15 things Marketers must stop doing now!

Here is a list containing 15 things marketers must stop doing now largely based on recent conversations I’ve had with marketers, things I’ve observed and also from my own previous experience working client side for a large product manufacturer.


1. Stop wasting money on big, heavy, glossy product brochures

Start putting things online. Drive people to the website where the information is most up to date and can be viewed on mobile or tablet. Save money on print costs and valuable space in the back of sales reps car boot. That space could be filled with golf balls.

2. Stop doing the same things you did in 2007

Start experimenting. Try something new for a change. Challenge the status quo for once. Push the boundaries and start learning something new. Stop something and see what the impact it has on the business (hold-out test) then you’ll realise how valuable that tactic is.

3. Stop paying more attention to print than digital

Print is ok, but digital is even better. You can react quickly and afford to be flexible. You can measure it too! Digital is faster. You read print magazines to learn about what happened last month, you read websites to learn about what happened today. Print adverts can’t talk, but tweets can. Not saying print is not effective but make print work harder when used with digital.

4. Stop living in your own product bubble

We make windows. Did I tell you we make sustainable windows? Hey, we are a window company? According to our last press release, our last project had just windows, no bricks or tiles or slabs or lights or cabling, just windows. Tell Architects and Specifiers, designers, engineers what your product is of course but also step outside your product boundary once in a while. Educate what works best with or compliments your products. Architects, Designers and Engineers are solving multiple problems on one project. Help them out a little.

5. Stop trying to constantly out-do your competition

Out teach them. As the saying goes “The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than your competitors”. Start teaching. Start writing. Start filming. Do what ever it takes to teach and inspire your audience. Anyone can copy your product, but they can’t copy your organisation.

6. Stop marketing ‘we are the U.K’s leaders’.

You and all your competitors are market leaders in some shape or form. Google this ‘market leader cladding systems’. There is no set criteria and only you believe in it. Work hard to find a true USP. (Clue: it’s not what you do, it’s why you do it. Go figure.)

7. Stop working with no marketing KPI’s or objectives

Set KPI’s be it lead volumes, cost per lead, lead conversion, new enquiries, website traffic, number of new relationships created (targeted marketing). How do you know the marketing dept are improving marketing year on year? Be clear about what a lead actually is and what it looks like and make sure it’s the right type of leads. If not, nurture it until it is the right lead.

8. Stop marketing the same old messages time after time

Develop new marketing messages regularly. Don’t let things go stale. Keep your audience interested. Re-read to point number 2.

9. Stop setting fixed budgets at the start of the year for print, website, advertising, PR, brochures, exhibitions, hospitality…

Be flexible in how you allocate your budget. Base your budget on point number 7. Things change. Assess, evaluate periodically and don’t be afraid to drop things. Use analytics and campaign performance reports to help you spend more efficiently. Don’t compromise one tactic for another. You should never be asking yourself “Should I print more brochures and do less website updating?”. Re-read point number 1 again.

10. Stop working in silo

Marketing is everything. Your receptionist is marketing. Your car park is marketing. Your sales reps are marketers. Get involved in everything technical. Involve others in marketing too. Learn about the industry and learn about everything that impacts a building. Re-read point number 4.

11. Stop building crappy apps that only make you look cool

Solve real problems which your customers are shouting about. If you don’t know what they are, go ask them. Meet them. Go have coffee with them. Get out more. I don’t hear any Architect or Engineer screaming “OH MY GOD! I wish this u-value calculator was available on my Blackberry!” If you do have an app then re-read point number 7.

12. Stop asking your boss if you can introduce social media into your marketing mix

Your boss has no idea! Just because they don’t like it doesn’t mean it doesn’t make business sense. Ask your customers instead. Your prospects. Go research. Ask anyone but people within your own organisation. Unfortunately we are lacking data in the construction industry on social media usage, budget allocation, priorities etc so stop relying on other peoples data and go create your own.

13. Stop BLASTING irrelevant emails out to your customers

Split your database (if you have one) into REALLY small segments. I mean so small that each segment is like 20 names. Then try and figure out what makes these people tick. What do they want? And then email them with relevant content. If you get existing customers unsubscribing from your emails then you have a SERIOUS problem. They are telling you “Stop talking to me!”.

14. Stop creating corporate blogs containing just press releases

Go write about stuff that will help people value you, that will promote your expertise as a company. The biggest mistake a marketer can make with a blog is not having the technical team own it.

15. Stop creating QR codes if you don’t understand mobile engagement

Use QR codes appropriately and in locations where it works and adds value to the mobile user. Learn about what a QR code is and how it works. Look beyond just the ‘scanning on a mobile’ part. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. Don’t make people pinch and zoom to read text. QR codes in print mags that link to a unfriendly mobile website. See that one before? Well done to the marketer who thought of that one! Marketer of the year right there!


Any more? Hopefully some Architects and Engineers may leave some comments and help me out here on some of the things they find annoying and wish marketers would stop doing and do better.

Please also do check out out ‘Random Acts of Marketing‘ post which talks more about implementing random marketing tactics.

About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart has worked in the world of digital marketing for over 15 years. With his measured and planned approach, he has delivered robust digital strategies for construction companies to achieve real business growth. He now heads up the team at Pauley Creative as Managing Director and is leading his team & clients towards digital marketing excellence. He’s worked with over 100 construction clients; helping them on their digital transformation journey, providing sustainable strategies that return year on year incremental growth, delivering award-winning websites and adding value from board level to marketing assistant.

8 Responses to “15 things Marketers must stop doing now!”

  1. Paul Wilkinson

    How about:
    16. Stop ill-targeted blogger relations. – There are bloggers across many niche topics and they can be powerful allies but, if not approached properly, also awkward influencers. Research bloggers, read their blogs – do they *really* cover your market or your products or services? Have they previously published guest blog posts or done interviews with companies like you?

    • Pritesh Patel

      Excellent point Paul. Reaching out to bloggers is becoming a big aspect of marketing online. Build relationships. Read their blogs. Get to know them. Tweet them. Meet them. Have coffee and go from there.

  2. Robert Easson

    Couple of other points to add to your STOP list

    Stop sending out email campaigns using inhouse servers. I still regularly hear of companies using inhouse servers to send out email campaigns. I would certainly avoid doing this as it carries huge risks in terms of blacklisting. Get a proper email marketing platform. Some are very cheap and easy to set up. Investigate options and change your ways I say.

    Stop creating facebook pages if your audience doesn’t use facebook for business. (think related to your point 11)

    • Pritesh Patel

      Ha ha! Love it Rob.

      Facebook – C’mon Rob, I hear Specification Writers screaming “Why isn’t this clause on their Facebook page!!” all the time! Serious note, don’t be afraid to ask you customers. If they so no, don’t do it. Spend your time and resources elsewhere solving real problems.

  3. Matt Mills

    I wish more people I knew managed to read some of your posts. Would make some of our lives a whole lot easier. All of the above could be pretty much summed up as “offer real customer value”. That’s what we should all be striving for. People seek you out because they value you. Online is no different to real world relationships in this respect. In all honesty, if your content is good enough, it doesn’t really matter all that much how you communicate it. People will recommend your content to others. Recommendations that are fulfilled are far more potent than a bit of SEO done well. If it’s worth viewing they’ll seek you out. The crime is, the content is rarely, if ever that good.

    But, as on the button as all of the above is, there’s many a marketer that is red faced not so much from lack of knowledge or insight, but from a lack of momentum or trust within the wider business. Needless to say, all the best intentions can be undone by differing priorities or different paces elsewhere within a business.

    As much as I respect the near evangelical vigour as to how you approach such subjects, it’s rarely as simple as lisetning to sense. You can lead a horse to water and all that. Sometimes, you have to hang about in the sun and allow that horse to feel thirst before he gets why you led him there 😉

  4. Pritesh Patel

    Thank you for your comment Matt.

    Delivering value through content is key. Problem is, I think, most don’t know a) the customer and b) what they value.

    If you take the time to learn about the problems – and create content around ‘solving problems’ then like you say, they will seek you out, they will find you.

    Nice end to the comment also Matt. Like it!

    • Matt Mill

      In my experience, that what it is, I think the businesses often know the customers and what they want. At least in general if not inside-out. What they don’t always do or believe is that catering to those needs will make them more money than default promotion of USPs and brand bling. Why you need the product is far more interesting than the product itself. That’s what the customer is interested in – they have a problem and are looking for a solution, not your Whizzmatic 3000. See what they search for. It’s not rocket science (preaching to the converted, I know!)

      Offering true wealth of information (quality content that’s used regularly rather than shed loads of inane waffle) is a time and money investment that won’t always have immediate benefits when compared to something like an email lead generation campaign. Quality is a slow burn strategy as it’s a continual learning curve. Tick one need box and through interaction, you discover a wealth of others that you never knew about and so on. Justifiying that time to others isn’t always easy. A lot of marketers are told to job hop every 2-3 years so that their CV doesn’t get stale – a dedicated marketer trying to offer quality will be long gone before the true benefits of that hit home to the business and no doubt will be accreddited to a lead gen campaign by another – I’m sounding bitter now, and on a Friday too! I’ll stop 😉


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