12 Common Misconceptions about Marketing


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If you’re a business owner hesitating to get help growing your business through marketing, it may be because you doubt it’s effective. Perhaps you’ve heard warnings through the rumor mill, or you’ve formed these beliefs through your own reason and logic. 

Make no mistake—marketing done correctly will generate revenue, while a sound marketing plan is a cornerstone for business growth. 

Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions about marketing that business owners believe. These ideas seem to make sense, but they are not born out of facts. And if you stick to them, you prevent yourself and your business from reaping the benefits of marketing. Moreover, you risk missing business opportunities, and you are also more vulnerable to competitors taking your customers.

That’s why we wanted to explore the most common myths and misconceptions about marketing, so you no longer let them impede your business success.

The 12 Most Common Misconceptions about Marketing

There are a lot of myths about modern marketing (and marketing in general). In fact, there are so many that it would take a while to address them all. So, for the sake of time, we wanted to cover those we hear most often.

Here are the 12 most common misconceptions about marketing about business owners…

1) We’re Too Small and Don’t Need to Do It 

It’s easy to see why you could believe you don’t have a use for marketing if you own a small local business that relies on regular customers. 

Yet, small businesses have the most to gain from marketing! Whatever your business goals and size operation you run, marketing can help you grow and maintain a strong customer base. 

Word of mouth and foot traffic will only take you so far. Further, you’re always at risk of losing business to new competition. But a solid marketing plan can help a business of any size reach new customers and keep existing ones. 

Of course, small businesses have fewer funds to work with than large companies. But with the right help, there are many ways to generate revenue with a modest investment. 

2) I Do Advertising, and That’s Our Marketing Plan 

The best marketing plans consist of more than just traditional ads. You need to build up your brand by engaging with consumers in a variety of creative ways to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Without a doubt, paid advertising is an essential way to reach new and existing customers. But there is so much more to marketing. While ads are great for drawing attention, building interest in your product, and driving short-term sales, they are most effective only while you’re running the ads. 

That’s partly because building long-term trust and loyalty requires building a relationship. And that means using other tactics as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. 

For example…

These tactics help you develop leads, convert prospects into customers, build a lasting reputation and customer base, and track results. 

The fact is that, for long-term growth, you need a marketing strategy that includes both traditional advertising and other marketing techniques.

TOM Podcast 2

3) I Don’t Need to Market to My Existing Customers 

Complacency can be a business owner’s worst enemy. Just because you have a sizeable list of repeat customers, it doesn’t mean they won’t pick up and go elsewhere at the first sign of a better deal. That’s why you need to make building customer loyalty a top priority. 

And marketing can help. 

By continuing to market to existing customers, you can make sure your business stays top of mind. More specifically, you can hit on other problems your customers may be experiencing, explain how your business can help solve them, and remind customers of how you assisted them in the past. 

As a result, you can ensure your customers stay loyal to your brand and prevent competitors from taking them away.

4) Marketing’s Role Is Only to Generate New Customers

This is one of the most common misconceptions about marketing, and it just isn’t true! 

As discussed previously, you can’t only focus your marketing efforts on attracting new business. Customer retention and lifetime loyalty require you to actively market to existing customers and build your brand’s reputation beyond their initial purchase. 

To keep your customers coming back, you also need to demonstrate your loyalty to them. You can do this by providing stellar customer support, deals, and other incentives.

But if you neglect to attend to your existing customers, it won’t just cost you their business. It will hurt your reputation and cause you to lose out on new customers. News travels fast on the internet and social media. 

5) We Don’t Have the Time or Money to Market

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, and you always have the time for it if you make it a priority. A lot of tactics can be done on a minimal budget with a huge upside. Some examples include the following: 

If done properly, marketing will generate a positive return on investment. 

Many marketing companies cater to small and medium-sized businesses. The key is finding an agency that will work within your budget and advise you on using your limited resources most effectively. 

A reputable marketing agency can assess where you are and assist in developing a strategy that makes sense for your company’s unique needs. Your partner will help you generate more revenue to reinvest into your marketing for even greater results.  

6) Social Media Is for Kids

This is one of the misconceptions about marketing that is outdated (if it were ever true). Social media has become an affordable and effective marketing tool to reach every generation. 

The fact is that you need to grab potential customers’ attention where they are most likely to see you. That now includes numerous social media platforms that have millions of followers. 

Studies show that the average age of Facebook and other social media platform users is constantly growing. Older generations are getting more active in social media. 

And millennials, the early adopters of social media, are now mature adults, earning their own income. They are an increasingly influential segment of the consumer market. According to TrueList, millennials spend $600 billion each year in the US, and 90.4% actively use social networks.

In addition to being useful for driving users to your website, social media channels such as Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest are increasingly valuable advertising and shopping tools in their own right.

7) Good Marketing Delivers Fast Results 

Female marketer gesturing to whiteboard with graphs during business presentation.

Everyone is eager to see results from their marketing investment, but you have to be patient. Marketing is a long-term commitment. It can take months to see big gains. The results will trickle in over time, and once you really get going, it’s a true example of the snowball effect.

You can get some short-term results quickly with certain tactics such as PPC advertising. But for lasting growth, you must build awareness, reputation, trust, and satisfied returning customers. These long-game tactics include content marketing and SEO, which can take six months to a year to show results.

So, you need to be cautious of marketing agencies that promise miracle results. They most likely rely on quick fixes and tricks that deliver results tomorrow but may backfire in the long run. You also need to find out whether their promises extend to long-term growth.

8) We Don’t Need Consistency 

Consistent messaging in marketing is a critical quality because it helps you build up your brand’s strength. Without consistency, you send out mixed messages that create confusion and reduce the public’s confidence in you.

You need a clear, consistent marketing message to reach a wider audience. That means using a similar voice and style across platforms. 

Fortunately, having a solid marketing strategy makes this an easier task. The right strategy ensures you use a systematic and methodical marketing approach to reach your target audience with the best-suited tactics and a consistent message. 

9) Great Products Don’t Need to Be Marketed 

This is another one of the most common misconceptions about marketing. But here’s a question for you: What good is the highest-quality product in the world if nobody knows about it? 

Moreover, with all the competition, there are bound to be competitors who can deliver products at a comparable value. 

However great your product or services are, marketing is critical to make people aware of your products and stand out above the competition.

10) Old-School Marketing Tools Are Dead


Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing available, albeit limited in its scope. And although some believe that email marketing is dead, it continues to be one of the most effective ways to convert leads into customers. 

Even mediums such as…

…continue to play a role in grabbing the attention of potential customers. 

Here’s the thing…

Adopting 360-degree marketing is the best way to reach potential customers at the right time and in the right place. And it involves using every appropriate form of communication to display your message to prospects at all possible points of contact. So, you shouldn’t disregard traditional, old-school methods like those highlighted here.  

11) I Don’t Need an Agency Because Marketing Is Easy 

One of the common misconceptions about marketing is that it’s easy. Many think it’s just a matter of running a few ads and perhaps firing off some emails to promote a sale. But this approach risks wasting a great deal of money on an ineffective campaign. 

Marketing is a multidisciplinary process requiring diverse specialized skills: 

Can your business handle all that?

Chances are the answer is no—at least not without hiring several new staff members. And in that case, you’d benefit from partnering with an agency that already has a powerful marketing team in place.  

12) I Know Everything My Customer Thinks

The truth is, you never can know everything that your customer is thinking. It’s very easy to say we know our customers and always put customers first. But as humans, we are prone to hearing what confirms our existing beliefs. Not just that, but we tend to only get feedback from people who want to be heard.

That is why you must proactively seek out your customers’ opinions as objectively as possible. You can do this by conducting market research and collecting data through surveys and polls. It also helps to get customer feedback by active listening and using other communication tools such a social media. 


When you base your business decisions on preconceived ideas of marketing, it limits opportunities for growth. 

But now you understand these common misconceptions about marketing and, more importantly, why they are misleading. You’ve learned the truth about marketing, and you likely want to use it to grow your business. After all, marketing will help you target your right audience using the resources available to maximize growth. 

Ready to get the marketing help you need? Start by requesting a FREE, 50-Point Marketing Audit today!


At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

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Filed Under: Analytics, Business Tips