20 Marketers Share The Number 1 Mistake Newbie Marketers Make and How To Avoid It

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Hori Tran, Secomapp

Ignoring building your own targeted audience community: Most small and medium businesses skip this tactic when promoting their brand. They are focusing on seeding in other groups or competitors’ networks to claim website traffic and sales. 

That’s why revenues are just enough to maintain their company life, and they don’t have a breakthrough income. 

Therefore, when the market or their competitors have trouble, they will all go to hell together. The big problem is that they don’t have a real fan club or loyal customers.

Building a community helps you improve SEO for your website by increasing traffic (that is included in nearly 74% of Marketing plans), having a place to connect to consumers, and growing your sales.

Victor Hs, vctr, freelance SEO in Singapore

I have been working online on/off since I was 15, from buy/selling social media assets to SEO.

The #1 mistake I see newbie marketers make is not knowing what they want from their projects. Often they get lost in the to-do lists, working on big ideas without really seeing what the main objective is.

They get lost in working on logos, themes to use, plugins and not doing what actually matters. Getting clients & putting out offers. Sometimes marketers get lost in the idea of “innovation”, and forget about the end goal of just being able to make money from their ventures.

It’ll be good to have just 1 thing they want to achieve, written down on paper that they can see every day to avoid getting lost in the whole process.

Knowing what you need and what you want to achieve tends to be more sustainable than chasing a vague idea of being in marketing/working on something cool/innovative.

Kalo Yankulov, Encharge

New marketers always believe that they can make every single channel work for them. They think because a channel has worked for someone else, then it will work for them, too. The issue is that marketing professionals recommend channels and tactics based on their reference experience. For instance, if someone was successful with cold outreach, they will convince you that you should do cold emails. If you ask a Facebook ads marketer, they will recommend that you should run PPC, and so on. This one-size-fits approach to marketing is dangerous.

In our early days at Encharge, we hired 3 different cold sales consultants and agencies to help us with cold outreach. We were determined to make outbound sales successful for us. We spent thousands of dollars on outbound sales without a single customer to show for it — zero ROI. At the same time, our organic traffic was steadily growing, and we were converting customers at a decent pace without spending anything on SEO apart from our own time.

Just because something works for someone (even if they are a marketing expert with years of experience) does not mean it will work for you. Shiny object syndrome, FOMO, or whatever you want to call it, is the biggest mistake I see new marketers make.

Do you have something that works for you now, even on a tiny scale? If the answer is yes, focus on it, that’s your marketing channel. Invest all your efforts and marketing budget in it for a year before venturing into a new channel.

Lydia Sims, Pearl Lemon Group

The biggest mistake is trying to go by the books. 

Research and knowledge is important, but for marketing and marketing activities there is so much more than just procedures and steps. 

Go outside of the box. Also, once you get your marketing degree, don’t stop there. Learning should never end. Take extra courses, read, go on Udemy…never stop learning.

Addison Goff, Hive

In marketing, it’s important to remember the big-picture goals you’re working towards. With so many day-to-day tasks and fires to put out, it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds and focus your time and energy on things that won’t contribute to your larger goals. 

So whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you have too much on your plate, take a minute to step back and look at which tasks will actually move the needle. That’s where you should be spending your time.

Nikola Roza, Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined

My answer is going a bit against the grain, but the number one mistake newbie marketers make is exclusively going after long tail keywords.

This is a mistake and a trap because long tail keywords usually yield very little traffic even when you rank number #1 for them. At the same time it is hard to rank for even those keywords and it takes a lot of time.

Finally, in Google algorithm today authority and content comprehensiveness are valued the most, so authority sites that target body terms (so not head terms and not long tails) end up ranking for hundreds of long tail keywords while those sites that target specific long tails are nowhere to be found.

They have no authority and they only partially cover the topic while Google is looking for comprehensiveness.

The solution is to target body keywords immediately and understand that ranking in Google is a long term game and that you will need to build authority and at the end of the line, real business in order to compete.

And real businesses don’t go for scraps that are long tail keywords. Instead they go for the full banquet.

Shaurya Jain, Samurai Marketers

The mistake I would refer to is not knowing the importance of ICP- Ideal Customer Profile. In the beginning, I didn’t put much focus on the ICP and that made a huge difference in the results as catering to your ideal customer makes your business more successful in the long run.

Make sure you deep dive into the type of business you have and what the market is moving towards. If you know the type of market and your long-term goals properly you can easily avoid this mistake.

Artash Arakelyan, Incredo

Many newbie marketers when starting a content marketing project they use very little information to come up with content ideas. A professional content marketer should not rely on their instincts about what the audience will love. 

The goal of every marketer in 2022 is to engage himself in research and insights as much as possible. Once research is done via tools and surveys then only marketers have a clear vision about what their audience want from a brand like theirs. Nearly 4 million blogs go live every day, hence doing this tip well can help marketers avoid poor ROI and win the competition.

Seth Winterer, Digital Logic

The number one mistake new marketers often make is launching right into tactics and channels without a having strategy in place. 

Martech and advertising tools have become easier to use over the years, so it’s understandable that some new marketers want to jump right into them and start launching work. It’s tempting because everyone wants to get results quickly. But without a strategy to inform that work, they’re likely going to be spinning their wheels. 

Spending a bit of time developing a marketing plan and strategy helps in a few different ways, one of which is getting buy-in from leadership. By presenting a strategy to your company’s leadership and getting them on board with a holistic plan, you’re helping to future-proof your work. Invevitably, some tactics and channels in your strategy will underperform and your leadership might panic. Having that bigger strategy in place can help prevent any panicked decision-making and allow you to keep moving forward.

Brad Slavin, DMARCReport.com

Most marketers are misconfiguring their DMARC and DKIM setting in their DNS along with improper SPF entries. This results in email deliverability issues as the tools you use to send your emails are not recognized by DNS protocol. Emails land up in spam as a results or have warning issues.

Using a tool like DMARCReport.com (please live link) – marketers can avoid this issue for themselves and their clients by configuring their DNS properly and checking to see if emails are being delivered properly from within the dashboard reports.

Raluca Toma, SocialBee

One of the most common mistakes newbie marketers make – without even realizing it – is actually the fact that they rely too much on social media. But who can blame them? Whenever we talk about digital marketing, the first thing that comes to mind is social media, right?

While social media is a great medium for exposure and highly beneficial for some businesses, great things can happen outside social media too. I’m not saying that a business should not have a social media presence, I am saying that marketers should look beyond social media when it comes to their marketing strategy.

It all starts with understanding your target audience. Does your audience even spend that much time on social media? If the answer is no, then putting all your marketing efforts into social media might not bring that much value.

I encourage every marketer to think very carefully about this before breaking down their resources. Social media should be among other marketing channels, but should not be the only channel in which a marketer invests in.

A great marketing mix starts with knowing and understanding your audience.

Helga Moreno, andcards

The most frequent mistake that newbie marketers make is focusing on themselves instead of their customers. Everything else flows from this. If you focus on providing value to your customers, everything else will take care of itself.

But if you focus on things like generating leads, growing your subscriber list, or making more money, you’ll quickly lose sight of what’s really important and alienate your customers. So always remember: it’s not about you; it’s about them.

There are a few key ways to avoid this mistake:

1) Always focus on solving a problem for your customer.

2) Do your research and understand your target audience.

3) Try to be as helpful as possible and provide valuable content.

4) Listen to feedback from customers and make changes based on their needs.

Erman Ergun, Jotform

Assume that you know nothing and try to make yourself ready to learn new information from anyone you can. Keep your mind open, experience always beats theory, especially when it comes to a sector as ever changing as marketing.


Ammara Tariq, Chanty

Not focusing much on social media presence.
Social media is a great way to interact with your customers and avoiding it would mean avoiding interacting with your customers. 81% of the US population uses social media and that’s a lot of customers. Besides just targeting customers on social media, you can do much more on it, such as, from establishing a genuine brand image, generating in-built demographic reports on social platforms, to doing your inexpensive customer research, building relationships with other partners, keeping an eye on competitor’s social media strategies or even getting one-on-one feedback.

In today’s fast pace and digital world, ignoring your social media presence can do you more harm than good. Even if you are a new business and do not have enough followers yet, do not hesitate to post for the few that you have. This is how you will gain traction slowly and gradually.

Lana Shevchuk, YouTeam

Marketers that only start their careers could be lacking confidence and initiative. They tend to rely on the opinion of more experienced colleagues or best practices. Often they believe that there is a right and wrong way of doing things, and as soon as they find out how to do things ”right”, they will become successful marketers, and until that moment they should be quiet to avoid doing things “wrong”.

But the truth is that there are no silver bullets in marketing. What works with one niche/audience/geo/channel might not work with another. Even more, what worked for your company a year ago might not work today. 

Marketing is not something that you learn once and for your whole life. It changes fast together with our world.

That is why there are no such things as experts who have answers to all possible questions in marketing. The main skills of a good marketer are the ability to analyze the current situation, come up with a hypothesis about how this situation can be improved, and test the hypothesis.

So do not be afraid to share your thoughts and suggestions. There is no such thing as bad ideas. Just ​​throw it against the wall and see what sticks!

Faye Chong, Novocall

Not knowing who you’re writing for. Depending on the stage of the marketing funnel (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU), your content format and the type of audience you’re writing for will differ. For example, BOFU content is meant for people who are facing a problem and need the final push to purchase your solution. Hence, the type of content you should be focusing on are case studies or competitor comparisons.

That said, before churning out content, always properly identify which stage of the funnel your audience is in and write meaningful content that is relevant to them.

Tarun Gehani, Pure Visibility

Many marketers, when first starting out, tend to make a similar mistake: trying to be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades.

While it is important to have general broad knowledge about digital marketing – especially nowadays when there is much overlap between web design, user experience, content, and SEO – it is a mistake to try to learn everything at once when you are beginning your career.

There is a popular concept called the T-shaped marketer, which I first heard about from Rand Fishkin, where you have cursory level knowledge across many overlapping disciplines, and deep, in-depth understanding and experience of one or maybe two fields.

The only way to do this, however, as a young marketer, is to go deep and specialize in one area. As you learn more about your specific area – how users perceive it and are influenced by it, how you need to present findings and direction to colleagues as well as stakeholders and superiors, where to go for expert knowledge – and as you apply your knowledge to expand your skills, only then will you have the experience necessary to apply what you’ve learned to other, related areas and disciplines.

I would recommend this approach to everyone starting out in marketing. You’ll quickly find that not only will you acquire a deep understanding in the area of your choosing, but others around you will start to associate that area with you, and will come to you for questions, advice, recommendations, or perhaps to hire you for your skills!

Semil Shah, Shrushti Digital Marketing

Listening to the industry data and not their existing customers. Listening customers feedbacks and reviews in the marketing roadmap is vital, they are the users of your product / services and they will tell you what they like the most and you can use as a pitch for your product. Also working on the feedback of expectations of customers will help them to drive marketing on a better conversion path.

Nicoleta Niculescu, Custify

We all have started as newbies at some point in our career and we’ve all made mistakes. There are a few common mistakes that newbie marketers make, but I would like to focus on one that is very impactful: Not having a buyer persona. As a famous saying states: “If you try to be all things to all people, you won’t be anything to anybody.”

Most newbie marketers, especially at smaller companies or a startup, tend to ignore the buyer persona. Due to the lack of research, marketers try to market to everybody and end up not reaching anybody. Having a clear understanding of your buyer persona is help provide a clear overview of all messaging and positioning. When there’s no buyer persona, the positioning of the product or the services will lack consistency and potential customers will be overlooked.

First focus on research, then focus on advertising and marketing.

Mykola Haichenko, Visme

In my early days as an email marketer, I was overfocused on keeping my pitch as short as possible. That’s what I learnt from almost every outreach guide that came my way.

Don’t get me wrong – this rule does make sense. Recipients don’t have time to read a long wall of text in each email that lands in their inboxes.

But trying to cut down on every single word, I ended up with a serious understatement.

Let’s take follow-ups.

All I did was remind people about my original pitch that didn’t get them interested enough to click the “Reply” button. With response rates close to zero, I had to give a second thought to my approach.

And then, I realized there was no emphasis on what my prospects would miss if they ignored my pitch.

For example, these days I offer SaaS owners to get their tools featured in my upcoming guest posts. When they don’t reply, I follow up, telling them that their competitors have already agreed and asking if they don’t want to miss out on the exposure on that blog too.

Such a trick helped me increase my response rates by 30%.

Yeah, letting competitors outrun you somewhere isn’t what a typical product owner would want.

The bottom line? Always put emphasis on what your prospects will lose if they decide not to deal with you.