The 3 Biggest Reasons Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work

Picture this. You set out to plan an ambitious project about a particular product or service. You and your team read about the terms ‘Digital Marketing’ and how popular it is in today’s world. Social media performance, advertising, emailing, blogging, all these terms appear in front of you as possible options to explore. You try your hand at a Digital Marketing campaign and after a few months, give up because you aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for. Thereafter, you and your colleagues become resentful and think that most likely, digital marketing just, doesn’t work.

Sounds familiar?

If this sounds like you, we understand. Digital Marketing is like most other business jargon out there, thrown around just about everywhere regardless of how relevant it might be. As far as the resentment goes, you are not alone. More and more companies nowadays are beginning to doubt the effectiveness of Digital Marketing, particularly because of how ‘costly’ it is and how it doesn’t always lead to the desired results. We’re here to address this concern, because Digital Marketing does work, but only if done correctly. The truth is that companies often make certain mistakes with their digital marketing efforts that impede the results it can yield. In this article, we’re going to outline 3 of the Biggest Digital Marketing mistakes you might be making, and how you can solve them to see better results. Read on below!

What exactly is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing, sometimes known as ‘online marketing’ is any form of marketing that uses technology to convey promotional messaging and measure its impact through your customer journey. In the real world, marketing campaigns that are displayed on computers, smartphones, tablets or other mediums of technology can classify as ‘digital marketing’. This comes in many forms, such as display ads, videos, imagery, search engine marketing, social media content and so on. This is largely different to ‘traditional marketing’ efforts such as magazine and newspaper ads, billboards and direct mail, which are tangible in nature and therefore limited in their ability to reach large audiences. In simple terms, if a marketing campaign involves any form of digital communication, it’s digital marketing.

Now that we’ve clearly defined what constitutes digital marketing, let’s explore 3 of the Biggest Digital Marketing mistakes you might be making, and how you can solve them:

Digital Marketing Mistake #1: Targeting the Wrong Audience

No matter how fancy your efforts and resources are, targeting the wrong audience is a mistake no one gets by. If you’re targeting the wrong customers, or if your targeting is too broad, chances are your digital marketing efforts will not reap the results you desire. While you might be using the right channels, your marketing just isn’t getting to the right people. Modern digital targeting methods allow for companies to filter and choose the exact segment of customers to target their advertising to. You can specifically choose demographics such as age, gender, interests, credit score, income, housing situation, hobbies, marital status and more. By doing so, you reduce the chances of wasting any of your marketing budget and target more efficiently. The following chart illustrates consumers in North America and Europe responding to whether targeted advertising is ‘helpful’ or ‘creepy’ with various questions to answer:


As you can see, for nearly every questions, consumers consider targeted advertising to be helpful as long as it doesn’t intrude on their privacy, and rightly so. If you haven’t understood who your buyers are, what their values and needs are, you won’t be able to create the right promotional material to connect with them on an emotional level. Therefore, understanding how they would move down the funnel is important to help outline the right strategy to reach them, and ultimately convince them to buy. 

How to fix it?

The first step to resolving this is to invest time and energy to understand your buyers. Here’s how:

  • Identify the main issues or problems your product/service solves for your target market
  • Locate the main pain points your buyers experience relative to your product/service
  • Identify the key competitors that your buyers may consider in comparison to your product/service

Finding the right answers to these points will help you choose the best marketing strategy and craft digital marketing material that will directly address your target market and their needs.

Digital Marketing Mistake #2: Poor Campaign Strategies

Having a poor, or even worse, no strategy can be detrimental to your online marketing efforts. If you’re trying to reach out to customers via a channel that they don’t use, they won’t get the message. The most effective way to succeed with digital marketing is to:

  • Determine your business’ goals
  • Build a solid digital marketing strategy
  • Break down the plan into smaller objectives to make them achievable and measurable
  • Execute the plan with a timeline in place

Say for example, your business specialises in event or party planning. However, you find that only 10-15 Google searches per month are for your service. In this case, Google Ads would not necessarily be the best choice for you. You might have to look through other channels such as mobile phone display ads, social media marketing or video marketing to convey your message. The following chart showcases the time spent on popular social media channels:


How to fix it?

Note that the channel you elect to use must depend on your audience. Although Facebook may have the most time spent, Facebook ads may not necessarily help you. Find out where your audience spends most of their time, and use that channel. Also keep in mind not to juggle between multiple channels without having a proper intention or purpose in mind. Doing random things will only cost you money without yielding proper results.

Once your website/business generates traffic, focus on re-marketing efforts to bring visitors back using channels like Google, YouTube, email, etc. Measure your results and compare them to previous campaign efforts. This will help you determine what works, what can be improved and how you can obtain the best ROI. You cannot optimise what you cannot measure. So invest in an effective web analytics service like Google Analytics to track your campaign.

Digital Marketing Mistake #3: Impatience and Unrealistic expectations

Like everything worthwhile in the business world, Digital Marketing can take time. If you give up on your campaign too quickly, don’t blame it if it doesn’t work. Sometimes, online marketing can take anywhere between 6-12 months to generate proper results. It’s unrealistic to expect your company to appear out of nowhere and win over customers. The customer’s journey takes them through initial exposure, first purchase, satisfaction and then retention. Varying from customer to customer, this can take time and certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

How to fix it?

The time it takes to generate results differs, and depends on:

  • The development and implementation of your strategies
  • The level of competition in the market
  • How consistent you are with your efforts

The channels you use also provide different timelines for results. Social media can yield tangible results within months as you form a large enough community. With SEO or email marketing however, the results you desire can take upto a year depending on your campaign. Remember that digital marketing is primarily for the customer. All your efforts must be targeted around the customer. Repeated engagements boost this process and will help you acquire and retain customers over the long term.


With whatever you do, consistency is key. Consistency with buyer personas, consistency with communication and consistency throughout the customer journey. What separates good brands from great brands is the ability to maintain quality and consistency across several channels to build an identity that will last for the customer.

Why is Digital Marketing important?

In today’s day and age where nearly everyone is on their smartphones, tablets and computers throughout the day, digital marketing is immensely important. Why? Because traditional methods of marketing such as newspaper ads, magazine ads, TV and radio commercials are slowly becoming redundant. Social media platforms are lucrative locations for marketing efforts because of how easily you can reach people with relatively lesser spending.

Digital Marketing is also highly effective in its ability to connect customers and take them down the Marketing funnel from initial view to point of purchase. Whether your goal is to increase website visits, file downloads, online sales or subscriptions, digital marketing can help you.

How do I find my target audience?

One of the key benefits of Digital Marketing is the ability to segment your audience and market specifically to them. Depending on your product and sales, you can identify the demographics of your buyers and map out your ideal target customer persona. Then, you can filter demographics based on location, age, gender, profession, educational level, hobbies and interests to name a few.

By doing so, you’re ensuring that your ads and marketing are mainly seen by your target audience, increasing the likelihood of purchase or engagement with them.

How to improve Digital Marketing strategy?

The first step to solving a problem, is to properly identify the problem and find out what’s wrong. If you only focus on the symptoms but not on the causes, you won’t find a remedy. Poor digital marketing results and be a consequence of multiple factors. These include but are not limited to: Having unrealistic expectations, targeting the wrong audience and having a weak campaign strategy to begin with.

Watch out for warning signs if you made the mistakes we’ve outlined and get to fixing them as soon as you can to get ahead of the curve.

Insil is a boutique Australian Marketing Agency, providing customers with a holistic approach to Design Thinking and Marketing Services
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