The Top 5 Marketing Mistakes Your eCommerce Business is Making
by Ana Gotter • September 6, 2022
Marketing is technical, complex, and always evolving with new platform updates, new tech, and new strategies. It’s difficult to stay on top of everything that you need to know, and as a result, it becomes dangerously easy to start making mistakes.
There are a few eCommerce marketing mistakes that seem small but can ultimately have a massive impact on your brand (and your revenue).
We want to help you avoid those common pitfalls, so in this post, we’re going to take a look at the five most common marketing mistakes eCommerce businesses make.
1. Not Having A Proper Marketing Budget
This is mistake number one that seems small but can be disastrous: Not having a proper marketing budget and/or not having your marketing budget allocated properly.
It’s crucial to know upfront exactly what your marketing team can spend. And not just on paid campaigns, but on third-party freelancers or consultants, the tools needed to get their work done (think social media publishing software or graphic design tools), and even on paid sponsorships or promotions.
You want to determine how much you can afford to spend, and then divide the money up accordingly. Look at high-priority and high-effectiveness marketing platforms and must-have investments. This is where you’ll want to start.
If you’re having trouble determining how much you should spend on your marketing campaigns, we’ve got a free marketing budget calculator on our site to help.
2. Choosing the Lowest Cost Agencies
Advertising is expensive. There’s no getting around it; when you’re on a shoestring budget, and you want to scale quickly, there’s a financial investment involved.
As a result, some brands try to find the lowest cost agencies possible when they reach the point of needing to outsource. The problem with this, naturally, is that you’re looking at a very fast race to the bottom.
Many agencies that have low costs do so for a reason. They might either lack experience, or they might offer lower quality of work. Some have poor customer service or even shady business practices with an intentional lack of marketing reporting.
Here at Disruptive Advertising, for example, our account managers dive deep into your brand to understand what makes it (and your customers tick). We look at your marketing campaigns, and you’re only working with account experts, who help with strategy, execution, and testing.
Some agencies, unfortunately, adopt a “let’s throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” approach, lacking proper strategy.
While we understand that cost will always be a limiting factor, make sure that you’re working with an agency that will actually provide a solid return on investment. If not, it doesn’t matter if you’re paying less; you’re still likely to end up tossing money out the window.
Think you may need to find a different agency? Check out seven signs it’s time to make a switch.
3. Assuming They Can’t Afford PPC Advertising
You don’t need to drop 20k a month on a Google Search Ads campaign to get results.
Don’t get us wrong, 20k is great, but it’s not necessary.
Some brands may only best $100 a month. Others may invest $10,000. Both can get results, the scale will just be different.
Most pay-per-click platforms charge when users take a specific action, and you typically have a solid idea of what the approximate cost may be going in.
On Google Search Ads, you can actually see the standard bid range for different keywords, so you can determine if they’ll be profitable for you. Most PPC platforms also let you set bid caps.
If you know that you can spend $3 on a click as long as 3% of those clicks convert into paying customers, for example, you can make sure that your bids stick to a $3 limit for each click.
Don’t count yourself out of platforms that can help you scale. Take a look at different PPC ad systems, look at average costs, and see what you can afford to invest. Keep in mind that you’ll need a few weeks for Google to learn how to get you optimal results, but after a month you should have an idea of a platform’s potential for your existing campaigns.
4. Trying to Appeal to Everyone
Once again— an incredibly easy eCommerce marketing mistake to make, but one that can be fairly devastating.
It’s easy to be tempted to want to appeal to as many customers as physically possible, hoping that each one has the potential to become a customer.
Here’s where that typically fails: When you’re trying to appeal to everyone, you can easily end up censoring parts of your brand that would have helped you make yourself more distinct. Those parts you sliced away could have been what made you unique, and what caused your target audience to love you.
Let’s say that you’re selling hiking boots. You try to create marketing campaigns that will be general enough to appeal to everyone who hikes, including the following audience niches:
- People who want a cute pair of “hiking”/walking boots that they can go on a flat, one-mile loop in
- Casual hikers who like to check out a national park a few times a year
- Park rangers who work outdoors daily
- Intense mountaineers who are training to climb Everest
These are entirely different customers looking for different products. And if you try to appeal to them all, you won’t get any of them, because they’re each looking for a brand that meets their specific needs. The Everest hiker will laugh if they come to your site and see mentions of the visual aesthetics of the boots instead of high-performance stats and features.
These are two very different approaches to branding, even though both sell hiking boots:
This goes not only for general marketing campaigns but branding, too. Don’t be afraid to embrace an edgy, funny, quirky, girly, dark, or even sarcastic brand voice. Know your audience, and know who you want to be as a brand— ultimately that will be your secret to success because it will help you stand out.
5. Failing to Split Test Key Landing Pages
Most businesses know they need to split-test their marketing campaigns. They’ll thoroughly test ads, emails, and even social media posts that drive users to their landing pages… but then, for some reason, they forget to test the landing pages themselves.
Sometimes the problem with low conversion rates has nothing to do with the campaigns. If you’re getting a lot of clicks but few conversions, you’re either reaching the wrong audience or the landing page is the culprit.
There are tools available that allow you to split test landing pages, sending equal amounts of traffic between different variations to see what helps you drive the most leads, clicks, and sales. This is a crucial part of optimizing your funnel, and we can’t stress it enough.
If you need help with landing page creation, testing, or optimization, check out our landing page creative services.
Marketing can be tricky, but it’s much easier to drive significant results from your campaigns (and positive ROI!) when you’ve got the right foundation to start with.
Avoiding these top five incredibly common eCommerce marketing mistakes is a good place to start. It will ensure that they’re not derailing otherwise successful campaigns, helping you to maximize your ROAS and your revenue.
Need help with any part of your marketing or advertising campaigns? We can help. Sign up for your free audit here.