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9 Marketing Practices That Need to Die in 2017

Spraying and Praying? Using rule-based segmentation? Sending another “last chance” email? Well, it might be time to stop!

The Changing Digital Marketing Landscape

Digital marketing is changing at the speed of light. You wrap your head around retargeting, and boom! Video is the new thing. You get your video initiative going, and now it’s all about the customer journey. The fast rate of change is driven by both technology and the consumers. As consumers become increasingly tech-savvy, some marketing practices simply don’t cut it anymore.

9 Marketing Practices That Need to Die in 2017

To break through the clutter, these are the things marketers absolutely must stop doing in 2017:

  1. Not using data. Imagine you are trying to market to your family a weekend trip to the local art museum. Of course, you wouldn’t pitch it to your spouse the same way you would to your 16-year-old or four-year-old. For each of them you’d want to highlight the bonus that will make them tick. And you’re able to do that because you have data – you are keenly aware of their wants and needs. Not using your customer data is the equivalent of neglecting this knowledge. Try pitching that museum outing to your family without any data about them, and, well – it’s a very long shot. The same goes for your marketing efforts.
  2. Spraying and Praying/Batching and Blasting. Spray and Pray is the polite way of saying “you are shouting into the void, and nobody’s listening to what you have to say.” Although a close relation of the “not using data” practice, Spray and Pray is often practiced by brands who do utilize data, which is almost a double sin. Simply acknowledge the fact that batch messages go straight to trash. Consumers’ emotional attitude will always be: If you don’t have any idea what I’m interested in, I’m not reading it.
  3. Working with different marketing channels as silos. As the number of screens used by consumers is growing (the current average is 4.5 screens per person), messaging needs to be streamlined between channels. From the point of view of consumers, segregated and disharmonious communications are annoying and ineffective. Consider 2017 to be the year of consolidation: marketing departments need to manage channels centrally and unify messages across all channels.
  4. Treating acquisition as king. Well, not so much. With the cost of acquiring new customers steadily increasing, brands are increasing their investment in marketing to existing customers and building customer loyalty. As brand advocates are the best marketing strategy out there, in 2017 CRM will continue its evolution towards becoming the new acquisition.
  5. Thinking product centricity. Regardless of how divine your brand or products are, it’s the consumer that buys it/them. To sell your product or service, ticking off a list of features and benefits isn’t going to cut it anymore. Closing the deal means marketers must focus on individual customers and their specific needs and desires. The coming year is the time to put the consumer in the center, and adapt your business accordingly.
  6. Using static customer journeys. Dynamic customer journey management was the big promise of 2015 and 2016. It won bigtime in B2B, but failed in B2C. Too many variables to juggle when it comes to hundreds of thousands, or millions of consumers. But time is running out for the static customer journey, as it is really a source of lost revenue. In 2017, you will need to shift towards memoryless systems of intervention points in the infinite amount of customer journeys you are managing.
  7. Relying on rule-based, arbitrary segmentation. The jury is still out on whether this is even worse than static-customer journey. Rule-based segmentation is so ten years ago, and consumers can tell the difference by the absurdity of the content they’re getting (“I’ve just purchased tickets to Paris on your site. Why are you sending me offers on tickets to Paris?”). Consider that your customers are dynamic, unpredictable and constantly evolving, so your segmentation needs to be dynamic and adaptive too.
  8. Depending on the “Big Campaign”. A campaign can no longer be something marketers plan and work on for weeks or months. In order to accommodate both the speed of change and consumer expectations, marketing must be agile and adapt quickly, just like customers do. Marketing should be able to launch and orchestrate many campaigns simultaneously. You snooze you lose. The only way up is to be quick and lethal.
  9. Sending LAST Chance emails. Stop it. It isn’t. We know.

The end of the year is a great time for taking stock, but change should be implemented throughout the year. 2017 is going to be an exciting and action-filled year for marketers – just make sure that you are well prepared to take part in the fun.

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