I’ve been investing for almost as long as I’ve been a digital marketing professional. I’ve grown to love and learn both with similar passion. The similarities, though, don’t end with me.
What one discipline has taught me has been applicable to the other, and that’s what led me to compile this list of 5 mistakes people make whether it’s investing or performance marketing, specifically self-serve advertising.
1.Over-optimisation: Practicing restraint is hard. Period. Which is why one of the marks of being a successful investor is the ability to not over-trade. Similarly, over-optimising a campaign can lead to you burning money. Marketers optimise everything from landing pages to bidding types so frequently, they can’t pinpoint which action led to which reaction, if any.
2.Over-dependence on AI: AI recommendations are great. Rely on them a little too much and you’re no different than an investor taking recommendations from exchanges. Both exchanges and publishers make money when you profit. But they also make money when you don’t.
3.Over-diversification: FOMO is a great communication strategy, not a media buying one. Marketers forget that when they chase a media mix of infinite platforms just to gain reach. Ever met an investor who made a CAGR of 20%+ with a portfolio of more than 25-40 stocks? More isn’t always better.
4.Excessive churning: Change is good. Knowing when to implement change is gold. For instance, I’ve run some ad creatives for longer than a year, and some for as short as 1 week. If you’re changing landing pages, creatives, or audience cohorts just for the sake of changing, you might as well just hand over your money to publishers. Multibaggers are identified by buying good stocks at all levels and holding on to them with conviction. The same goes for digital advertising.
5.Ignoring the fundamentals while experimenting: Leaps of faith are great. Going against a well-established best practice and calling it a leap of faith, not so much. In investing, this translates to risks like taking leverage or trying to time the market. In digital marketing, it’s mindlessly mimicking competition or investing in the next new platform without gauging its relevance for your business. You know it doesn’t work for you but you do it anyway under the guise of experimenting. Fundamentals exist for a reason. Don’t ignore them.
Digital marketing done right can have a real impact on business outcomes. It demands long-term commitment and often leads to measurable and tangible success. Just like investing.