15 Mistakes for 15 Years: Reflections from ePresence’s Digital Journey
We’re 15 years in business and 2008 feels just like yesterday! Back then, Ireland’s economy was facing challenging times i.e. the Economic Downturn, Dustin the Turkey was our entry for the Eurovision and here in Cork, ePresence was taking its’ first steps in the digital world.
As we celebrate our 15th anniversary , we’ve been reflecting on our journey and the industry at large. From our vantage point as a leading digital marketing agency in Cork, we’ve seen businesses, including ours, navigate a landscape of continual change. So as we toast to our 15-year milestone, we’re shedding light on 15 common mistakes we’ve seen in businesses during this time. While some are uniquely digital, many mirror broader business missteps.
- Fearing Change
Back in 2008, when Facebook was only a few years old and Twitter was still a very new platform, diving into the unknown waters of digital marketing was intimidating for many. Social media marketing was a hard sell for us and many businesses held back. But time and again over the years, we’ve seen that those businesses who embraced change early, reaped the rewards. At ePresence, we’ve learnt that adapting to change isn’t just recommended; it’s crucial.
- Ignoring the Customer’s Voice
Whether it’s feedback on a product or reviews on a social media page, not listening to your customers is a major misstep. They often have invaluable insights that can truly improve your business. Taking the time to really listen can lead to significant improvements in both product and strategy. This seems like a very obvious one, but a mistake we see very often in business.
- Not Setting Clear Goals
Every campaign or initiative requires clear, measurable objectives. Just “being online” isn’t a goal. Instead, aim for actionable targets, such as increasing sales by 10% by June, boosting email subscribers by 50 in November or enhancing website traffic by a significant percentage etc. At ePresence, we emphasise the importance of actionable goals to drive genuine progress.
- Neglecting Mobile Users
With the majority now accessing the internet via mobile devices, not having a mobile-responsive website or ad campaign is effectively shutting your doors to potential customers. Do you know what percentage of visitors view your site on mobile? Why not take out your phone now and experience your website firsthand. Ask yourself: is this the user experience I want for my potential customers? Ensuring a seamless mobile experience isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity and we really encourage that.
- The “One Size Fits All” Approach
Every business is unique and so should its digital strategy be. What works for one might not work for another. Bespoke strategies always outperform generic ones. It’s tempting to replicate a competitor’s approach or adopt the latest trend, but it’s important to understand your own brand’s essence, audience and values. Tailoring a strategy that fits with your brand’s voice and goals can lead to more meaningful and lasting connections with your audience.
- Avoiding Video Content
With platforms like TikTok and YouTube dominating the scene, avoiding video content means missing out on a vast audience. At ePresence, we’ve witnessed first-hand how video has transformed client engagements, creating more dynamic and lasting impressions. And while video content might seem daunting, especially if you’re new to it, the power it holds in engaging audiences is unmatched. We realise not everyone is an expert videographer or should be. Don’t let that stand in your way, consider outsourcing video marketing or seeking assistance.
- Underestimating the Power of SEO
Thinking that SEO is a one-time task or that it’s “too technical” to bother with can leave you invisible in a world dominated by Google searches. SEO touches everything from your website’s structure to the quality of content you produce. For local businesses especially, like those in Cork, optimising for local searches can be huge, driving foot traffic and building local ties. SEO isn’t just a tactic but a long-term investment in your brand’s digital footprint. It just can’t be ignored.
- Overlooking Employee Well-being
Ensuring the well-being of your team is paramount. While targets and sales are essential, the heart of a company lies in its people. A motivated and well-cared-for employee is often more productive and loyal. Regular check-ins, team-building activities and understanding individual needs can go a long way. Investing in your team’s well-being is, in our opinion, investing in the sustained growth and reputation of your company. Happy employees equal happy customers.
- Misunderstanding Social Media Metrics
Chasing ‘vanity metrics’ like followers or likes, without understanding engagement or conversion rates, can give a skewed view of success. Remember, it’s better to have a smaller, engaged audience than a vast, passive one. Knowing the difference can redefine your social media success.
- Not Investing in Continuous Learning
The digital marketing world isn’t static; it evolves every day, bringing new challenges and opportunities. Staying updated might have been a challenge in the past, but with today’s massive range of online resources, continuous learning has never been more accessible. From bite-sized tutorials on YouTube to comprehensive courses online, there’s no shortage of ways to expand your knowledge. Keeping abreast of the latest trends and techniques is not just a recommendation; it’s a necessity to remain fresh and competitive.
- Overlooking Data-Driven Decisions
In our 15 years of observing digital marketing practices, one common oversight has been the neglect of analytics. The amount of data available today is staggering. However, its real value lies in its interpretation and application. Many businesses either fail to look at their analytics or, if they do, they don’t use the insights to guide their strategy. This can lead to missed opportunities and wasted resources. It’s not just about gathering numbers; it’s about understanding what those numbers are telling you. Analytics will provide the answers.
- Not Having a Crisis Management Plan
Whether it’s a social media blunder or an unhappy customer, having a plan in place helps reduce potential harm. A crisis management plan provides a roadmap, ensuring that your team knows how to respond promptly and professionally. It’s not just about damage control; it’s about preserving trust and demonstrating your brand’s commitment to accountability. In our experience, it’s often not the crisis itself, but how you handle it, that leaves the most lasting impression on your customers.
- Being Impersonal in Communications
With automation tools available, it’s easy to lose the personal touch in communications. But that is exactly what many customers look for. It’s not just about addressing them by their first name; it’s about understanding their individual needs, preferences and history with your business. Tailored recommendations, personalised offers or even a simple thank you note goes a long way.
- Not Celebrating Small Wins
While it’s essential to have a big picture vision, celebrating small milestones, like our 15-year anniversary, keeps the team motivated and acknowledges effort. These celebrations act as reminders of the progress made, reinforcing the belief that every step, no matter how small, contributes to the bigger picture of business success.
- Not Seeking Expertise When Needed
Doing it all in-house might seem like a cost-effective approach initially, but in the long run, it can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. While in-house efforts are commendable, sometimes an expert’s touch can make all the difference. Recognising when to get external help can be the difference between good and exceptional outcomes for your business.
ePresence Digital Marketing Agency Cork, Kerry and Wexford.
In our 15 years at ePresence, we’ve both made and seen these mistakes. But we believe in turning them into learning experiences. Each mistake has a lesson embedded, one that has shaped our journey and made us who we are today: a team dedicated to delivering excellence in a continually changing digital world. Here’s to many more years of learning, growing and helping businesses achieve their goals!
Digital Marketing can be tricky, but you don’t have to do it alone. We’re always here to share insights and lend a helping hand. Want to chat about your experiences or discuss some of these points further? Get in touch with ePresence Digital Marketing.