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The 5 Scariest Marketing Tactics in 2023

6 min read2022-10-25

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Who is the scariest movie monster of all time? Traditionalists might say Dracula, or the demon from the Exorcist. Slasher fanatics might point to any of the big three: Freddie, Jason, Michael.

You know what's scarier than any of them combined? How about our list of the top five worst marketing tactics for 2023? Read on and discover how these marketing mistakes can massacre your lead generation, slash your efficiency, and kill your marketing momentum!

5.  The Curse of the Purchased Lead List

Like unsealing the tomb of an Egyptian mummy or gazing upon the long-lost Ark of the Covenant, purchased lead lists are face-meltingly bad news for your business.

Email marketing and remarketing display ads are potent tools for capturing new clients while maintaining existing ones. The only challenge is building a big enough list for all your marketing efforts to be worthwhile.

You know what’s easier than organically growing an audience? Buying one! Depending on the quality (or perceived quality) of a lead list, you can purchase thousands of qualified contacts for anyone from a few cents to several dollars each. Compared to the time and resource investment required to build an audience, this is incredibly cheap.

So what’s the catch? There are two problems with purchased lead lists.

First, you aren’t really allowed to use them. Most reputable CRMs and email automation services (like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign) require explicit permission from each contact to send emails to users on your lists. If you’ve purchased a lead list, you don’t have that permission. You’ll be violating your email platform’s terms of use, and in many jurisdictions you’ll be violating the law!

Even if you could legally send emails to purchased contacts, you’ll struggle to turn them into customers. Purchased leads are ice cold. Typically, they’ve never heard of your business, never engaged with your content, and often don’t want to hear from you. Blasting these frigid users with promotional emails can even result in long-term consequences. If enough users lodge complaints about your unsolicited emails, email platforms may mark you as spam. This can be difficult (and expensive) to fix!

Don’t succumb to temptation. Purchased lead lists are black magic that would be best left alone.

4. A Nightmare on TikTok

Social media marketing promises dreamy results. By reaching customers where they live online, beyond the Google results page, you can influence their purchasing decisions and support other marketing initiatives with paid and organic placements — without waiting for users to find you.

But what if that dream turns into a nightmare?

Social media marketing isn’t all fun and games. It requires a clear strategy, plenty of time and resource investment, and a large library of content and visual assets. Many businesses are unprepared to compete in a crowded social media arena.

The number one challenge our clients face when they attempt social media marketing is trying to be everywhere all at once. Many businesses try to maintain a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Pinterest account — and fail at each one.

Social media marketing is hard work. Trying to do them all well is a massive undertaking. Doing just one is tricky enough. If nobody on your team uses TikTok, you shouldn’t either. Invest in the platform or platforms that your marketing team understands and enjoys. Expect to spend more time and effort on fewer, better posts for your best-performing platform.

3. Night of the Living Dead (Website)

Is your website a zombie? Kept alive beyond its natural lifespan, a zombie website repulses your visitors. Its putrid interface and decaying content tell them to move on to a competitor with a pulse. We have the facts to prove it.

You may think you’re a brick-and-mortar, personal touch, firm handshake kind of business. That’s great! Traditional sales and marketing has a place in the B2B world. Just don’t discount the potential of digital marketing. Across the industrial world, more and more purchasers and decision-makers are internet-savvy millennials. If they’re searching for a new provider and find your zombie website, they might just keep looking.

2. Not Using a CRM: Your Marketing Sixth Sense

"I see dead leads."

A long list of abandoned contacts is buried at the bottom of many CRMs. A CRM is like a marketing sixth sense, reminding you of when and how to follow up with leads to keep them fresh. If we don't configure our CRM to help us out, or if we don't put in the work to follow up, we're leaving serious money on the table.

According to a study conducted by Invesp, acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing client. The same study found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by anywhere from 25-95%!

Loyal customers are the real secret to your business’ long-lasting success. Using your CRM to its full potential keeps clients top-of-mind. Be sure to schedule follow-up emails and reminders to re-engage with leads before they cool off. Take note of personal details for each lead. The more info you have about their interests, purchasing influences, and business requirements, the better you’ll be able to keep the conversation going from initial interest to final sale.

1. The scariest of all: marketing without a plan.

Let's set the scene. You're on a camping trip with friends when you take a wrong turn, then another, then another. Suddenly, you don't know where you are or how to return. Do these hills have eyes? Does anyone else hear banjo music?

Marketing without a plan is a great way to end up in places you don't want to be. Without a good plan, we may not realize we're off track until it's too late to turn back. It’s tempting to charge ahead, especially with a new and exciting idea, but taking the time to plan your route ensures you don’t get led astray. Set your goals and expectations, budget, and each step along the way.

Don’t know how to start the right way? Fear not: we have prepared a free marketing template to get you started.

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