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  • AZK Media

The A to Z of Bad Marketing Habits Quick Guide

The rise of data-driven digital marketing and greater consumer scrutiny has placed increased pressure on brands to be more transparent and diligent when it comes to marketing.

Marketing is now far more easily measured and quantifiable, and the smoke and mirrors of old just don’t work. Here’s an A to Z of bad marketing habits to avoid, and why to avoid them.

Audience Assumptions

Avoid assuming you know what an audience needs, or what their pain points are. If you want to know what your customers want and think, it’s simple: ask them. You don’t know better.


Be wary of asking or pressuring the media to include backlinks in their organic stories. The media is not an extension of your marketing team. If you want links, create your own media channel.


Communication in marketing is a fine art, but unfortunately marketing automation platforms have made it too easy to bombard people who sign up to any marketing emails with unending, mediocre, salesy drivel. Just because someone signed up to receiving marketing updates form your company, doesn’t you now have full license to ‘over’ communicate. Please be selective with your communications and importantly, make it informative, helpful and valuable, not salsey.


It’s easy to slip into the habit of thinking you know better than the data. How many times do we hear in a boardroom ‘it has always worked in the past!’ Customers have changed, they expect deeper, more personalised experiences and they expect marketers to have evolved as well.

Having said that however, it’s important to be wary never to collect and use data without permission. Consumers are acutely aware of their privacy and it’s a surefire way to kill trust.


Violating any laws or ethics, or telling lies are more than just bad habits, they can decimate businesses overnight. However it’s still shocking how many marketers are still working within unscrupulous parameters.


That annoying process of putting 30 different pop up forms on one website before your audience can access the content. There is no faster way to turn a consumer off. Please stop this.


To gate or not to gate? Be wary of overgating content that should be free to access to build trust. Gating the smallest tidbit of information in an effort to build MQLs will only result in a high bounce rate.


Hand up who likes to be harassed on LinkedIn with sales pitches? Yes, just as we thought... LinkedIn is not a sales platform, it is a career and learning forum. Uninvited sales pitches are a great way to lose friends and not influence people.


Avoid plagiarising ideas, campaigns, social media posts or blogs. Yes this includes ‘repackaging’. Come up with your own ideas.


Don’t make anyone jump through hoops to unsubscribe to your email list. We tested 200 unsubscribe journeys at AZK Media, and 30% still had more than 2 steps in the unsubscribe journey. 2% made it impossible to unsubscribe due to ‘technical glitches’ in the journey.


How are you measuring success, against which metrics and why? There’s a misconception that engagement on your social media channel is less important and ‘worth less’ than a site visit, but in fact, both serve the same function in the awareness metrics of your brand.

Lead Generation

Every marketing activity needs to be linked to a component of your inbound lead generation strategy. Like pieces of a puzzle, or cogs in a machine. Nothing should operate in silos.


Overspending, understanding, misallocating money: bad budget habits can kill marketing's value in the ecosystem. Make your marketing budget work smarter, look at what's more effective to be inhoused and what can be outsourced. Importantly, don't overcomplicate engaging marketing partners (do you really need a different PR agency, Video agency, Content agency and a Brand agency, or can you find one leading marketing agency that can do the lot?)


Having no capability to capture and nurture leads is a recipe for disaster. All the marketing in the world won’t help the client who has no capability to capture and nurture leads, or create a marketing engine that’s aligned to sales goals.

One off fees

Applying hidden ‘one off’ fees when you’ve just said something is free is a surefire way to get your prospect offside, if they can’t trust you at that initial point of contact, how can they trust you when they do decide to invest all the way?


Don’t make promises in your marketing messages you know you can’t keep.

Quick fix

No marketing strategy will give a company overnight success. Marketing is a slow burn and it takes time to see good results, particularly if you are starting from scratch.


Never pay for positive reviews and testimonials. These are not real and can never be counted, and they are massively unethical. Authenticity and genuine positive reviews are gold.

Meanwhile, avoid getting offended and involved in a slanging match if someone gives a bad review. Think of bad reviews as mining for gold - feedback is important for improvement.

Spam Emails

Never send spam emails, or buy email lists only to send irrelevant, salesy and annoying communications.


Complacency kills customer experience. Always re-evaluate systems, stacks, technology and processes to see how you can streamline to scale.


Don’t assume the world revolves around your brand. It doesn’t. Always look outside the four walls of your marketing mix and listen to your customers, learn from industry insights, keep an eye on competitor activity and keep on challenging your organisation to think differently.


Going viral for the wrong reasons is never a good thing, so ensure your marketing amplification strategy stems from authenticity, not contrivance.


Under-spending or under-valuing the power of good marketing copy can be a quick and easy way for your company to fall behind your competitors.

X Marks the Spot

Make your CTA stand out clearly. Often a visual banner can make all the difference to inviting your audience to click through to a desired landing page or downloadable. It’s these little things that over time, can make a big difference to the performance of your website content.


Don’t start yapping away at a generic pitch the moment someone accepts your LinkedIn invitation request. This is no better than cold calling.

Zig Zag

Never zig zag on a shell game, offering one thing, then delivering another.


At AZK Media we have a proven track record of scaling marketing campaigns for B2B organisations in so many exciting ways. Contact us to find out how we can help.


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