Mar­keters make mis­takes. Some mis­takes can cost a lot in the long run. Some mar­ket­ing tac­tics are annoy­ing and inef­fi­cient. Oth­ers are con­fus­ing or overly com­pli­cated. These types of mar­ket­ing strate­gies annoy me immensely and make it onto my list of top five mar­ket­ing pet peeves.

1. Action­less Content

Con­tent that does not pro­vide con­sumers with action­able ele­ments is a waste of time and money. You’ve read about my con­cerns with action­able video ele­ments in my blog, “How to Lever­age Video Con­tent.” But this con­cern does not only apply to video content.

Any con­tent that does not allow the user to take action is use­less. The point of con­tent is to drive con­sumers down the sales pipeline. If there is no action embed­ded within your con­tent, then con­sumers can­not move to the next step in the sales process. Your con­tent thus stag­nates the con­sumer in the sales process.

The prob­lem is not only with con­tent that lacks action­able ele­ments. The prob­lem is also con­tent that includes con­fus­ing ele­ments or too few action­able ele­ments. The point is to make it easy for con­sumers to take action. Don’t make action dif­fi­cult or con­fus­ing. Don’t force your cus­tomers to search for the next step. Make the next step obvi­ous, but don’t force action on your consumers.

2. Too Many Options

Con­tent with too many action­able ele­ments is almost as detri­men­tal to the sales process as con­tent with too few or zero action­able ele­ments. Not only that, but any over­flow­ing information—especially unwar­ranted information—is annoy­ing and confusing.

If you give too many options, cus­tomers might take no action because there is too much work involved. They don’t want to spend time weigh­ing the options. Offer around three options. It’s safe. It gives cus­tomers choices, but it’s not overwhelming.

3. Rob­bing Cus­tomers of Choice

Don’t force the cus­tomer into doing any­thing. This will not only under­mine your brand’s image, but it will also drive cus­tomers away at the thought that you robbed them of their decisions.

Don’t cre­ate video ban­ners that play auto­mat­i­cally. Don’t force pop-ups on cus­tomers. Show cus­tomers how long a video will play. Allow them to adjust sound. Allow the cus­tomer to be free to choose. That way they will sup­port your brand on their own accord.

4. Repet­i­tive Repetition

Say the most you can with the fewest words. Use videos that are five min­utes or shorter. Be effi­cient and effec­tive in all con­tent and media. Say only what is nec­es­sary. And don’t repeat yourself.

5. Mis­use of Data

Don’t use data to jus­tify actions you’ve already taken. You should con­stantly be test­ing. Don’t, in hind­sight, attempt to jus­tify actions you’ve already taken. You should use data as often as you can to fig­ure out what would be best for you and your brand. Use data before and after you take action. Antic­i­pate what will work best for your brand, then test it.

Even if some­thing works on one medium (e.g. mobile), it may not work on another medium (e.g. desk­top). That’s why you need to test sub­tle dif­fer­ences. To avoid mis­us­ing mar­ket­ing schemes you need to test. Don’t use data to find a rea­son to accept the sta­tus quo.

Use data to find a rea­son to do bet­ter. Always adjust. Always improve. Be a dynamic marketer.