6 Common Mistakes When Running a Digital Marketing Campaign

Marketing Agency Network Blog
July 7, 2019

6 Common Mistakes When Running a Digital Marketing Campaign

digital marketing campaign

Running a digital marketing campaign is tough. So many things can go wrong, and, if you aren’t careful, they most certainly will. 

That said, there are a lot of mistakes that can be avoided given the right preparation. There’s no guarantee your campaign will be perfect, but at least you’ll be well-prepared to handle the worst case scenario.

In this article, we discuss the most common mistakes when running digital marketing, as well as some concrete steps on how to avoid them.

1. You Don’t Have a Goal for Your Digital Marketing Campaign

Every campaign should have a pre-defined objective: are you trying to grow sales, boost brand image, or penetrate a new market?

A campaign without a goal is like shooting darts in the dark—there’s no way to tell what you’re aiming at and what you’re going to hit.

For a digital marketing campaign to succeed, your goals need to be SMART. That is, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.


Specific – It’s not enough to say “I want to sell more”. You need to qualify how much more you want to sell and by when. In other words, you should be more specific about what you intend to achieve. A better way to put it is: “I want to sell 20,000 more units of Product A online by March 2020.”

Measurable – The late-great Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured, gets managed.” In marketing, metrics provide a reliable gauge for success. It tells us whether or not we’re on target and by how much. For example, how do you know engagement is going up? Are you measuring likes, comments, and shares, or are you simply standing by?

Attainable – One of the biggest reasons campaigns fail is mismanaged expectations. Marketers often overpromise with the hopes of landing a deal, but that sets them up for failure. Be honest with what you can achieve and stick to it. There’s no point aiming for a target you can’t hit.

Relevant – Marketing is a means to an end. Sure, it’s nice to see pretty pictures and cool videos but, at the end of the day, they should serve a certain business outcome. All campaigns should have the company’s best interests in mind. Otherwise, what for?

Time-bound – Every campaign should have an expiration date. If you keep something running for too long, it’s bound to go stale, or, worse, people will forget about it. Set a deadline and move on to the next before you’re stuck with something outdated.

2. You Don’t Know Who Your Digital Marketing Campaign is For

If you aren’t putting your customer first, you will come in last.

A study by SalesForce showed that 76-percent of customers expect brands to understand their needs. It’s not rocket science: people respond to campaigns that are relevant to them.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling Coca-Cola, Lego, or instant underwear, you need to know your customers’ wants and needs. Figure out who your customers are and what matters to them. The sooner you figure that out, the more well-informed your digital campaign will be.

Always, always work with a target audience. If you don’t, expect your ads to fade into obscurity.

3. You Think Your Digital Marketing Campaign Works the Same on Every Channel

Just as important as knowing who your customers are is knowing where they hang out. Is your audience on Facebook or YouTube, Instagram or Reddit?

Knowing your audience’s preferred channels lets you be more strategic in terms of where you advertise and what content you produce.

Understanding which campaign works for which channel is absolutely crucial. What might be a home run for one channel might be a complete dud for another.

Take for example YouTube and Facebook Video. People visit YouTube with the specific intent to watch video, so you can predict they have a proper screen for video viewing and quality audio via speakers or headphones handy. With Facebook, people tend to be scrolling down on a smartphone while on-the-go.

As you might expect, the ideal video format varies depending on which platform you’re on. On YouTube, longer videos get more viewership; the opposite is true for Facebook, where shorter videos tend to get more traction. Also, YouTube is better for long, instructional content, while Facebook is better for short promotional videos.

There are tons of nuances among the different digital channels, and it’s important for marketers to understand these. Knowing what content to push on which channel could spell the difference between viral craze and massive flop.

4. Your Digital Marketing Campaign Doesn’t Have a Trajectory

The HubSpot Marketing Funnel

Many digital marketing campaigns lack direction. As a result, they fail to turn new prospects into loyal customers.

A digital marketing campaign is best thought of as a funnel. At the top of the funnel are the new prospects who’ve just heard about your brand, and, at the very bottom, are customers who’ve decided to buy your products. As you might notice in the image above, there are several steps between engaging a new prospect, and closing a sale.

It’s important to understand that not all leads are sales-ready; some take time and convincing to warm up. The crucial part is understanding which customers are closer to the top and which are closer to the bottom, and creating campaigns that usher them through each part of the funnel.

Here’s a handy guide on how to build your own marketing funnel.

5. You Don’t Track the Numbers behind Your Digital Marketing Campaign

Many digital marketing campaigns fail because marketers rely on gut feel instead of data, and the unfounded resistance to using data is costing them.

When marketers ignore data, they’re prone to make mistakes–after all, no one’s gut feel is correct 100-percent of the time. 

Today’s best companies rely on data to help them make smarter decisions that are based on actual trends and patterns, thereby eliminating much of the guesswork that used to come with doing business.

Besides, data gets them results: studies show that data-driven agencies bring in 5x more ROI than their peers. That’s a number no one should ignore.


Running a successful digital marketing campaign is a job for the pros. If you want to learn from the best or hire the best, Marketing Agency Network can connect you with top digital marketing agencies all over the world, in the click of a button.

Click away—it’s completely free.

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