible negative consequences that can come from it.


what is brand identity?

What is Brand Identity? And How to Develop a Great One

Just like your personal identity makes you uniquely you, your brand identity is what sets you apart from every other company or organization on the block. Your brand identity design is what shapes your company!

But what exactly is brand identity? How do you shape a strong brand identity that takes your business to the next level?

The terms “brand,” “branding,” and “brand identity” are sometimes treated as interchangeable, but that’s not always the case.

  • Brand is the perception of the company in the eyes of the world.

  • Branding involves the marketing practice of actively shaping a distinctive brand.

  • Brand identity is the collection of all brand elements that the company creates to portray the right image of itself to the consumer.

brand identity system

Let’s say you are a middle school student. As an awkward pre-adolescent, you want to be perceived as cool and get invited to sit at the best table in the cafeteria. But you can’t just force other people to have that image of you. In order to develop this brand, you need to do some work.

Maybe you start shaping up on your free throw skills, then you start working on a hilarious impression of Mrs. Smith, your history teacher. These actions are the work you’re putting towards developing your desired image; your branding.

Last but not least, you need to make sure you look the part. You save up your money to buy the newest hot basketball shoes everyone wants. You get a new hairstyle. You try out for (and join) the schools hottest sports team. Those tangible elements—the shoes, the hair style, the sports team membership— all of that is your brand identity.

Your brand identity is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. Your audience will associate your brand identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your customers, builds customer loyalty, and determines how your customers will perceive your brand.

So, how do you develop a strong brand identity? — Know who you are.

Before you know what tangible elements you want to make up your brand identity, you need to know who you are as a brand. This made up of a few key elements:

1. Your mission (the “why?”)

2. Your values (what beliefs or belief systems drive you?)

3. Your “brand voice” (how would your brand talk if it were an actual, human person)

4. Your brand personality (if your brand was a person, what would their personality be like?)

All of these things combined are what define your brand, and before you start building on your brand identity, it’s important you have a clear understanding of each of them.

Once you’ve locked in who you are as a brand, it’s time to build the identity that will bring your brand to life and show who you are to the people who matter most: your customers. The next step in the process is brand design, and putting together a brand style guide, but that’s a blog for another time. Stay tuned! 


brands advertisers politics

Brands & Advertisers - Steer Clear of Being Overly Political!

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: national brands (that have nothing to do with politics) should NOT insert themselves into the middle of political issues.  To us, this doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint. You risk losing and alienating half of consumers.

A consumer should not know a brand ‘s (again, with the exception of strictly political brands and organizations) political leanings. Unless you want to pigeonhole your brand or company into one side of the political aisle or the other and only go after a certain segment, this is just not a wise idea. I’m certainly not the only one that agrees with this sentiment.

 A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights this exact issue, saying “experts in Cannes say brands should resist temptation to weigh in on hot-button issues”. Due to the current political climate throughout the world (and more specifically in America) and the divisiveness relating to politics, this move is now risker than ever. Speaking at a panel event hosted by The Wall Street Journal, advertising and market research executives said they recognize the temptation for companies to weigh in on political issues in an attempt to connect with consumers. But they warned that it’s almost impossible to strike the right note in an era when the internet backlash against advertisers’ missteps is quicker and more fierce than ever.

brands advertisers politics

Advertisers should be “combative” to get customers’ attention without being too overly or intentionally political. There are plenty of recent examples that show that the internet is full of people ready to give backlash over ads perceived as being too political or too “distasteful”, including Budweiser’s Super Bowl “Immigrant” ad, and Pepsi’s failed attempt at social/political commentary with their ill-received Kendal Jenner ads.

 Brands shouldn’t try to force themselves into political discussions is some consumers would be surprised to see them doing so. Like I said earlier, most brands want to sell their products to as many people as possible, regardless of which side of the political aisle they lean towards.

We, as consumers, don’t necessarily want brands like PepsiBudweiser, Starbucks or McDonalds to get involved in these type of conversations. Brands: stick to what you know. Unless you are a brand or organization that has politics embedded in your DNA, just stay focused on what your brand is about. For Pepsi, that’s providing consumers with a delicious, refreshing drink. For Budweiser, it’s helping millions of American’s relaxant have a good time with an ice cold beer. That’s how it should remain. I don’t need to know what your views are on certain hot-button political issues, and you shouldn’t need to tell me. It’s just overall bad for business. Don’t ask, don’t tell. It works!