scrabble tiles with the word 'myths' spelt out

When stepping into the marketing arena, it can be easy to trip up on myths. Because ‘marketing’ is such a broad topic, misconceptions often slip through the net and disguise themselves as facts, even to those with years of experience behind them.

The danger comes when these myths form the foundations of a marketing strategy. The results of these efforts could be disheartening, or worse, detrimental.

In this blog, we bust 7 of the most common marketing myths, delve into why they’re incorrect and how you can overcome them.

Let’s dive straight in.

Myth 1: Great products and services sell themselves

Sadly, this isn’t true.

No matter how fantastic your product or service is, it does have to battle against millions of other products on the market to get attention.

It can be a shock to discover just how much global competition there is.

Even businesses that believe they’re selling something within a highly specialised niche market will discover others that sell similar products and/or services.

Without marketing, you’re simply hoping that someone in your audience will blindly stumble across your offering, and immediately make a decisive purchase. Which, let’s face it, in a world where we’re exposed to around 4,000 – 10,000 ads each day, isn’t going to happen very often.

This level of competition is what makes advertising so crucial.

Whether you’re just starting out, relatively unknown or a popular global brand like Apple or McDonalds, you should be working tirelessly to promote and sell your products.

Myth 2: Brands must be on all social media platforms

Social media is one of modern marketing’s most powerful tools.

With such a wide reach, to millions of potential global customers, any decent marketing agency would suggest brands harness the power of social media. However, this does not mean you need to be active on every single social platform available.

It’s important to have a think about where your customers are likely to be. Are they avid Generation Z TikTok scrollers or more likely to be Boomer Facebook users?

Spend time on the platforms that resonate with your target audience the most. However, trial and error are always worthwhile, even if you set up social media profiles which result in minimal interaction and eventual deletion it’s always worth a go.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a good general starting point.

Myth 3: Small businesses don’t need marketing

They absolutely do.

We get it. When you own and operate a small business, there are tight time and budget pressures alongside limited resources and experiences. You need to wear multiple hats daily, and some items on that ‘to-do list’ can fall by the wayside.

But marketing shouldn’t be one of those things.

As a small business, your marketing needs to get the word out about you. It allows you to connect with potential customers and inform them of your offering. It can build recognition of your brand, boost sales, build a consistent client base, and help you achieve your business goals.

Without marketing, it’s likely your business will fade into the background, and potentially even disappear. So instead, employ the tool that will help ensure your business is the most successful it can be.

Myth 4: Marketing is only for new customers

Acquiring new customers is merely one benefit of marketing. Keeping hold of them is another.

It takes a lot to acquire a new customer, and once you’ve achieved it, the last thing you want to do is lose them. According to Harvard, onboarding a new customer is up to 25x more expensive than retaining an existing one. So, with increased customer retention, comes increased profits.

Think about it. When you increase customer retention, you don’t have to spend as much on external marketing and other customer acquisition costs. In addition to this, happy customers tend to tell their friends about good experiences too, making them walking, talking advertisements, working on your behalf – completely free of charge.

Loyal customers make every aspect of running your business a little bit easier. It’s a game changer.

Myth 5: Email marketing is spam

We can understand why this misconception has come to be, after all, email phishing is one of the most popular scams out there, sending thousands of unwanted emails into imboxes worldwide.

However, email marketing is not spam.

There are numerous benefits of email marketing, for both the company and the customer. They include discounts, feedback, personalised content, sales, getting to know your audience, sparking a conversation, launching a new product … the list goes on and on.

But you should undertake email marketing responsible, otherwise people might flag your content as junk, which is where this myth comes from.

Myth 6: We need to market to everyone because everyone is our customer

Who is your ideal customer? (And don’t say anyone!) Your ideal customer is who you should be marketing to, not the rest of the world.

With only 5 seconds to grab someone’s attention, you need a clear understanding of who your audience are, what problem they’re facing, and how your solution can help. Until you have that, your marketing will struggle to reach the people you want to talk to.

Remember, not everyone needs or wants your offering, so marketing to everyone is simply a waste of time and money. First, work out who your audience are, next, talk to them with your marketing.

Myth 7: Results must come immediately for marketing to be successful

Now that we can get real-time insights into how a campaign performs, it can be easy to feel disappointed when you don’t get immediate results.

We can track email opens, post likes, campaign clicks and more as soon as we unleash a piece of marketing on an audience, but marketing often takes time to show results.

In marketing, we often talk about the rule of seven. The rule of seven states that it will take an average of seven interactions with your brand before a purchase takes place. An interaction could be someone seeing an advert on social media or receiving an email from your brand. It could be seeing a billboard on the side of the road or receiving an invitation to your launch party (even attending the launch party itself!).

If these interactions are positive, it will nudge your audience along their purchase journey – closer to a buying decision.

It can take a while to achieve this, especially if you have a smaller budget, but that’s all part of the long game of marketing. Don’t give up too soon, adjust your expectations instead.


If you’re a business looking to harness the power of marketing, but aren’t quite sure where to start, Octima can help. Whether it’s advice you’re after or someone else to do it for you, we’re here. Contact us at to make marketing easy, today.