12 Marketing Myths to Leave in 2021

It’s that time of the year.. New resolutions are rife and we look forward to leaving old habits behind in 2021. To join in on a very well-trodden trend, we’ve collected 12 marketing myths you really should be able to put behind you as we move into 2022.


Myth #1: Blog posts are a waste of time and marketing budget.

Blogs written with SEO in mind funnel people to your site by increasing your ranking on Google for specific keywords. Having a solid blog library with evergreen content helps you gain organic traffic and referrals. You should strategically consider a content direction and have a plan of attack.

Blogs help you establish your authority and expertise within your industry which is especially important if you’re in a B2B business.

Our expert content writer Rin Hamburgh & Co explains “Not only can you share your own opinions, advice and insights but you can link to other experts in your field. This creates a ‘halo effect’ that cements that authority by showing you’re connected, that you’re reading relevant industry publications and that you have your finger on the pulse.”


Myth #2: Search engine optimization (SEO) is a one-time thing

I am afraid that you can’t expect the SEO audit and implementation you once relied on will still work in the new year.

SEO changes constantly. Our SEO Expert Lorenzo at Brick Digital explains:

“SEO is more than just a technical activity or buzzword. SEO is an ongoing process and truthfully is all about great marketing. No company would run one marketing campaign and then never do anything again and hope to see their business constantly grow from it.

In SEO there are constant new opportunities for a business to grow their search traffic; whilst changes in the search landscape mean that if you don’t take an ongoing and proactive approach to your website SEO you can begin to slip behind your competition.

The scale of growth that is achievable with a great ongoing SEO strategy far outweighs the investment.”

SEO should be considered part of the overall marketing framework, and just like your approach to optimising your paid ads and creating solid content for your social channels, regard SEO as a piece of the puzzle that will change.


Myth #3: Affiliate Marketing is a scam

One of the prevalent myths is that affiliate marketing is a scam.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most underrated but effective forms of marketing to have graced the business world. It accounts for 15% of all digital media revenue (according to Business Insider). It’s an industry that’s valued at over $12 billion. It’s what saw Amazon gain 22% of its traffic from referrals (according to Geniuslink). And it even resulted in John Chow amping up his blogging income from nothing to $40,000 per month within just two years.

Of course, several scams and fraud occur in the affiliate world. But many tracking platforms are now better at detecting and accounting for these.

If you do your due diligence in the discovery phase, you’ll see how successful affiliate partnerships can be.

Our client Breezy’s automated discovery engine helps companies find and organise relevant partners (way) more quickly, all in one place.


Myth #4: The more followers you have, the more successful your business is performing

The number alone doesn’t count but the quality does. What matters for social media algorithms is how interactive you are with your followers.

One loyal, engaging connection is a lot more valuable than a thousand followers that don’t engage with your brand or platforms at all!

Building a social media community is what our experts at Logic Design do for some of our clients.

Howie, Consultant at Logic Design explains:

“Don’t be fooled into thinking the number of followers you have equals success, if they’re passive they do little for your business. Highly engaged followers are a much better measure. Their interaction with your posts shows a genuine interest in your products and services, which is understood by the social platforms algorithms seeing increased visibility on their feed as a result. They’ll often become a champion for your business too, sharing your content with others who they believe will benefit from what you do.”


Myth #5: Growth Marketing is focused on acquisition

This is about the biggest misconception about growth marketing. Most of the time people see growth marketing as top-of-the-funnel actions to increase reach. In reality, growth marketing is the total opposite. It’s about full-funnel and cross-channel experimentation, focusing on delivering bottom of funnel return in the most efficient way.

Growth marketers involve themselves in every stage of the customer journey. You may have heard of the Pirate methodology (jargon alert!): awareness, acquisition, activation, revenue, retention and referral: AAARRR.


Myth #6: The more money I spend on advertising, the faster my SaaS startup will grow!

Business owners think they’ll grow faster if they spend more money on advertising.

If only it were that easy! Unfortunately, I can tell you this isn’t always how marketing works.

Our growth strategist Stephen Johnson explains “A methodical and complete customer journey must be considered before doubling down on any advertising spend. If you have unhappy customers and poor retention, then throwing more money at advertising is like trying to fix a leaky bucket with more water.”

Growth marketing isn’t just about filling up the top of the funnel, it can involve finding new ways to delight customers and turn them into advocates.


Myth #7: I will do it all myself

We’ve got to be confident as entrepreneurs, but this can often tip into becoming a ‘know-it-all’. The most dangerous trap for any founder is thinking they have all the answers and dictates the marketing team. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to understand marketing channels and overarching strategies, just don’t get hung up on the implementation.

I think a founder is better placed focusing on culture, strategy, financing and partnerships.

Leave the marketing to the experts. If you’re still doing all your marketing campaigns alone you will, at best, spend years learning how not to do it, or at worst run out of leads and go out of business.


Myth #8: You need a dozen martech tools to succeed in growth marketing

In 2011, there were approximately 150 martech tools for digital marketers to track and optimise their efforts. In 2020, there was a total of 8,000 martech solutions; a 5,233% growth in this landscape since 2011.

Having a suite of interconnected tools will help your business achieve more effective, more efficient and more measurable growth. However it’s not enough. Many marketers neglect the importance of creating a growth marketing framework. Effective objective setting linked to innovative experiments is the key for success.

Myth #9 Writing a marketing strategy will mean I stick to it

Although writing a go-to-market strategy is a crucial step in the growth process, this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t evolve.

Growth marketers endeavour to test, iterate and test again quickly, to efficiently find improvements they can make to LTV or CAC throughout the entire marketing funnel. It’s about being agile (jargon alert) and both proactive and reactive. Proactively hunting out hypotheses to test, reactively learning from the data and insights collected.

It’s fair to say that the marketing channels, the ICPs, or even the messaging you originally prepared at the initial stage of your strategy will change month after month. At Growth Division, we record all the experiments into a portal which allows us to look back and see what worked and what didn’t.

We also review the channels to market every quarter so we aren’t missing testing channels with potential.


Myth #10 Hiring a CMO solves all marketing problems

We’ve seen a number of founders (typically product/technology focused) hand off marketing to a CMO. This glorified title represents the one marketing person in the business, who is tasked with the monstrous responsibility of ramping up growth.

The bad news. One person can’t handle this responsibility. (Or if they can, please introduce us!)

You need a team to drive growth or, better, a team of specialists in the areas of likely success. A team lead by a Head of Growth or fractional CMO is best. In short, a team must be responsible for marketing, not just a ‘CMO’.


Myth #11 PR is an expensive waste of time

When it comes to public relations (PR) many startup founders struggle to understand what it is and if it is something they should be investing time and money in.

PR can’t deliver on the needs of the business owner if the objectives aren’t clear from the start. If your objective is to get user sign-ups, PR will most likely fail as a channel. However, if your business objectives are around credibility building, PR will be a success.

Our PR expert Jenna believes that PR can deliver an impressive ROI, particularly when compared to other commonly employed comms tactics such as exhibitions, sponsorships and advertising.

“Many clients won’t think twice about paying thousands to attend an event or sponsor an award ceremony, often with few tangible outcomes generated from the activity. The same budget applied to a smart and targeted PR campaign targeting a range of stakeholders can result in greater visibility across target audiences, valuable third party mentions (which are always more trusted) and will enhance other elements of the marketing campaign, such as SEO (more backlinks from high quality sites), Social Media (rich content for sharing) and Sales (credibility boosting media coverage to reference).”


Myth #12 I’ll know if ads are working within a month

This myth constantly pops up. You see a successful competitor and immediately feel pressure to mirror their seemingly “overnight” success. You want to run a 30-day ad campaign and expect it to increase your sales 200%.

The best things in life take time, and that’s especially true for effective marketing. If you rush your experiments, you are far more likely to see false negatives (ie. writing your tests off as ‘not working’ before you’ve given it a chance).

To develop an effective growth marketing process you should run constant experiments across marketing and product development, with the aim of finding ways to grow and squeeze more value out of the customer base. Some experiments will fail, but that’s alright. You’ll gather some insights and will develop new hypotheses and experiments.

And there it is! Our 12 growth marketing myths you really need to leave in 2021. Let us know what you think, whether you agree or if there are any you would like to add to this list over on Linkedin

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