With the ever changing field of digital technology and the ever increasingly savvy consumer, it is imperative that marketers stay focused on what techniques are working best and what strategies are showing signs of decay and obsolescence. In a 2012 article in iMedia Connection, author Kent Lewis outlined seven strategies that were passé and obsolete. For 2013 he has added 9 nine more strategies that are quickly falling out of favor. While most will continue to be used well into the year and beyond, it is predicted that all will fall short of meeting the category of best practices for the year.
Quick Response Codes
Leading the way towards obsolescence is Quick Response Codes, or QR Codes. The invention of founder Garrett Gee, in the beginning QR codes quickly found their way onto stationary, print advertising, giveaways, brochures, vehicles and marketing collateral of all shapes, sizes, and colors but recently have earned a reputation for being a flawed technology. Miss-use and saturation is leading consumers to ignore the square label with the squiggly lines and patterns. More importantly, newer technologies may offer better solutions in 2013.
As Google matures, they are relying less on keyword placements and more on content, requiring marketers to spend more time and effort on content and contextual analysis. With the trend towards searches being encrypted with HTTPS, it has caused a 171 percent increase in “not provided” results in keyword data.
Content for Content’s Sake
Creating interesting and compelling content is challenging and can be expensive but is essential to effective content marketing. Content subject matter, poor writing and missing the message can damage a company’s brand and confuse the targeted audience. Marketers in the coming year must focus on having something interesting and compelling to say and move towards quality over quantity.
Remarketing is a technique that permits you to follow visitors to your website via a third-party website. The practice of using standardized ads is creating confusion and is missing the intended customer or market segment altogether. Marketers should consider segmenting audiences, create personalized ads, and use frequency capping.
Avid Landing Page Testing
Not maximizing conversions through consistent landing page testing program is quickly dying out as a trend. In a digital world, a lack of ability to convert website visitors into customers can crush a business. Rather than invest in driving more traffic to a website, money is better spent maximizing the value of existing visitors through conversion optimization. In 2013, companies are leveraging intuitive and affordable landing page and conversion optimization platforms, like LiveBall, to refine page design and messaging in an effort to maximize conversions.
Marketers in the coming year must target website visitors in real-time with personalized messaging or offers based on behavior and demographic data. The increased availability of GPS location mobile applications is changing the dynamics of timely messaging. Using the same website content or messaging as a one-size-fits-all solution for a diverse audience is fast becoming an ineffective strategy.
Underestimating the Power of Video
Research shows internet users are conducting informational searches in YouTube, providing an opportunity for effective strategies that utilize creative audio and video presentations that offer greater message retention and better recall from consumers. Video and audio, once expensive and thought to be unreliable, is proving to be the next creative frontier for attracting complacent and bored consumers.
Customer reviews are the number one influencer for making a purchase, but creating false reviews may result in costly penalties to companies who try to trick the system. Consumers are getting smarter about sniffing out fake or paid reviews and such dishonest strategies risk turning consumers off and pushing them away. Honesty is the best policy and will be rewarded with customer loyalty.
Making Decisions Based on Wrong Metrics
The most common mistake marketers make in regard to social media measurement is relying on absolute numbers instead of relative ratios. According to Kent Lewis, “The most important metrics are relative: engagement or conversions as a percentage of total “likes,” followers, or fans. Maintaining or improving the ratio will result in a more informed social strategy.”
Effective digital strategies are as fickle and fleeting as today’s sophisticated consumers. Staying on top of the changing technology and utilizing the many innovative digital marketing tools will be essential to forming tomorrow’s creative and successful strategies.