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5 things that scare a digital marketer

October 24th, 2023   |   Tom Inniss

Although traditionally observed as a day to remember the dead, Halloween has become a time for all things trick or treat. To get into the spirit of Halloween, I asked around to see what brings the digital marketing team out in a cold sweat, and the scenarios that lurk in the recesses of their minds to keep them up at night. 

It turns out there’s quite a lot.

Below are 5 themes that came up again and again in what rapidly became a group therapy session – minus the existential crises – mixed with campfire tales. It should go without saying that none of these points speak to a specific customer, but if you happen to see some familiar behaviours in here, this is an excellent opportunity to reflect and provide a treat to these poor marketers! 

Mailout mix-ups

Despite (or perhaps because of) the success mailouts can bring to a campaign, the faux-pas tend to live rent free in the heads of marketers. The often undervalued form of mass communication brings with it a lot of potential to go wrong, and that mistake can be delivered straight to people’s inboxes!

We’ve all received an email that emphatically greets us as {{}}. Know that the marketer will be suitably embarrassed by such a rookie error, but that it pales in comparison to the dread felt when accidentally sending a test email to a live list. Whether just designing a new template, or learning how a system works, accidentally sending half-finished creations to the whole mailing list leaves marketers praying for the ground to swallow them whole.  

Budget balls-ups / Bungles

Don’t you just hate it when you put something down, and when you go to pick it up again it’s gone? Is it ghosts? Aliens? Or just a housemate or partner that’s trying to mess with you? Often it’s just an innocuous item and it turns up quite quickly, but what if it was something more serious, and it’s disappearance more permanent? There are stories of marketers who have accidentally confused lifetime budgets with daily budgets, and blown through a whole campaign’s budget overnight. The only thing more terrifying is having to then tell your manager… Accidents happen, right? 

Social snafus 

Let’s be real, social media is like a haunted house of horrors on its own most of the time anyway, but what if it could somehow be even worse for our mental wellbeing? How about that super spicy hot take you blast out into the world while waiting for the kettle to boil, only to get that Slack message 20 minutes later asking if you were aware that the truthbomb you dropped was actually on the corporate social media account. Extra points if it was trolling a competitor. 

But that’s not the only way that social media can make a marketer’s blood run cold. There have been rumours of people running paid social and then realising there’s a spelling mistake in the copy, misusing hashtags that then lead to controversies and campaign hijackings, and even tales of account hacks that take hours to resolve. Chilling stuff! It makes forgetting to hit launch on a campaign seem like a sunny picnic in comparison. 

Extravagant expectations

We get it, we produce incredible results and people mistake them for miracles. But, much as we wish it were so, we aren’t magicians but mere mortals, and that means we can experience mortal fear when people come to us with wholly unrealistic expectations about what we are able to achieve with their campaign. We always advocate a single, clear objective for campaigns, and the thought of having a client expecting to fulfil 3-4 objectives within a single campaign is a pretty terrifying prospect. 

Equally vexatious is the belief that a social media manager is an individual creative powerhouse. Again, we’re super talented people, but we will always recommend approaching photographers, videographers/video editors, copywriters and graphic designers individually, rather than hoping your social media manager can do it all! That's why at Brew Digital we, as a team, encompass all of these skillsets and everything we do is a group effort, rather than down to one individual.

Pedantic perfection / fuzzy focus / poor prioritisation

The pursuit of perfection can often lead to a haunting experience. It’s totally understandable that a client will want to get the most from their budget, and to present their product or service in the best light, but that can have troubling downsides. Teams that are so fixated on delivery that they lose sight of the audience or purpose, are setting themselves up for a harrowing experience. Similarly, a lack of focus on the product, and a misguided belief that a strong brand and logo will be enough to sell something, has marketers crying into their coffee. 

Thankfully our clients are all wonderful, but we’ve heard from other marketers that there are some people out there who can be challenging to work with. Clients who invite experts in to create innovative ads, but then refuse to trust the experts enough to deviate from their rigid vision are, we imagine, pretty nightmarish!

So while the thrills and chills of Halloween are enjoyed by many, it's worth remembering that for some, namely digital marketers, the scares aren't limited to just one night. They lurk in the shadows of each campaign, ready to throw a spanner in the works of an otherwise tightly-run ship. But like any good horror movie protagonist, digital marketers don't cower in the face of these fears. They tackle them head-on, diving straight in to find a solution, and learning from each heart-stopping moment. Because at the end of the day, facing these fears is what makes them better at their jobs.

Are you looking for a team that’s ready to stand in your corner, and stare down the potential demons of digital marketing? While we might not have our own Ecto-1, Brew Digital can still serve as your vehicle for meaningful campaign results.

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