Chris Harrison

12 August 017

TECH BYTE: The 3 biggest causes of digital marketing failure

Heard it before?

“Digital Marketing doesn’t work. I know it doesn’t work because I have spent $10k, $30k … or even $100k and got absolutely nothing back. It’s a waste of time and money.”

Behind that statement is clearly some real frustration.

A frustrated business owner knows that everyone is spending more and more of their time on phones and laptops and they know that if they want to be visible to their customers they have to be online. And yet their digital campaigns just keep failing … and they keep burning through more and more cash.

However done right, digital marketing can deliver some spectacular results. This in terms of quality leads and business growth.

So why are some businesses getting results while others scream with frustration?

Here are the 3 most common reasons that digital marketing failures.

1 A Bad Website

Paying money to send traffic to a useless website makes no sense at all. Get your website right – first!
This is by far the most common mistake companies make. They pay for Google or Facebook Ads or for telesales or for email marketing or a ‘social media person’ to send traffic to by and large a useless website or landing page.

A useless website that fails to connect with the visitor, also fails to build trust and it fails to communicate the value of the service or product to the potential customer.

The visitor goes back to Google to look for your competitor. And your marketing spend is money down the drain.

A useless website is easy to spot (and there are a lot of them around). Here are a few clues:

It’s full of boring content about the history of the business, boring bios about the team and lists of services and products using technical terms. The language is old fashioned and long winded. Instead of focusing on the client, videos instead focus on the company and how wonderful they are. Images are the same stock photos everyone uses…

Nowhere does the useless website focus on the customer. Nowhere does it mention the transformative benefits of the product or service offering. Detailed case studies and success stories are noted by their absence.

Sending traffic to a useless website just burns money.

Do yourself a favour. Keep advertising and marketing dollars in your pocket until you are 100% sure your website effectively converts traffic to qualified leads. Ask others, conduct tests.

2 Strategy

The next most common mistake is trying to market a product, service or business without taking a strategic approach. The classic is to do a bit of this and a bit of that, measure nothing and burn through a lot of cash.

“I’ve tried Google Ads.”  “I’ve done video.” We do Facebook and LinkedIn.” “We’re getting someone on board to do Twitter and Instagram.”

„STOP!” „Just stop now!”

Going out marketing (online or offline) as a piecemeal approach is like trying to build a bridge across a river by throwing the steel and concrete in to the water. Very expensive, very inefficient and likely to fail.

To build an effective bridge and get the leads you want to walk across it, you need a strategic plan.


Here’s an example of strategic marketing to drive traffic to an effective website – once the traffic has been on the website keep remarketing to the visitors using Google, Facebook and email.

And of course measure everything. Measure which channel delivers the best return … then we do more of that.

3 Team

To get digital marketing to deliver educated, qualified leads and a return on investment requires a skilled team with specialist knowledge.

These are some of the key skills you need for success:

Digital Marketing Strategist
This person has a proven track record of working with many businesses to identify the value proposition, communicate the value to the target market and then put the resultant marketing material in front of the right prospects. Their work has delivered a measured return on investment for many clients.

Digital Content Writer
A skilled copywriter with a proven track record of writing digital content that converts website visitors into warm, qualified leads. Ideally someone with a track record in and enthusiasm for your industry.

Digital Designer
A person who knows digital design and how people use websites inside out. A track record of working with your target market. Understands that it’s content and not design that leads the project.

Website Programmer
An experienced programmer who writes beautiful code, following the Google Guide to Search Engine Optimisation. Creates websites that work and are easy to use (both for the end user and the content manager).

Search Engine Optimisation Specialist
An ethical specialist who knows that content and user experience are the answer (not keyword tweaking). They should also be able analyse all of your performance data for you.

Digital Advertising Specialist
A specialist who knows the various platforms inside out and knows how to get the very best return on investment and optimise campaigns based on results. They must understand what kinds of digital content on which platforms work best for which markets. They should have a track record of success in your industry.

Social Media Specialist
Choose a social media expert who has experience building a community of useful followers around individuals and brands, and who understands the importance of driving those followers to an effective website.

Got all of those already on hand? No, then look to employ/contract some experts in digital marketing.

To learn more about digital marketing via websites, strategy and team for tourism businesses watch this space as more information is coming soon.

Sourced by Chris Harrison

In the meantime feel free to have a chat with the team at Brilliant Digital or the team at Online Consulting.

by Chris Harrison