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What's the most persistent marketing myth you had to keep busting over the years?

Beware! You’re about to enter the world of marketing myths. But don’t worry! You don’t have to battle these persistent creatures on your own. Our marketing experts are here to save the day with advice on how to break the spell and take you back into the safe haven of successful campaigns and strategies that help business growth.

If you’re an experienced professional in the industry, you might have had to keep busting some of these myths over the years and explain to clients and decision-makers why they’re not true. Ranging from “a good product will sell itself” to “more traffic equals more sales” to the infamous “SEO is dead”, we’ve collected a variety of these statements and arguments against them, so you can improve your myth-busting skills.

Learn from the expert insights below to easily convince clients or decision-makers in your business that they’ve been listening to tall tales instead of reason.

Robert Weiss

Robert Weiss

That one video is a video marketing strategy.

Making one video is not a video marketing strategy. Although many companies will get started with one corporate overview video aimed to give buyers a high-level overview of the company’s products, services, and accolades that is not a sound business video marketing strategy. 

Marketing with online video content means that you should plan to produce many videos that align with your sales and marketing objectives.

For example:

  • Branding/awareness – short social media videos that drive traffic to a landing page
  • Conversion – explainer videos that quickly explain hard to understand concepts
  • Sales Process – videos that mimic the blocking and tackling of a B2B sales process
  • Thought Leadership – videos that build thought leadership expertise
  • Nurturing – videos that plug into an email nurturing strategy

Website: www.MultiVisionDigital.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/robertweissnyc/

Dennis Yu

That if you build a website or landing page, people will come. The sister lie is that if you start posting on social media, you'll become famous and drive a lot of sales.

The reality is that even if you hired me to personally build your landing pages or create your videos, if you don't drive traffic there, it doesn't matter.

There are over a trillion websites, according to Google. Most of them are auto-generated spam traps. And who knows how many real or fake social profiles there are across all the social networks.

The way to stand out, which is the same as driving traffic and sales, is to build authority. Good old-fashioned PR is how you develop trust and co-created content that will convince people to buy your product or service.

And then you can build your website, use that cool new tool, or run ads.

Since you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shiitake, you need to start with quality ingredients.

Website: www.coachyu.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/dennisyu

Yash Chawlani

Yash Chawlani

A lot of marketers think that just because they're sending emails, they'll get conversions. 

Not true! You can only achieve conversions in email marketing if you give subscribers what they want. There’s no exact formula to figure out what people want. However, it mostly depends on your subscribers and their behavior.

You need to analyze data and look for patterns to determine how to communicate with them through email. If you can do this, then you will be able to deliver what they expect from you, which in turn, can increase your ROI.

Website: www.merlinmarketing.co/

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/yashchawlani/

Ben Guez

Ben Guez

You need to post every day on social media. 

A lot of marketing gurus or experts are saying being consistent is the key. For example, especially on TikTok, you need to post 2-3 times a day. And I agree that the more you post the more chance you will get to have a video that goes viral. 

But your content should never be about quantity and quality. Most of it it should be about you having fun with it! If it becomes a pain, your audience will feel it and won't engage.

Website: www.joinchloe.com

Social Media: www.instagram.com/bengue.z/

Pam Didner

Pam Didner

Digital marketing is all about websites and social media. As long as we have a website and we are on social media, we are doing digital marketing.

Website: www.pamdidner.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/pamdidner/

Ahava Leibtag

Ahava Leibtag

That businesses should write using jargon so customers think they are "smart". 

All people are pressed for time, and you should communicate your points quickly and simply. When a customer wants a deeper dive that may be a good time to start using jargon; but most of the time your goal should be to impress upon your future customers that it's easy to do business with you.

Website: www.ahamediagroup.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/ahavaleibtag/

Brian Sooy

Brian Sooy

Marketing is more important than branding.

"Everybody brands," and Seth Godin says, "Everybody is a marketer." Can both be true at the same time?

It's ridiculous to argue about whether branding or marketing is more important. It's essential to understand the difference between branding and marketing. You know how branding and marketing interact to attract, inspire, and create customers who build the brand that sustains the business.

A brand is defined by and owned by the consumer. Branding is what businesses and brand owners do to influence the consumer. Marketing invites people to solve a problem, experience your product or service, and build trust in the brand.

Marketing helps you attract the curious; branding enables you to keep them engaged. Marketing is the push of value to customers; branding is the pull that draws customers to a company, product, or service.

Marketing helps convey the brand's value to the consumer, and the brand retains the value the consumer assigns to it.

Both branding and marketing have equally important business roles and functions. They interact without being exclusive to each other and serve to build value for the company and its customers.

Website: www.aespire.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/briansooy/

Kris Olivo

Kris Olivo

Just because you have a good product doesn't mean it will sell itself. 

Any product requires attention from an audience and without that attention, no sales can happen. We have worked with a lot of franchise models that have proven their business model, but without consistent marketing efforts, the franchises don't do well. The age of "if you build it they will come" is long past us. 

The attention span of our species has dramatically dropped over the last few decades and will continue to drop as more things compete for our attention. We can see this with the kind of content most of us consume and what grows in popularity. Platforms like TikTok capitalize on the fact that most people want short-form content because of a low attention span. 

This means it's not enough to have a good product because of the things that are competing for our attention and us having a short attention span as a whole. We must have great systems to sell and those systems have to work continually. Brands have to go from "what that brand I heard about" to "what’s this brand I keep hearing about."

Website: www.almostmagicalmarketing.com

Social Media: www.instagram.com/conundrumkris

Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

"SEO is dead." Or, "SEO is worthless." 

I’ve interviewed, trained, and qualified tens of thousands of writers in the past decade running a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers. Today, the team in my agency has nearly 100 people on staff with hundreds of clients around the world and a 99% client happiness rate. I exited it in a private sale in 2021. 

In the last decade, I’ve written over 1,000 blogs and taught myself how to create content that has won over 16,000 rankings on Google. Every single thing I’ve done in the last ten years to grow my business and provide services to clients successfully has been based on the fact that SEO works. Not only does SEO work to grow a business (I’m living proof), but SEO traffic on Google alone is 90%+ of the world’s traffic and this has only grown in the last several years. 

In 2019, searches were 3.9 billion/day. In 2020, they escalated during the lockdown (March 2020) to over 7 billion, and as of 2022, this number is only increasing. So, let’s bust the myth once and for all. SEO is not dead, nor is it a waste of time. It’s quite possibly the best marketing avenue you could ever do. SEO content that builds trust, specifically.

Website: www.contenthacker.com/

Social Media: www.twitter.com/JuliaEMcCoy

Mark Kaigwa

Mark Kaigwa

That, on social media, engagement is the answer. 

While it may have its place, it doesn't come close to the same impact as reach. For growth and penetration, one has to focus on reach. In some cases, that brings engagement from the sheer numbers exposed to the content (depending on how well put together it is).

Website: www.nendo.co.ke

Social Media: www.twitter.com/MKaigwa

Dylan Kohlstadt

Dylan Kohlstadt

Email marketing is just spam. 

Email marketing is the golden thread that pulls all of your integrated digital marketing efforts together and it's the cheapest and most cost-effective way to drive sales and conversions. In short, it's essential! 

Writing an article? Email it out. Running an event or webinar? Email it out. 

Did someone download your white paper? Send them a stream of relevant emails. 

Email, like ALL marketing and content, has to add value to the lives of the readers. Sweat the subject line (work hard at making it clear and enticing), and then give your email a single-minded focus. Do not neglect your email marketing.

Website: www.shiftone.co.za

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/dylankohlstadt/

Jason Hennessey

Jason Hennessey

For over 10 years, the most persistent marketing myth I've had to keep busting is that "SEO is Dead". 

SEO is not dead. In fact, it's just the opposite, SEO is still one of the most powerful marketing channels for driving targeted traffic, leads, and revenue to people and businesses all over the world. SEO will exist for as long as search engines do.

Website: www.hennessey.com/

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/jhennessey/

Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina

"The Duplicate Content Penalty" is an SEO myth. 

It's not a thing. It isn't true that Google will somehow penalize a site that has more than one page with the same content, or penalize a page if the content also appears on another website.

If this were true, it would be possible for me to hurt your rankings by copying the text from one of your pages into some other site. It doesn't work that way.

Website: www.orbitmedia.com/blog/types-of-website-visitors/

Social Media: www.instagram.com/crestodina

Liraz Postan

Liraz Postan


Guess what? SEO isn't dead, you guys! It's alive and kicking and getting more sophisticated every year. SEO is becoming more and more technical marketing expertise. The more you understand how your target audience gets your services/solutions, the more you can crack your content strategy and have backed data to support it via proper keyword research.

SEO is here to stay for many years to come.

Website: www.lirazpostan.com

Social Media: www.twitter.com/Rliraz

Ovi Negrean

Ovi Negrean

All too often, we come across promises from marketing "specialists" saying that they have a secret growth hack, a silver bullet, that will help you expand your business by skipping the hard part—constant work.

Well, in the marketing world, this is the equivalent of weight-loss teas, sweet promises appealing enough to make you lose sight of logic and give them a shot.

While there is no harm in trying new things and experimenting with fresh ideas, replacing a consistent work strategy with a quick hack will actually end up hurting your growth in the long run.

The phrase "work smarter, not harder" has been interpreted wrong by many in the industry. The two concepts don't exclude each other—they work better together.

It's less about finding shortcuts and more about having a smart marketing strategy that will make the thousands of hours of work worth it in the end.

Website: www.socialbee.io/

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/ovidiunegrean

Rachita Sharma

Rachita Sharma

A lot of people downplay the importance of their digital reputation. A common line of thinking they usually have is ‘my online presence doesn’t matter much’’ since they don’t operate or sell through a website, or because most of their clients come through referrals.

But the truth is, the internet is a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, and the chances of it ever going away are slim to none. So it isn’t just a matter of how things are working for you in the present, but how you want to advance your business long-term.

People make decisions based on what they see online. Case in point, if someone wants to make a purchase or close a deal with you, they are most likely to check you out online. Finding several positive reviews or strong digital assets is reassuring that they can trust you and embark on a journey together. Whereas if they find scathing or negative results and defamatory reviews, they will be turned off. This may result in losing potential customers and revenue along the way.

A positive digital reputation isn’t just important; the future success of your business relies on it.

So what do we advise? Be proactive with your digital reputation. Don’t wait for controversy or a bad review to go viral before taking the necessary steps to protect and nurture your image. If people want to know more about your business then make their lives easier by updating your profile and information, so they know about what you have to offer. Constantly engage with your customers to keep them in the loop and promote brand loyalty.

Managing your digital presence is an investment for your business, one that shapes the credibility of your business and builds trust with your clients.

Website: https://www.blueoceanglobaltech.com/

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/rachitasharma22/

Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Hand's down the myth that I've had to continually address is that social media marketing is something an intern can handle. 

Yes, you can have a talented intern come along and do wonderful things, but today, social media is part customer service, part sales, part branding, and the lion's share of your marketing. Would you leave any of those up to an intern? If you would, your business is far less likely to be successful than if you put experienced professionals on those tasks. 

Yet still today, in 2022, we have companies that think social media marketing is replying to tweets. Or just posting an image or two a week on Instagram. It's sad.

Website: www.teamcornett.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/jasonfalls

Grant Welby Higginson

Grant Welby Higginson

There are a lot of marketing myths that circulate, and it can be tough to keep busting them. One of the most persistent ones is that marketing is all about getting new customers.

While acquiring new customers is certainly important, it's not the only thing that marketing is about. In fact, marketing is just as much about keeping your existing customers happy and coming back for more.

It's important to remember that your existing customers are your most valuable asset. They're the ones who have already bought into your brand and are more likely to make repeat purchases. 

So don't neglect them in favour of chasing after new business. Focus on providing them with an excellent experience every time they interact with your brand, and you'll keep them coming back for more.

Website: www.welbyconsulting.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/granthigginson/

Dan Scalco

Dan Scalco

The most persistent marketing myth I have to bust year over year is the fact that running any one marketing strategy is not always a "magic wand" that instantly makes more revenue appear out of thin air.

The way that I explain this to clients is to take a more holistic approach when looking at their marketing.

Every channel—from blogging to email marketing—should be working to complement each other. In doing so, you’re creating an engine that is running to consistently supply the business with new customers.

The reason why it’s so important to view marketing in this way is that it allows you to understand what to do when something isn’t working. For example, if consistently blogging isn’t leading to direct sales, switching focus to using the blog content as a means to build your email list could prove to be a stronger way to improve revenue.

You can only come to these types of conclusions by understanding marketing strategies shouldn’t be siloed off but rather work in tandem to complement one another.

Website: www.foodboxhq.com/

Social Media: www.youtube.com/foodboxhq

Peter Shankman

Peter Shankman

Any press is good press. 

This obviously isn't the case. Good press is good press. Bad press can kill you.

Website: www.shankman.com

Social Media: www.instagram.com/petershankman

Tracey Lee Davis

Tracey Lee Davis

So many small business owners think they need to be on every social media platform known to humankind for their business. 

This is simply not the case!

There are a few things to consider when thinking about creating a social media account for your business on ANY platform:

  1. Does your target audience spend time there? 

While there are always outliers, different social platforms generally cater to different age groups. If your target audience is Baby Boomers, you probably won't find a bunch of relevant followers on TikTok. Conversely, if you want to attract Gen Z, you might not be as successful using Facebook. Go where your audience is!

  1. Do YOU enjoy spending time there? 

For example, if the idea of getting onto Instagram hurts your soul, you will dread getting on the platform and probably won't use it effectively.

Another significant consideration with multiple social media accounts for your business is the time necessary to use the platforms effectively. It makes much more sense to pick one platform and learn how to use it well (and have TIME to use it) rather than be on all the platforms and be stretched too thin. 

Once you have firmly grasped one social network and have found success, if it makes sense, you can join another social media channel for your business!

Website: www.zingpopsocial.com

Social Media: www.facebook.com/zingpopsocial

Adrian Gershom

Adrian Gershom

The most persistent marketing myth that I have to keep busting over the years is that marketing must have a clear and direct connection to ROI in order to be considered a success.

While I think that it might be valid to tie the measure of a company’s sales performance with ROI, my view of marketing’s most important role in today’s world is that it creates strong relationships between brand and customers and that it elevates employee engagement.

While both of these conditions result in increased ROI when done right, neither strength of brand nor employee engagement show up in accounting reports in a clear cause and effect relationship. Instead, they are realized as part of a “long game” where consistent, high-quality marketing execution creates customers and employees that love their chosen brands and propel them towards financial success.

Website: www.cchangeinc.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/adriangershom/

David Lanfair

David Lanfair

“Who ya gonna call — MYTH BUSTERS!” (Sorry, Ghostbusters.) Yes, the nagging marketing phantom I’ve had to battle often is best illustrated with a question I’ve seen spurt out of the mouths of many:

“We like it, but . . . can we make it more POSITIVE?”

Positive. The positive-is-better marketing myth is one predicated on the idea that the tone of anything (ad, spot, tagline, campaign) has to be what 1980s alt-rockers R.E.M. described as “shiny happy people holding hands” — that any marketing message or story has to somehow evoke the touchy-feely vibe of Pharrell Williams singing, “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.”

But the truth is that when people insist that something has to be positive, their assumption misses out on an even stronger motivator of human behavior: Call it “threat.” Call it “the avoidance of pain.” Call it “away motivation.” In a word, this is what we’re talking about: “negativity”. . . or embracing the negative.

Psychologists and evolutionary biologists point out that we’re wired to constantly scan our environments for threats or negative things. Our brains are like Laurence Olivier in the movie Marathon Man — asking: “IS. IT. SAFE?” 

Why? Theoretically, it’s because if we had ignored a threat or signs of a threat in our ancient ecosystems — we’d have been toast . . . or at least something else’s brunch. So, our neurology evolved to pay more attention to threats than to opportunities as a survival mechanism.

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky proved this point out in their seminal work on “prospect theory,” which helped Kahneman win the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics. Essentially, they showed that we (curious jaywalking-talking animals) are twice as motivated to avoid a loss as we are to pursue a gain.

And another thingy — this pressing need to play nice, to make it all positive, frequently manifests in a frightening outcome: the removal of conflict from everything, specifically from a concept or story. Removing the conflict in the service of making something positive is usually a fast track to creating insipid work because conflict is at the heart of a good story, great humor, and gorgeous art. 

Kurt Vonnegut used to lament how his students lacked this understanding. In a 1977 interview in the Paris Review, he told us why:

“Students like to say that they stage no confrontations because people avoid confrontations in modern life. ‘Modern life is so lonely,’ they say. This is laziness. It’s the writer’s job to stage confrontations so the characters will say surprising and revealing things.”

Alas, I’ve fought this marketing hydra with a thousand positive smiley-faces many times — and so will you. Beware of the beast’s rainbow-venom when it threatens your creative life, and it hisses: “Do we have to be so mean-spirited? Can’t we be more positive?”

Stand your ground, Creative Warrior. Dare to be negative!

Website: www.ape2android.com 

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/david-lanfair-creative-ninja/

Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely

Focus groups. 

That what professionals, who are very familiar with a particular challenge, really need are the opinions of 10 individuals, who know very little about the problem at hand. That focus groups that got together for the first time for just a few hours and that somehow their social interactions are going to reveal some truths and hidden insights about the topic at hand.

Website: www.danariely.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/danariely/

Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey

The most persistent marketing myth I bust is measuring “engagement”.

No engagement is the same or has the same value, so lumping everything together into one aggregate metric removes the value and impact, and creates a new concept that no one understands or can properly define. Yet it is on every report and shared throughout an organization.

When companies use terms and language without shared definitions or understanding, poor decisions are made. Most of my training courses in analytics end up challenging organizations to have clear, meaningful vocabularies for their marketing, as I demonstrate that no one has the same understanding or definition of common measurements.

Website: www.sitelogic.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/mattbaileysitelogic/

Maggie Spicer

Maggie Spicer

That you have to follow a formula, the "rules", do something a certain way.

The best things, moments, experiences, or outcomes are often from precisely not following established norms. For being original. Speak with your customers, not to them. Listen to them. Don't be afraid to try something bold and something authentic.

Website: www.whisksf.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/maggiespicer/

Ronak Meghani

Ronak Meghani

The most persistent marketing myth I had to keep busting over the years is that content marketing is not essential for the success of a business.

Your work is done once your business website is up and running - this is skewed binary!

If you have a set of online customers, you will have to keep posting relevant, up-to-date content that engages your target audience. You may spend a hefty amount on ad and SEO services, but unless the content you are posting is rich and engaging enough, all your marketing efforts will be null and void.

Posting regular relevant blogs, pictures, and videos improves your search engine rankings, make you more visible, attracts your target customers, and communicates to them that “You Care”.

Your loyal customers will look for your content on the internet. And if they find out your last blog or post was quite a while ago, they will perceive that as a betrayal of their trust.

Consumer trust is built through content marketing and it makes you visible, memorable, and profitable!

Website: www.magnetoitsolutions.com/headless-magento-development-agency

Social Media: www.in.linkedin.com/company/magneto-it-solutions

Michelle Bruno

Michelle Bruno

Companies believe their customers see their company or product the same way they see them. 

Most of the time, those perspectives are vastly different, and the resulting misalignment leads to ineffective marketing and messaging campaigns. The remedy is a deep dive into client pain points, buying journey, and needs, primarily achieved by speaking at length with the most enthusiastic customers and making adjustments accordingly.

Website: www.dahliaplus.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/michellejbruno/

Erin Mills

Erin Mills

Events are a bad investment. 

Event ROI is often miscalculated because organizations view events as a "moment in time." Events, regardless of their length or frequency, are actually a long-term strategy that in addition to providing employee, customer, and prospect engagement through pre, during and post-event content also require organizations to align, develop and plan ideas. 

Events are an internal forcing function for accountability and progress - frankly analogous to a product launch or close of a quarter. That is just how essential events are.

Website: www.strat-house.com

Social Media: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erinmillsevents/

Jessica Ulloa

A popular marketing myth is that more traffic means more sales. 

While this myth has some common logic to it: more visitors on your site equals more conversions or sales, the concept isn't that straightforward.

Good marketing isn't only about attracting more traffic to your site but attracting the right kind of traffic. That's why it's important to set proper KPIs that measure various metrics aside from site traffic. Setting up proper KPIs and focusing on bringing the right people to your site will get you better and long-lasting results.

Website: www.myperfectresume.com/

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-ulloa/

John Rampton

The biggest marketing myth I've had to keep busting over the years has to be the myth that trends are more successful. 

While many businesses cater their marketing strategy to meet the current landscape, they also need to realize the importance of tracking analytics and updating their marketing strategy to what the target audience actually needs. It's often more meaningful to potential consumers to have marketing that's targeted to their actual needs based on metrics, not assumptions.

Website: www.calendar.com/

Social Media: www.twitter.com/johnrampton

Kadi Arula

I've worked in firms across different industries, primarily in Retail & E-Commerce and SaaS companies. A common theme, especially in medium-sized businesses, is that there seems to be a lack of understanding of the importance of allocating resources and budget for any marketing activities. 

The thinking, "let's make money first, then we can spend on marketing." 

In an ideal world, this would be amazing. Still, especially now, with such high competition online, it's getting harder and harder to gain any visibility without spending some budget on marketing efforts.

Website: www.dexterlab.com

Social Media: www.linkedin.com/in/kadi-arula/

Canaan Albright

The most persistent myth that I seem to keep busting is that photos sell products in eCommerce. 

The reality is that well-written content and unbelievable customer experience have a lot more to do with converting sales than photos. Don't get me wrong, photos are super important, but good photography with poor supporting content will be unsuccessful.

Website: www.studio36west.com

Social Media: www.facebook.com/Studio36West

Leonard Kim

You can’t post about the negative things that happen in your life on social media or you will destroy your personal brand. 

I’ve posted so many negative things that have happened in my life and I still have meetings with publicly traded companies that make billions of dollars, and in most instances, they reach out to me.

Website: www.Leonardkim.com

Social Media: www.twitter.com/mrleonardkim

You should really take care about all the precious marketing tips that they are giving for free! Those people have a success as a blogger but they have also a success as a content creator, all of the advertising techniques that they are using is really important and can be learned with people like them or after a lot of try or experienced.

They can help you to understand how to grow audience through social media by a develop social media strategy.

There are a lot of opinions about marketing and the strategies implemented in various industries out there. Many write about them and over the years in the vastness of the internet, some of these opinions grew into myths that can become a nuisance to marketers as they have to keep busting them again and again.

The main skill you’ll need to keep busting these persistent marketing myths is patience. When statements like “social media can be managed by an intern”, “we just need an online presence and people will come”, or “email marketing is spam” keep cropping up for you, use the power of your expertise to explain why this is not how marketing works.

And when you get discouraged from time to time, take a look back at the insights from our experts above and know that you’re not alone in this battle.