Is part of your customer growth plan the idea that you will unlock new customers with a marketing campaign through Facebook, Google Adwords, Email or Twitter? Well I hate to disappoint you but there is a better than even chance that you will waste all of your money. Today's digital marketing tactics have never been harder to crack.

You've read blogs and books from Neil Patel, Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin and Rand Fishkin. You've listened to podcasts from Tim Ferriss, ConversionCast and The Fizzle Show. You are a subscriber of GrowthHackers.com and troll twitter daily for best practices in all things marketing.

I know what you are thinking you marketing newbie. You think you are going to discover that one technique that no one else is using and that will cost you a small handful of dollars. Sorry. Unless you are either really really good and knowledgeable about the intricacies of digital marketing, you will pour money down the proverbial toilet. Marketing intricacies are acquired over time and not available to first-timers.

There is a notion deep down in our brain that thinks that once the masses are aware of our startup company that they will flood to our product or service like children running after an ice-cream truck. Newsflash--the ice cream truck has a built in, long standing traditional marketing technique (the music) that costs real money (driving around neighborhoods) that results in a small handful of sales.

Well, awareness for your new product or service costs time and/or money. And, I am pretty sure you do not have enough of either.

Don't get me wrong; creating awareness through online marketing should be a key component of your strategy. I just want you to have your eyes wide open. Over the past few weeks I heard startup founders pitch me on why they are going to utilize any number of tactics to drive customers to their door. The hole in their plan is that none of them has ever done this before and not one had an expert on their team.

Why is it that so many think that they can simply learn or outsource marketing?

Do we view software development, sales, supply chain/logistics or manufacturing the same way? I did not think so.

Today's marketing is about discovery. No one knows which technique will work until you develop a methodology of continuous experimentation. Once you unlock a certain tactic you double down on that tactic until that fades and you need a new tactic(s). The experimentation loop never ends.

Are you that person? Or do you have that person on your team? If either of these is true then you have a fighting chance. If not, you will surely be disappointed in your marketing.

Published on: Mar 29, 2016