How to Avoid the Traps of Digital Marketing That Lead to Poor Sales

Published March 23, 2023

Digital marketing is full of traps that can lead to poor sales, cash flow, and reduced profitability. At some point, almost everyone has felt the sting of overpromises of digital marketing, especially if you are bootstrapping and trying to grow your business out of your own pocket.

Do you hire more salespeople who are willing to work on commissions?

Do you hire a jack of all trades to do both digital marketing and sales?

What kind of digital marketing should you do and what is the financial cost of it?

These questions are traps that lead to stagnating cash flow and reduced revenues. I know, because I’ve been there and done that.

In today’s article I’m going to share three important tips to help you avoid these traps:

  1. Understand how marketing and sales are different and how to avoid the trap of free technology that will ultimately hinder your cash flow and business growth.
  2. Master the art of marketing that will make sales easier because it connects the dots and answers the “why?”.
  3. How to avoid losing revenue and cash flow because your sales are out of alignment with your marketing.

Are you ready to discover how to avoid the digital marketing traps, stop financing your business out of your pocket, increase your cash flow, and grow your business from the money it earns?

I encourage to watch the short videos with each part… they offer a unique, practical twist to each point you’ll want to consider.

Part 1: Understanding Marketing vs Sales


As a business owner, you must avoid the trap of confusing marketing and sales if you want to eliminate stagnate cash flow, revenues, and profits.

Why do I say that?

In over fifteen years of working with business owners and entrepreneurs, I’ve watched business continually struggle because of this one issue.

While sales are dependent upon marketing, the purposes and functions of each are not the same.

Last week I talked about Google EAT. It’s the foundational principle Google bases its algorithm on. It stands for:

  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trustworthiness

That is ultimately what marketing does.

The goal of digital marketing is to establish with your potential customers that you understand their problems, needs, wants, and desires and are competent and trustworthy.

Here is the key… if digital marketing is done well, sales will become significantly easier. I’ll take more about that in point three below.

Sales is nothing more than listening to, understanding, and allowing people to spend their money with you in order to achieve what they already believe about you from your marketing.

Free Can Be the Enemy of Profits

In the video above, I talked about a chronic problem that many business owners fall into the trap of… FREE. I understand why, especially when one is bootstrapping it.

  • Free website
  • Free CRM
  • Free Search Engine Optimization
  • FREE…

Here is the challenge with free… companies provide free to get you hooked on using their services. Nothing wrong with that.

However, as a business grows it outgrows free.

Yet, business owners get stuck in the mindset of free without realizing the limitations of free technology and how it is likely holding the business back.

For example, I am working with a business right now that fell into the trap of free Facebook marketing. You know, posting videos and pictures on their business Facebook page. I offered them an opportunity to try paying for Facebook and being able to target people who come locally from all over to various entertainment and tourist venues throughout the area. It’s amazing how specific you can get.

Within a few days, they saw sales increase 25%. By the end of the month, their sales increased 250% over last year at the same time.

My point, free couldn’t do that for them. It more than paid for itself!

Part 2: Mastering the Art of Digital Marketing and Understanding Ones “Why?”


As I mentioned above, if digital marketing is done well it will make sales significantly easier.

The real heart of digital marketing is learning someone’s “why?”.

Many businesses are just going through the motions:

  • Communicating broad messages to a mass audience because that’s how it has always been done.
  • Posting on social media things that don’t matter to the target audience and are out of alignment with the business model, expertise, or what you sell.
  • Unintentionally talking over people’s heads, using industry jargon, or the same tired language your competitors use.
  • Offering a sale on this or on that…
  • Stuck on communicating features and benefits that the customer already knows.
  • Worse yet, communicating you have the absolute lowest prices in town (assuming that’s not really your business model and if it is then, okay).

These things do not get into someone’s “why?”. They are the lazy way of promoting (I like peddling better) in order to get sales. Sure, you’ll get a few. You may even be able to limp along for a long time. However, all you will do is trap yourself in a stagnant business.

What is a “Why?” and How to Tap into It?

A “Why” is simply a problem, need, want, or desire… That’s it.

Your job in digital marketing is to tap into their experiences and feelings so that someone who consumes your content falls in love with you because you talk their language.

They feel like you understand them and have the solutions that no one else has.

Is that true?

Probably not.

However, people make buying decisions on emotions and logic. Emotionally, your marketing took them through a process from competency to trust and that’s the difference maker between limping along month-after-month (year-after-year) and pushing through stagnation to growth.

How Do You Tap into Answering Someone’s “Why?”

Online your website, social media, videos, email, etc., must consistently communicate a relational and transparent message.

This takes work!

You must know who you are, who the customer is, and how to marry their needs, wants, and desires for your products and services in a way that makes them say to themselves:

“OMG, how did you know?”

Here is the key; It’s not about you, it’s about them. Yet, 90%+ of all marketing tends to be about us.

Who we are…

What we sell…

If you create a message that they say to themselves; “OMG, how did you know…?” on your website, social posts, video, or email… your target audience will gladly enter your sales funnel.

Also, remember what I said earlier about the old mass marketing model. It’s dead!

If you want this kind of positive reaction and real marketing results, you will have to learn how to talk to one person, with one problem, need, want or desire and be a solution for them.

Part 3: How to Connect Your Digital Marketing and Sales Together


We have established that digital marketing and sales are different but dependent upon one another. We’ve also learned that when done well, digital marketing ought to lead to increased sales.

Your prospects now believe in you because your marketing spoke to them personally. They are saying to you:

“I’m interested… I need what you have to offer… What’s next?”

How do you close more sales now that there are more leads?

Technology is the bridge to your sales team:

  • Website
  • CRM
  • Email

These technologies leverage what we call a “sales funnel.” Sales funnels are intentionally designed and created to maintain the very reason a person came to you through marketing.

Don’t Let Sales Be the Reason Your Business Struggles When Digital Marketing is Well Done

Many businesses often blame digital marketing for their woes. However, if done well marketing is not your problem if you have prospects and the sales team can’t close the deal. That’s a sales problem.

Here is what commonly happens.

  • Prospects enter the sales funnel because the digital marketing earned their trust.
  • There was not a bridge between the marketing and the salesperson.
  • Prospect loses confidence, which creates frustration and erodes trust.
  • The sale is lost.

If there is a good sales funnel, the salesperson ought to know where the prospect came from, why they are ready for the sale, and be prepared to meet with them.

This should avoid what happened above if done well.

All the salesperson should do is:

  • Review the sales funnel.
  • Ask a few questions
  • Listen intently
  • Allow the customer to talk themselves into the deal
  • Graciously accept their money in return for what is promised

Sales is really that easy. It shouldn’t be complicated.

Many salespeople lose the deal because they talk too much, confuse the prospect, and ultimately talk the prospect out of the deal.

However, if they follow the process above the technology, marketing and sales will become a mean, lean, profit-making machine.

Bringing It All Together

Growing a business is challenging, demanding, and confusing when people from many places are coming at you with lots of ways to spend your money without offering you real value that contributes to your bottom line.

Avoiding the traps is hard, but not impossible.

Free is never free. It always comes with a price.

At what point is the price higher than the value you receive?

The reality is that you can build your business if you’re structured, disciplined, and have the right tools (technology) and systems in place for your marketing and sales.

By itself, technology has no value. The value in technology comes from having a coherent, consistent, relevant, and compelling message and a means to efficiently help both the business and the potential customer.

Digital marketing is simply a tool that delivers the message to the right people who are able, willing, and ready to buy from you and connects them with you throughout a marketing and sales funnel.

In order for that to happen:

  1. You must understand the roles of marketing and sales and the difference between them.
  2. How to leverage someone’s “why?”.
  3. How technology can transition a lead to a prospect via a sales funnel and inform the salesperson so that his or her job in aiding the prospect is significantly easier. Thereby closing more sales and increasing the business’ revenue and profits.

Are you ready to learn what technologies you need for your business, how they benefit your business, and what you can expect for short, medium, and long-term results?

If so, Click Here and Contact Us today and we will share with you how these amazing digital marketing tools can ultimately streamline your business, make you more efficient, increase revenues, and help you realize predictable profits.

Be sure to check back soon for the infographic!

David President,
Design Source Media

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