The marketing industry is inventing and re-inventing itself at light speed. Innovations in marketing tactics, tools, and tech are evolving almost daily. The most effective ones become trends, and every marketer on the planet is forced to jump on board until the trend becomes ineffective, unwieldy, passé, or just starts pissing off consumers to the point where they have to try something new.
So for a variety of reasons, here's my top 10 list of trends marketers wish would die.
Content and content marketing
Content marketing is super effective, but can't we think of a catchier name for it? We just took everything cool and fun about creating and sharing on the internet for marketing purposes and gave it the most boring, generic label in the history of boring, generic labels.
Normal people don't talk like this. Nobody says, "I'm watching the coolest YouTube content right now." But that's what it's called. And I know, I know, the new Google algorithm favors content. But it needs to die, because making good content is hard work, and getting people to see it and share it is even harder work! Right? Who's with me?
You: What do you mean? I just snap a photo of my lunch and post it to Instagram and tag my company. That's content marketing, right?
Me: No, you need an organized flow of content (still hate that word) including blogs, videos, mini videos, micro videos, graphics, memes, white papers, case studies, infographics, animated infographics, a content calendar, and a small army to pull it off effectively.
You need to know what entertains, educates, and informs the people who buy your stuff and in which format they prefer to (I hate this word even more) "consume" it.
You need a plan. You need consistency, and, above all else, the content has to be creative and shareable. That's the whole point. So that means now you need a creative team to make the content plus a marketing team to figure out the best way to share the content.
Plus, you need to put a call to action in there somewhere. After the content reaches its destination, what do you want the viewer to do? Share it? Click through to a website? Download something? Buy now? What's the call to action, and who decides what it should be?
This is getting complicated, huh?
You can try to pull it off with an internal department, interns, or whoever isn't busy at the moment, or you can go with an outside agency. I've tried making creatives into marketers, marketers into graphics people, even shipping and receiving guys into community managers, but it seldom works out.