not-so-happy-userEver had an anti-computer or anti-technology moment? I had one recently when a program I was using “hijacked” my computer and stalled my progress for a few seconds – very annoying!

But some people are in a perpetual anti-technology moment when it comes to marketing their business online. They feel like it is a necessary thing to do today but seem to be annoyed by it all.

Some may express the frustration like this:

  • “I’m not into all that technology stuff and I don’t like computers”
  • “It’s just too hard for me, I don’t think I can do it”
  • “I just pay someone to do that sort of stuff for me”

It may seem strange, but I actually like working with non-geeky people because they have often figured out what it takes to be successful in business and just need some guidance with the online marketing side of things.

But at times business people who aren’t comfortable with technology try to solve their online marketing problems in unhealthy or ineffective ways. This discontent with technology may come out when things get out of sync or priorities are misplaced; the result is a business that is masked from displaying its true energy and passion online.

Here are a few of my experiences…

“I just pay someone to do that stuff for me”

It’s great to form a capable team of people who handle web design, SEO, copywriting, social media, email marketing and more. But how are you going to know if they are doing a good job for you or if they are getting by with sub par work at your expense?

You’ve got to get in there and learn the lingo so you can hold your team accountable by asking smart performance questions. For instance, have each team member define key performance indicators (KPI) to better measure their progress and show you how to track each KPI.

And what about your inability to recognize opportunities that are ripe for the picking? At times there are great opportunities to take advantage of but because you loath dealing with technology you are unaware (and may not want to be “bothered” by them), but it’s likely your team is aware and will gladly inform you if you take the time to show interest, listen and act on it.

“I know how SEO works, you have to pay to play”

Don’t assume that the online marketing world works the same way the business world works. Sometimes it does, but at times it doesn’t; throwing money at the problem might help or it may cause even more problems.

Instead, when dealing with a problem solicit feedback from your team on how to go about solving it before charging forward with an assumption.


“It worked for us three years ago, let’s do it again”

Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a bygone era of online marketing and yet expect similar results in today’s online market place.

As you know the online market place changes rapidly and no one can keep up with it all, but you must keep up with the basics of what is working today. If that’s SEO, Adwords, Bing Ads, retargeting, usability, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, content marketing, your team must be able to update you and help you transition to the way it is done today.

This means you must be discerning and flexible enough to roll with the changes. Bonus points for acquiring team members with foresight who see the changes coming with enough lead time to adjust before impact.

Confusion leads to paralysis

Beware of listening to the advice of more than one consultant (who often have different or conflicting philosophies for success).

Do challenge your team on their recommendations but don’t let fear or confusion cause you to delay in moving forward. Make a decision and stick with it for a period of time, then review your progress and make adjustments if necessary. It’s impossible to steer a ship that isn’t moving.


“Social media… who has time for that?”

Some business people are unsure or apathetic about interacting in social media and so it gets outsourced to someone who doesn’t really know how to “speak” for them, but who may be good at building community.

First of all, this creates an unauthentic picture of you and your business in the mind of your prospect.

Realize that one reason social media became popular is because people were sick of getting blasted with advertisements and promotional junk. Essentially they said, let’s get away from these bogus people and create our own community where our group can get together and help each other do our stuff. Try to be respectful of people in social media by not being salesy.

Also, more and more executives and leaders of today, do not want to be viewed as unapproachable and social media is an easy and great way to bridge that gap.

“Lets get our website upgrade done right before the busy season arrives”

If upgrading your website involves more than re-skinning your template, you don’t want to get started on that project anywhere close to an oncoming busy season.

Inevitably a web upgrade is replete with unforeseen problems, added tasks and lots of decisions. When your web designer takes the site live even more problems are exposed. Do you really want to be dealing with this at a time when you are getting a flood of prospect and customer requests?

As one who has assisted with numerous web upgrades, allow me to answer that for you… “Lets put the web upgrade on hold until after things cool off this year.”

I could go on, but when I recognize problems like these 6 where the root cause is an executive who has an aversion to technology, I’ve been known to employ some unconventional tactics to inspire change (wouldn’t you like to know).

If you find it challenging to get comfortable with online marketing, you aren’t alone. Many business people have made friends with technology and kinda like it now because they dug in, got familiar with it, made better decisions and are reaping the rewards.

Me? I’m an online marketing geek who likes getting into the details of a business so that the transition from old school to modern marketing goes smoothly.

Someone else might find this stuff useful so please share it…

Tom Shivers
Tom Shivers

I'm a ecommerce SEO consultant and President of Capture Commerce. I've managed digital marketing campaigns for scores of clients since 2000 and found that every business is unique with its own challenges and opportunities. When I see that I have contributed to the success of a business by helping them grow, it makes me feel awesome! That’s the coolest thing and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.

    6 replies to "6 Marketing Mistakes By People Who Hate Technology"

    • Mi Muba

      Hi Tom Shivers
      Being non-techie is not bad but all the time assuming oneself handicapped because of this is a great sin. That is why those who don’t want to jump into techie things want to shift the entire load to hired team that will never work as passionately as one can do for his own business. So what to do?
      There is one solution of that. One should try to do every work by himself and simply outsource that type of techie work which is almost impossible for him to do. In this way he can keep doing his task passionately without regularly relying on outsiders.
      Yes once he developed a strong system to keep his online marketing business going then he can hire as much manpower as he can afford to expand his business and earn more money
      Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful post that has a great value for online internet marketers.

    • Tom Shivers

      Hi Mi, good points but often times the team who is tasked to do the work does not really understand the business or target audience of their client as well as neccessary. That’s why it’s important for the client or executive to work with the team instead of against them (often unknowingly).

    • Emory Rowland

      “I just pay someone to do that stuff for me” – hands off leadership is the worst.

    • Tom Shivers

      Totally agree Emory and cool ROI calculator you have there.

    • Joe Nichols

      I figured I would give Tom an attaboy. We have been working together for a few years and I have said every one of these phrases more than once especially the I am not tech savvy. It is so nice to work with someone that is patient and listens to your ideas and then comes back with some of his own. It makes for a good team. Slowly but surely I am a lot more tech savy and starting to understand the 21st century.

    • Tom Shivers

      Thank you Joe and I’ve enjoyed working with you. You are a lot more tech savy today and it shows, it’s been a fun journey.

Comments are closed.