10 Reasons Why Even the Best Digital Marketing Strategies Fail

Posted by Rowland Marsh on 20/05/16 11:14
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Marketers talk a great deal about integration, collaboration and having the right tools in place to implement successful marketing campaigns. Everything and everyone must work together to maximise a marketing strategy’s impact. If one cog is not working, the marketing machine will not function properly.

Wempicked 10 reasons why even the best digital marketing strategies fail below:

1) Lack of board buy-in

For your digital strategy to land properly, it is imperative to get support from the top of your organisation, not just your marketing team. The only way to do this is to show your board what that potential is, in terms of improved customer experience and return on investment. This relationship is, unsurprisingly, the most important.

2) Under-budgeted

You don’t necessarily need a huge budget to create a successful marketing strategy, but your budget should match your company ambition and potential. ROI calculators and solid insights from focus groups and customer behaviour will help you to illustrate this to the key decision makers.

3) Wrong technologies and tooling

No matter how creative your ideas are or how good your content is, your strategy will be flawed if you are not using up-to-date software and appropriate marketing tools.

4) No project guardians below director level

Make sure you have the right structure in place for driving your strategies forward. Often the more senior figures within your business won’t have time to monitor the progress of your campaign at every stage. However, it is critical that everyone in your business can see your vision and performance, and it needs to be accessible at all times.

5) Unrealistic objectives and goals

Be aware of your limitations (budget and resources), and the needs of your audience. If you measure your marketing maturity as 1 out of 5, then don't aim for 5 within a few months. Heck, you may not even need to get to level 5 in order to drive optimum performance. Start with an audit and make sure that your expectations are realistic so that your objectives and goals are achievable.

6) Poor strategic leadership

Most people in the marketing world will come across strategy being let down by poor leadership. It affects productivity and motivation, as good strategies fail to achieve the reach and impact they deserve. Most commonly, companies who do not have clear marketing roadmaps, integration into other channels and a customer-first culture are all signs of poor strategic leadership.

7) Technology selected before the strategy is defined

Don’t run before you can walk. Great campaigns begin with a well mapped-out strategic plan. By fully formulating your strategy beforehand you should be well-placed to select the most suitable technology and digital channels to use. The biggest mistake that marketers make is tooling before considering their strategy. Get your strategy down first, then choose the tools to deliver that vision.

8) One single channel is the single driver

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – to use another cliché! There are endless innovative channels for marketers to reach audiences in an ever-evolving digital landscape. If your budget is spread too widely, it can dilute impact, but using a single channel for driving a strategy significantly limits your potential. Plan your strategy across all customer touch-points, throughout the customer lifecycle.

9) Objectives are business-based instead of customer-based

At Enchant Agency, we bang the drum of the importance of putting the customer at the heart of every digital marketing strategy. Once you realise that your customers’ needs should come before your business objectives, you’ll see how this feeds into the success of your strategy. The results speak for themselves.

10) Timings are prohibitive to great work

A rushed marketing strategy is likely to be a failed one. It’s better to delay the roll out your strategy, than to rush your strategy and deliver poor content. If time restrictions limit the capabilities of those creating and driving your brand’s content, you should rethink either your deadlines and/or your resources. This also links into board-level buy in - if you are trying to do something incredible, it may take time. Make sure that all stakeholders back that.


So that was Enchant's 10 reasons why even the best digital marketing strategies fail. Many marketers are not aware of these pitfalls and wonder why their strategies underachieve. Put the fundamental building blocks in place to avoid the common (but fatal) mistakes in digital marketing strategies.

Topics: digital, Digital channels, digital marketing, Digital strategies, Digital Strategy, Marketing strategies, Marketing strategy, mistakes

Rowland Marsh

Written by Rowland Marsh

Rowland is the Marketing Manager at Enchant Agency. He is a writer, content marketer and former film reviewer. Rowland studied Literature and Philosophy at UEA and has a background in promotions, marcomms and print media.

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