Digital advertising remains very much a blend of art and science utilizing the flywheel effect of technology.

Within the art comes a lot of human decision-making fueled by data, intuition, or speculation.

Quality of data, degree of intuition and amount of speculation can determine a digital marketing campaign’s success.

But let’s face it, there are some bad habits that exist despite our best formulas for success.

This post will identify some of the most common bad habits and suggests methods to correct the behavior.

1) Advertising the product, not the solution

Perhaps the most common bad habit – particularly among campaigns designed to launch a new product – is for marketers to assume their audience knows what the product does.

Don’t assume consumers will all recognize your brand. Consider starting with a branding campaign to raise awareness.

Educate your audience on what the product does, how it helps solve a problem and why it’s relevant.

Only after this has been effectively communicated – in a digital campaign or otherwise – can we begin to address sales via digital marketing. People just won’t buy what they don’t understand.

2) Failing to scrub campaign data clean

The sheer amount of spam, bots, scams, and clicks from the Netherlands, China, and Russia may have you misled into thinking your campaigns have international success.

Before sharing this data with your client or brand manager, scrub your data clean and present a more accurate view of your campaign analytics.

While the numbers may fall to ego-deflating lows, trust that you are dealing with quality clicks and this is where you can do truly evaluate the relevance of your campaign.

3) Believing that conversion rates are universal

Digital marketers can make the bad habit of assuming that every campaign has a predictable and universal conversion rate.

The default answer that I often hear floated is 1% (not sure where this rumor got started or perhaps people are just tossing out the smallest reasonable number) but to be clear, there is no universally common conversion rate.

Conversion rate depends on many factors beyond the quality of your campaign, such as the viability of your product for ecommerce, product or brand reputation, consumer demand, pricing, competition, online reviews, brand awareness and trust.

4) Aggressive consumer data collection

Consumers are sensitive about their privacy more than ever. They are inundated with email and spam and there is a resistance to being added to another mailing list.

When utilizing a digital marketing campaign to seek mailing list signups, social media followers, or contest entry forms, be aware of how these frequent requests for private information may be hurting your brand or diminishing the trust you have with your customer.

5) Don’t allow your campaign goals to be a moving target

Running any digital campaign will require tremendous research, testing, and analysis before coming to a conclusion (and sometimes the conclusion is “more testing is needed”.)

It’s common to study your analytics report and search for the good news and grumble at the bad news. This is a bad habit and the wrong approach.

Data collection is an evolving process and the campaign is very fluid. Best practices are to identify a few key goals before the campaign launches and optimize the campaign toward those goals.

If a tactic doesn’t perform, this is a learning that helps shape the campaign. Simply shrugging your shoulders at the results is not acceptable. With proper goals, a well constructed digital campaign can and will meet your expectations.