Skip to main content
Growth Gear

The 6 Worst Habits Digital Marketers Develop

β€” Alexandra Ardelean

In this article, I'm going to share with you the 6 worst habits digital marketers develop that can harm productivity and creativity. Let's dive in.

Habit 1: Obsessively Checking Metrics

Checking metrics is a good habit, but it can become a bad one when it turns into an obsession. When you're constantly checking and chasing metrics, you're not giving yourself the time and space to focus on the work that actually moves the needle.

The problem with seeking validation in numbers is that it can lead to defining your self-worth in vanity metrics. This is not conducive to success. You need to be able to detach your self-worth from the numbers and focus on the bigger picture.

Here are two ways to tackle this habit:

  • Pinpoint the metrics that actually align with your business goals. Not all metrics are created equal. Some are more important than others. Figure out which ones matter most to your bottom line and focus on those.

  • Schedule time for metric checking. Instead of constantly refreshing your analytics dashboard throughout the day, set aside specific times when you'll review your metrics. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting sucked into a never-ending cycle of number-crunching.

For example, I'm currently focusing on YouTube as my primary platform for content distribution. The main metric I care about is customers due to the nature of my software. As a result, I receive a steady stream of sign-ups from my tutorials.

Habit 2: Overcomplicating Things

Digital marketing is complex, but that doesn't mean you have to overcomplicate everything. When you try to do too much at once or make things more complicated than they need to be, you run the risk of falling into what's known as "analysis paralysis."

This can lead to missed opportunities, lack of synergy in your team, and ineffective marketing campaigns. Instead of overcomplicating tactics, strategies, and messaging, strive for simplicity whenever possible.

A great example of this is Apple's launch of the iPod. Instead of bombarding consumers with technical jargon and a laundry list of features, they distilled their message down to three simple words: "1,000 songs in your pocket." This clear and concise value proposition resonated with consumers and helped make the iPod a massive success.

Habit 3: Overreacting to Industry News

The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and it's important to stay informed about industry news and trends. However, there's a fine line between staying informed and overreacting.

When you overreact to every new development or trend in the industry, you run the risk of becoming reactionary rather than strategic. This can lead to panic, knee-jerk decision-making, and wasted resources.

For example, when OpenAI released GPT-3 (a chatbot that can generate human-like text), many people predicted that it would replace Google SEOs or even lawyers. However, this hasn't happened yet.

Habit 4: Trying to Scale Too Early

Scaling a business is an exciting prospect, but rushing into it can be a recipe for disaster. If you scale too early, you might spread yourself too thin, dilute your brand, and alienate your core audience.

A cautionary tale in this regard is Groupon. The company experienced rapid growth in its early years and was valued at over $1 billion before it even went public. However, its flawed business model (which relied heavily on unsustainable discounts) eventually caught up with it.

After going public at a valuation of $13 billion in 2011, Groupon's stock price plummeted by more than 80% over the next few years as investors realized that its growth was not sustainable. This led to significant layoffs and a drastic decrease in the company's value.

Habit 5: Copying Other Marketers

It's natural to look to successful marketers for inspiration, but there's a thin line between drawing inspiration and outright copying. When you replicate others' tactics or strategies without adding any unique value or putting your own twist on things, you risk appearing unoriginal or even unethical.

There's nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the work of other marketers; in fact, it's an important part of staying creative and innovative in your own marketing endeavors. However, it's crucial to use this inspiration as a starting point for your own unique ideas rather than simply copying what others have done.

Unfortunately, many marketers fall into the trap of copying others because it can lead to short-term success. For example:

  • A marketer might see a viral video on TikTok and decide to create a similar one for their own brand because they want to ride the wave of popularity.

  • Another marketer might notice that a competitor's email campaign performed well and decide to replicate it for their own audience because they want to achieve similar results.

While these tactics might yield some positive outcomes in the short term (such as increased engagement or conversions), they ultimately come at the cost of authenticity and originality.

Habit 6: Ignoring Ethical Considerations

This is by far the worst habit digital marketers can develop because it can lead down a slippery slope from pushing best practices into unethical territory like false advertising or fraud.

In extreme cases, ignoring ethical considerations can even lead to criminal behavior such as running Ponzi schemes or engaging in fraudulent activities like identity theft or money laundering.

One infamous example of an alleged fraudster who misled his followers with false promises and marketing videos featuring rented luxury items is Lee McKenna. He was ultimately sent to prison for fraud after being exposed by investigative journalists who uncovered his deceptive practices.

The key takeaway here is that true success in digital marketing isn't about taking shortcuts or cutting corners; it's about building trust and influence at scale by being authentic and ethical in everything you do.