This quick article covers the #1 marketing mistake I’ve seen marketing people… and myself… make (and how to avoid it). The worst part about this mistake is that it costs people thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars each year!

So stop!

Don’t Pour Water in a Leaky Bucket!

Imagine grabbing a bucket, walking all the way to town, going to the well, filling up your bucket. Now it’s time to walk back, water sloshing back and forth in the bucket, spilling over the edge as you trudge along.

Picture yourself walking all the way back home, struggling to carry your heavy bucket of water.

Or at least it starts out heavy. 

As you walk, you notice you’ve got a hole in your bucket. Actually, it looks like there might be two or three holes in there. How’d you miss those?

It’s too late to do anything about it now, so you keep walking. And the longer you walk, the more it leaks.

And that big, heavy bucket gets lighter…

and lighter…

and lighter…

Until you get back to your house with barely enough water to fill a short glass.

Why Do We Do That?

Seems like a lot of work for such a small reward, doesn’t it?

But many marketers do just that with their marketing efforts. They spend the time generating leads, running ads, sending emails, only to pour the fruits of their labor into a leaky sales funnel or an unoptimized webpage.

Maybe it’s because we’re in a hurry to start bringing in sales. I know I have a tendency to get impatient, and I’ll decide to join the “ship it, then fix it” school of thought. I’ll launch an ad, fire off an email, whatever the case may be… even though the time isn’t right.

Don’t get me wrong. Taking a minimum viable product to market can be a great strategy. This isn’t about that. This is about getting the most value out of your marketing campaigns.

The Dangers of this Marketing Mistake

This marketing mistake wastes all the time you put into your other marketing efforts. It wastes all the money you’ve spent on your campaign. And it wastes all the goodwill and credibility you’ve built up with your audience, when you drop them into an unpleasant experience.

How to Avoid This Marketing Mistake

To use another metaphor: don’t put the cart before the horse. Work backwards. Get your sales process in order, optimize your website, quality check all of your materials.

Nobody’s perfect. We’re all going to keep making mistakes. But try to make slowing down and double checking your work a part of your process. That way you can make as few mistakes as possible.

Better yet, set up automated monitoring with a tool like Automaton and/or outsource your marketing ops altogether.

Whatever you do, don’t start the journey into town without patching the holes in your bucket!