13 Things Marketers Should Not Do


I have been keeping a NOT TO DO LIST for a long time as a reminder of marketing things I should not work on because they are a waste of time, ineffective and a distraction. This list includes marketing takeaways from years of experience. It is like a TO DO LIST but it 
is a reminder of things to avoid. My list helps me stay focused, step over some traps and to remind me of what marketing activities will never works. 

Sometimes it can be like a voice in my head saying...

..."really...didn't you learn anything from the 5 times this didn't work?" 

There are some nice reminders about some slippery slopes in the marketing universe that I continue to work hard at avoiding. During most weeks, I'll glance at my list for a nice little 'kick in the pants' to help keep me heading in the right direction. 

Today feels like a good day to share.


  1. Don’t promise a commercial free event and then try and sell stuff.
  2. Don’t talk more than the customer.
  3. Don’t mistake advertising for marketing. They are cousins but not substitutes for each other.
  4. Don’t make things complicated – find a simpler solution.
  5. Don’t expect my priorities to be someone else’s priorities. It doesn't work that way.
  6. Don’t give people too much information at one time. It’s hard enough for people to retain a few key messages.
  7. Don’t lose patience with slow acting customers. Find reasons to stay in touch but allow them to arrive at decisions at their own pace.
  8. Don’t put together marketing materials for customers that you wouldn't want to read. If you are bored reading it, so will the customer. 
  9. Don’t annoy people with email that they don’t care about, without a clear call to action or that they haven’t given you permission to send. Be sensitive to how frequently you send to them too. 
  10. Don’t expect that everyone at a meeting is at the same starting point with information about your company, your visit, your topic or anything else. Give a little summary upfront. 
  11. Don’t put more than one sentence with less than seven words on a PowerPoint slide.
  12. Don’t let a difficult person ruin your day. Acknowledge the problem, take a deep breath and move on.
  13. Don’t resist someone else’s strategy or concept outright without letting it marinade a little while. You might be a bit too close to the situation.

This is just a sample from my NOT TO DO LIST. What's on your marketing list of things you don't want to do? 


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