Digital Marketing Myths Busted (And What To Do Instead)

The industry is full of marketing “best practices” that guarantee all sorts of riches and glory. And, as you may have learned, most are bogus. In this article, I’m going to debunk a few marketing myths that are holding your business back. Not only that, but I will give a few truths that actually do work.

Let’s get started.

Myth #1: Marketing = Advertising
There’s an unfortunate conflation between marketing and advertising. Specifically, that marketing is something that should have an immediate return on investment (ROI). Of course marketing should ROI over time. But, there is at least as much, if not more value to be gained by your business in general.

In fact, an immediate sales bump might not be a realistic expectation at all. The reason, to put it simply, is this: Advertising buys attention, marketing earns it.

We are in the media age, and every business is a media company. Something like a video podcast is an excellent way to build trust and like-ability. You have an open forum to show your knowledge, skills, and personality (and/or that of your team).

This is nearly impossible with advertising alone.

Let me be clear—marketing can and should make money. But the cumulative benefit of 100+ podcast episodes or YouTube videos can compound for years to come. Each of these is a tiny beacon to those interested in the problem you solve (and how you solve it). This increases the inherent value of the business. Not to mention that, over the course of one to two years, it creates sales opportunities at a lower cost (of both time and money).

Myth #2: Marketing is Expensive
I’ll forgive you for thinking this. Sure, the amount of money you will pay for great marketing will cost you quite a pretty penny. In some cases, more than a pretty Lamborghini. You’ll have to pay for things like:

  • Web design;
  • Social media management;
  • Video production;
  • Email marketing; and,
  • A few more specialties.

These can and will easily cost in the neighborhood of $5K-$20K per month. But the true cost to your business may be zero. If you do it the right way. In fact, if done right, it has an infinite return on investment.

Consider this hypothetical case study
Let’s assume your marketing budget is $100K on an annualized basis. (Super conservative, by the way.) And you are doing all the things listed above. For that investment, after a year, you’ve got:

  • 50-100 podcast episodes
  • 100+ marketing emails
  • 200+ youtube videos
  • 250+ social media posts

Let’s also assume a modest result from that output. It should have resulted in 100k-1M+ new online eyeballs on your brand. Keep in mind, I’m only focusing on your brand’s exposure.

Let’s talk about the value of that exposure.

To invest $100K into marketing, I’ll assume you are doing at least $1M in top line revenue. With a modest profit margin of 25 percent, you’re netting $250K in profit. On a 3X multiple, your business is worth approximately $750K on the open market. Brand value accounts for about 20 percent of company valuation.

Let’s say you take your brand from practically non-existent to having the results I described above. In that instance, you easily increase your valuation from $750K to at least $900K, or a 20 percent improvement. That’s a 50 percent return on your marketing spend!

Myth #3: Leads Cures All
It’s all about leads, leads, leads. I understand the math problem so many advisors learn. More conversations = more sales. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. In fact, it can break your business. In truth, you need the right leads. Here’s how you determine what that is.

First of all, how would you define a lead?

  • What are their pain points?
  • What is driving their urgency to make a change?
  • What do they know about you?

Next, what’s your system for qualifying and working those leads?

  • How do they come into your ecosystem?
  • What communications do they receive after doing so?
  • What info do you need before talking to them?
  • How do you structure your first meeting?
  • What happens after that?

Marketing Truth: Systems Beat Tactics
A great marketing system consists of tactics, sure. But to have a truly effective marketing system, you need to know a few things:

  • Who your customer is and where they are.
  • What problems they have and what it means to them.
  • How to get their attention and drive them to take action to solve it.

Not only this, but the system should be able to create the necessary assets on a consistent basis and the ability to measure the results and make improvements over time. This is what I mean by great marketing vs everything else.

Systemize, then scale
If you’re getting started with marketing, be it video, social, or written, you’re probably not very good yet. Even established brands have a hard time distilling valuable insights they can share.

It’s easy to get stuck just listing all the features of your product or service.

More often than not, you might just be over-thinking things. A wise course of action is to create a content marketing system that gets the right attention. And those people raise their hand to learn more about how you can solve their problems. Then, those people have a clear path to taking advantage of what you offer. Next, there should be a predictable follow up process that qualifies and nurtures.

Then, and only then, should you scale your efforts.

In conclusion, these myths are floating around the internet like wildfire. There is also a bit of “conventional wisdom” that is just plain outdated. Following these proven principles will help you make a real impact with your marketing and grow your practice in the process.

Don’t waste your time with ineffective marketing tactics.

The Well Read Marketer, LLC

Reade Milner is founder and chief marketing strategist for Rogue Pine Creative, a digital marketing agency based in metro Atlanta, Georgia.

During the course of his 10+ years in digital marketing, he has generated millions of views, leading to thousands of leads, leading to hundreds of clients, leading to millions in revenue.
To learn more about Milner and his agency, visit where you can sign up his weekly newsletter.

Milner can be reached at Rogue Pine Creative, 75 N Broad St., Winder, GA 30680. Telephone: (678) 863-0982. Email: