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301 Marketing Leaders Spill The Beans on Common Mistakes, Challenges, and Solutions

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Eric Vardon
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Business is full of obstacles. 

Heck, that’s what marketing is all about: problem-solving.

However, do you know how many mistakes your business makes? How about the dollar amount they cost to fix?

Probably not.

That’s why Morphio polled 301 digital marketing leaders in partnership with Censuswide.

Participants spilled the beans about their most common mistakes, challenges, associated costs, and, most importantly: how to overcome them.

Get the full report here for free and take a look below to read our main findings.

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The most common marketing mistakes

33% experience credit card and payment failures

Have you ever attempted to bill a customer or start a campaign, only to find out that the associated credit card doesn’t work? So do 33% of other marketers. This, unfortunately, delays campaigns and reduces revenue when payment can’t be collected. ?

31% have accidentally left campaign spend on

There’s nothing worse than forgetting to turn off a campaign. You overspend, produce excess data, and have lots to explain to your boss. That’s why it was astounding when our research discovered 31% of marketers have accidentally left on campaigns.

31% have offended their target audience with an ad

Targeting the right audience is essential for success in business. Agencies have to deliver personalized copy, calls to action, and offers for maximum return. 

But, what about when that goes haywire?

31% of agencies have offended their audience with an advertisement according to our study.

This has the potential to reduce customer loyalty, engagement, and time has to be spent cleaning up reputation afterward. Read our article on how to maximize customer lifetime value if you relate to that.

29% of marketers campaign revenue, were negatively impacted as a result of dead, incorrect, or broken links and forms 

Small bugs have the potential to create disastrous results. In fact, 29% of marketers have lost sales or leads because of broken links, forms, and other elements in their funnel.

A large problem contributing to this is that few businesses know where these issues are or how long they’ve been ongoing. More on how to solve that later.

29% target the wrong audience

An agency could craft the perfect landing page, calls to action, sales copy, and product, but if the incorrect audience sees it, there will only be crickets when it’s launched.

This is why 29% of marketers in our interviews admitted that they have targeted the wrong audience in campaigns. This, unfortunately, squanders budget, time, and precious hours. 

Read our guide on how to segment target audiences to learn more.

28% have had broken tracking

“Where’s the new data?” your colleague asks. You have no idea why the campaign isn’t tracking anything, and you can recoup this vital data. 

Oh, wait. The tracking broke again. 

28% of marketers have been in this position where tracking or integrations break, slowing down campaigns and halting performance. Have you?

27% of marketers over or underspend on campaigns

Finding the sweet spot for ad spend is a science. It’s a delicate game of balance, and we are all strapped to manage this manually. Too much and the CFO might be knocking at your door. Too little and KPIs fall behind. That’s why 27% of marketers have admitted to over or underspending on campaigns. 

24% of ads are flagged or disapproved

Have you invested vast amounts of time into the perfect ad campaign only to have it flagged or disapproved? You’re not an outlier. 24% of marketers experience this due to failing compliance with a platform or industry regulations.

The top business challenges

13.29% have trouble finding and hiring talent

Employee churn is normal. This is especially the case when candidates aren’t the right fit for a company, team, or vision. Naturally, our research discovered that 13.29% of industry leaders struggle with finding and hiring the right talent. 

12.96% struggle tracking activity across all client accounts

How many clients do you have? Ten? Fifty? More? Then you know better than anyone how time-consuming and stressful it is to track all of their individual activity. In fact, 12.96% of marketers agree it’s one of their top challenges.

13.62% find scaling a business with automation challenging

Scaling a business is complicated. Agencies require the correct infrastructure, team, and strategies to grow consistently over the long term. Nonetheless, 13.62% of teams find that scaling with automating to be a challenge. It requires patience, testing, creating robust systems, and ironing out fine details. 

10.3% want to keep their expensive hard-to-find team, happy

Once you’ve found your A-team, you don’t want to lose them. That’s why 10.3% of marketing leaders want to keep their expensive and talented team happy. ?

13.29% face issues with implementing new technology like AI

AI, blockchain, machine learning; you name it. There are tons of practical business tools to apply, but it’s easier said than done. How do you integrate it? How do you properly adopt it? 

These are some of the questions 13.29% of leaders are asking themselves as they struggle to implement new technologies.

12.96% struggle with winning new business

Keeping a sales pipeline full is crucial for an agency’s success in the long term. After all, a lack of clients means no revenue is being generated. This explains why 12.96% of marketers find themselves in famine rather than feasting as they struggle to win new business.

13.29% want to retain current clients 

You have your dream client roster. They have big budgets, are easy to work with, and give you full control. However, you don’t want them to leave. That would result in having to prospect and fill the gap. Hence why 13.29% of marketing leaders agree retaining current clients to be a top challenge. ?

10.3% battle with adding more services 

Being the trick of all trades is very profitable. The more services a company offers, the more revenue it generates. Admittedly, 10.3% of marketers have trouble adding more meaningful services.

How often mistakes happen every week

Less than one (19.6%)

19.6% of marketing leaders experience less than one error in their business every week. 

1–5 (20.6%)

20.6% experience one to five mistakes on an average week.

6–10 (50.83%)

A majority of marketing leaders agree that they experience anywhere from six to ten mistakes during the week. 

11–15 (8.97%)

A small minority of 8.97% experience 11 to 15 marketing mistakes throughout the average workweek. That brings me to our study’s next findings.

How much do marketing mistakes cost?

Less than $1 thousand (9.97%)

9.97% of recorded marketing mistakes cost less than $1,000.

Between $1 thousand and $5 thousand (53.49%)

The largest group of participants in our study confirmed that the average mistake costs them between $1,000–$5,000. At six to ten mistakes per week, that’d cost anywhere from $6,000 to $55,000! ?

More than $5 thousand, up to $10 thousand (35.33%)

A jaw-dropping 35.33% of participants admitted that marketing mistakes cost them from $5,000 to $10,000. 

More than $10 thousand (.33%)

A small segment of recorded participants experienced mistakes costing more than $10,000.

I have never seen money compensated to a client (1%)

Finally, 1% of marketing leaders have never had to pay-back a client for mistakes that were made.

How much time and budget is spent on monitoring every week

Less than 1 hour (.33%)

Only a tiny fraction—specifically .33%—spent less than one-hour monitoring every week. That’s the dream.

1–5 hours (14.95%)

14.95% of teams are spending one to five hours every week monitoring campaigns for performance and errors.

6–10 hours (43.52%)

Our study concluded that the largest segment of participants at 43.52% spend six to ten hours every week hovering over campaigns. ?

11–15 hours (31.56%)

The second most dedicated amount of time spent monitoring is between 11 and 15 hours per week. Think about the progress that could be made if that was spent elsewhere.

16–20 hours (9.63%)

A small but still concerning amounts of participants stated they spend 16 to 20 hours every week on monitoring efforts.

How marketing mistakes are avoided

38.54% have a hierarchy of roles so that nothing is sent out without multiple people seeing it first 

38.54% of marketing teams have a clear hierarchy of roles to ensure nothing is published without several people seeing it first. This maximizes the odds of catching mistakes and bugs. Nonetheless, there’s a smarter way to work and of the top reasons why we developed Morphio to stop this whack-a-mole style of thinking.

43.85% use AI to help monitor for anomalies or mistakes

Thanks to technology like anomaly detection and predictive analytics, 43.85% can focus on more significant tasks as AI monitors and alerts of errors in real-time. ?

42.19% use master spreadsheets to track credit card limits, expiration dates, destination URLs, ad targeting, and more

A surprising 42.19% of businesses use master spreadsheets that track sensitive and critical information. While this does work, it requires a lot of manual data entry and can easily result in human errors.

39.87% build custom dashboards

39.87% of digital marketing leaders opt to develop custom dashboards that track KPIs and progress. This may require an extensive budget and time to take this approach, however.

46.18% use marketing software which sends push notifications

Our study discovered that 46.18% of marketing professionals take advantage of push notification software to solve the issues our report identified. These tools alert teams in real-time campaign errors and performance to take action sooner than later.

42.52% double-check ad platforms such as Google and Facebook 

Similar to the first statistic, 42.52% of marketers manually double-check campaigns, ads, and platforms to ensure no errors are missed. This once again takes precious time and finite energy that could be better invested elsewhere.


We all will experience testing failures, and the goal as complexity compounds is to catch them before they become mistakes. However, marketers make more than most.

While they can be fixed, they cost up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Most teams also lose significant amounts of time every week to monitoring campaigns and solving errors.

That’s why we developed Morphio, the world’s first advanced marketing security software. Our platform silently runs in the background to detect marketing failures and profitable insights. Stop wasting time, protect your business, and try Morphio today for free.

Eric Vardon Profile image

Eric Vardon

CEO, Co-Founder @ Morphio

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