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9 marketing strategies you must stop using -- now

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Relying heavily on QR codes

All the rage in 2010 and 2011, QR codes took a hit in 2012. Many mobile and marketing industry pundits believe the technology is flawed for a variety of reasons. Based on my experience, I agree. QR codes require too many steps and rarely solve a problem uniquely.

Newer technologies like near-field communications (NFC) and other apps are rending the QR code obsolete. Saturation of QR codes at events and in print media has created a jaded consumer who is more likely to ignore than ever. Without unified standards, competing solutions like Microsoft Tag create confusion and annoyance as they might require download of additional apps. The bottom line: Be cautious when using QR codes; make sure they solve a problem better than newer, more intuitive technologies.

Keyword-based search engine optimization

When I first optimized websites in 1996, we spent a good deal of effort embedding target keywords throughout website copy and code and then measured effectiveness based on rankings for said terms in search results. Times have changed, and as Google gets smarter, the algorithm relies less on keyword placement and more on context.

The other troubling trend exasperating the old-school SEO pros is that Google is now hiding search terms from your referring search engine traffic logs. When searchers are logged into Google Search, Firefox search bar, and Chrome address bar, all searches are encrypted with HTTPS, causing an increase in "(not provided)" results in your keyword data (up 171 percent since its introduction). As "not provided" data become a bigger part of our analytics reporting (now estimated at 30-50 percent of Google traffic), marketers are forced to spend more time and effort on content and contextual analysis. The good news is that organic search results still drive a good deal of qualified traffic, and evaluating rankings or visibility is not as important as the ability of that traffic to convert.

 

Comments

antonio bortolotti
antonio bortolotti February 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Thank you Kent ;-)

Kent Lewis
Kent Lewis February 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Antonio, thank you for clarifying. I was referring to Blue Martini & Broadvision platforms in my article, as examples of overly complicated and expensive customization platforms. Since we're not a developer, I'm not that well versed in more affordable alternatives, though I know they exist. Here's a little background and a few recommended platforms:
http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2098096/dynamic-content-customization-marketers-primer
http://www.emediavitals.com/content/4-things-you-should-know-about-personalization
http://www.smartinsights.com/conversion-optimisation/product-page-optimisation/web-personalization-software/

I hope this helps.

antonio bortolotti
antonio bortolotti February 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Thank you Kent, I'll try to be more specific. In the part of your article entitled "Ignoring personalization and behavioral targeting" you say: "While expensive and complicated personalization platforms were the rage more than a decade ago, newer, simpler solutions now provide marketers with the ability to target website visitors in real-time with personalized messaging or offers based on behavior and demographic data."

Can you point me to some of these solutions? I would like to investigate them and compare them with what i do on my own, as I believe I may find some solution that may speed up my entire process or at least I could get a comparison to realize where I stand.

Thanks

Kent Lewis
Kent Lewis February 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Antonio, I'm not sure what you mean by "personalization platforms." Feel free to elaborate, as I'd like to help if I can.

antonio bortolotti
antonio bortolotti February 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Can you give us some examples of simpler solutions addressing personalization platforms? You state a very good point I strongly advocate in my campaigns but I would also be very happy to read about some simple solutions out there. Thanks!

Nigel Rawlins
Nigel Rawlins February 9, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I work with lots of micro and small businesses building them wordpress websites. What they don't realise is once finished, that's not the end, and that they need to work their websites to keep the content fresh and relevant. Everything you have written has lifted the bar for small businesses looking to use the web to market themselves. Unless they are prepared to spend the hours needed to market themselves online, then I think many of them will be doing it tough.

Gail Onat
Gail Onat February 6, 2013 at 9:10 PM

These are not strategies....As also Jennifer says, these are Tactics and in today's world, you should not define these under a blanket content just like you should never develop blanket strategies. Companies need to be unique and thus need different planning for their own environment to be competitive. What you are talking about are just a variety of tactics to reach certain goals. And each company should be different in their goals and thus the strategies reflect these goals and their vision. All these tactics are at the bottom of a strategic marketing pyramid and rely solely on all the things that need to be done at the top of the pyramid and listing it as a "must stop" without any specific relation to a pre-planned environment does not reflect a strong marketing mind. Sorry....

Jennifer Bussell
Jennifer Bussell February 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Hate to be a Debbie Downer, but as a digital marketing strategist I need to point out that what you've outlined in your article are really tactics, not strategies.

Companies need to invest in custom strategic blueprints that address their unique business and marketing challenges. They need to truly analyze what they're doing right and wrong across ALL channels - online and offline - in order to effectively initiate and foster ongoing, value-centric relationships with their customers.

Many companies stumble when they silo their marketing efforts by channel. Digital strategic planning and tactical program development cannot be done in a vacuum. What's needed is a holistic, channel-agnostic view of their marketing landscape so they can make strategic decisions and allocate marketing resources where they can have the biggest impact.

Jason Schefferstein
Jason Schefferstein February 6, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Fantastic article and much needed. Shared it on LinkedIn with my contacts. Thanks for posting.

Susan Kim
Susan Kim February 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Although these are common sense marketing tips, it's surprising how few companies follow them. Especially the content for content's sake. All this content churned out like a commodity is making it harder to find good content. Like this article.

Anne Smith
Anne Smith February 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Some nice reminders here. I think digital marketing is all about customisation and getting the right message to the right people. More and more it´s becoming about quality over quantity.