topAutumn is the season of deep thoughts, warm tea, and falling leaves. It’s the end of heat waves – people are returning from their holidays, going back to the usual work routine. At such times taking the pen and paper to write down some goals for the remaining time of the year seems to be a good idea. It is also good to wonder about whether weren’t we sabotaging the achieving of our successes. Here is a little tip-note for marketers – 7 Deadly Sins of digital marketing!


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Pride – Imagine the horror of marketing agency – small entrepreneur, who learned marketing about 20 years ago. In his opinion ideal campaign is spamming the recipients with the highest possible number of identical banners, emails and pop-ups focused only on his product. If it’s only possible, featuring half naked chick to underline how great his product is. You can’t explain to such person, that Internet campaign should be original, targeted and tested.

Pride in digital marketing is also responsible for the arrogance and being closed to any external suggestions. It’s something like stating “I feel no need to educate myself, read ebooks, explore new tactics, listen to podcasts, or to take part in seminaries, for I am the omniscient Marketer.”

It’s also reflected in ignoring his customers’ needs, pushing his opinion as the most important everywhere he can. Not for him is the marketing automation platform. Not for him the dynamic content and adjusting the strategy to customer behavior. For his world is the world of one-size-fits-all and the authoritarian grip.


Greed – There was a joke going like this: Man comes to a doctor and asks for the cure for his greed, but he wants a lot of it! It’s a great metaphor for some wrongdoings in digital marketing – buying databases, likes on Facebook, backlinks, etc. Everything for the sake of having more and more. Yes, sometimes quantity is necessary, but much more often the quality of actions beats it. The database you bought might not be the high-quality one, likes on Facebook might ruin your organic results, and backlinks on random pages might have an effect of lowering your SEO rating. If you’re found guilty of above-mentioned sins – as a repentance tidy-up your database, rethink your Facebook strategy, and try to get high-quality backlinks from websites related to your business.


Lust (Impurity)

Although half naked chick was already mentioned, there still is a variety of “impure” and dirty actions some marketers are guilty of, like perpetuating stereotypes or using someone’s’ failure as a trampoline to success. Stereotypes can be helpful – they are somewhat of a mental shortcut helping us to react fast in dangerous situations.

You need to be particularly careful with them when creating a Buyer Persona. Creating a model buyer based on stereotypes, in the age of big data, is the highest stage laziness and lack of respect to your clients. Result of this is the tsunami of commercials with blond women who cannot park the car, but by using their feminine wits (of course it means by buying the product) they avoid the wrath of their husband after causing an accident, housewife who’s only desire is a clean shirt and some household savings, and a middle-aged man who doesn’t care about anything besides the dinner, the play and a bottle of beer (especially not a family, culture nor travelling). The World is a-changing, you cannot stay behind. Creating the Buyer Persona must be done with the use of behavioral data analysis and digital body language. Also: avoid the wishful thinking. Use web-beacons, big data analyzing software – run dialogue with your clients, who are the real-life, breathing and kicking people, not stereotypical John Smiths.

Another point on your not-to-do list is using anyone’s back for a trampoline. Don’t use people’s tragedies in your campaigns. Example? During the revolution in 2011 in Egypt, Kenneth Cole fashion brand tried to promote their newest collection on Twitter with this:




As you can imagine, the campaign didn’t receive the warmest of welcomes, and will always stay in our minds as company’s marketing failure.


Envy – The feeling of jealousy can emerge when we look at others company success or idea, we have not had the courage to introduce, yet they managed to do it with great success. You can notice it when while preparing the marketing campaign you construct them based on comparison with other, treating the competition as a point of reference. In the long run, it turns into a flood of identical products and services, which is boring to customers. Modern days King Midas – Elon Musk said: “Will this activity result in a better product? If not, stop those efforts.” Learn these words by heart and repeat them any time envy gets the best of you. If you have a problem with knowing what to improve, simply ask your clients. Remember, though, they sometimes let their imagination run wild. Test every change. Use dynamic content tests, introduce simple methods of testing the research hypothesis, for example, HADI cycles as conventional procedures in the marketing department.


Gluttony (Immoderation) – Modern software is offering the incredible possibilities of tracking the behavior of user: starting with the average time of web page visit, average purchase value, up to geolocalization. This data is being collected by website visits, forms, social media interaction, the response to emails or behavior inside the mobile app. The proper combination gives a marketer the ability to personalize messages to so far unprecedented levels. How she uses them depends on a person. It is worth remembering that both the deficiency or excess of personalization may be harmful. Insufficiently personalized message does not arouse the recipient to the appropriate level of commitment, but one in which you will reveal all of the cards may frighten her. Not without reason Orwell’s 1984 does not lose its relevance.



By any means it’s not the wrath you fall into, thinking about failed campaign. It’s about the anger of your recipients, which is caused by failed attempts of appealing to them and misfired tricks to bring them back. Let’s play never have I ever:

  • hidden opt-out option
  • sent an email starting with Re:, or FWD:
  • Instead of personalized offer sent mass offer with randomly chosen items
  • “personalized” the message by adding the recipient’s name to the header.
  • sent spam
  • sent only offers, not focusing on building the relation with the customer
  • been managing social media without any clue what’s it about
  • been annoying in any way.

Feel drunk already? List of sins is quite long, yet the above-mentioned points are just the tip of the iceberg. If even one of these rings a bell in your head, you’re guilty and shall repent. Put effort and transform your marketing into a dialogue, a response to consumer needs. Get to know these needs, adjust your plan to them, optimize and keep it up to date.


Sloth – If we are talking about updating- another sin of digital marketers is laziness. Once adopted, tag system, automation rule, messages in education cycle remain the same for at least couple of years. Unfortunately, similar to the real life, once for a while you need to throw away things you don’t need anymore. It concerns databases (an average of ¼ of contacts is outdated in a year), articles (new studies and rankings), tags (methods are always changing f.e. Lead generation), automation rules (new circumstances, subpages and forms, etc.), lead nurturing (you gain some new knowledge, you receive a positive feedback from customers), and many more.


Sometimes it’s good to stop for a while and do an examination of conscience. It’s much easier to move ahead without loading baggage, and much better to throw yourself into the action with the knowledge that was not sabotaging your own efforts! Amen!