Death To The Marketing Is Dead Trend!

Death To The Marketing Is Dead Trend!

Do you ever feel like you’re surrounded by drama? I’m sure I do my fair share to create much of the drama that surrounds me. You certainly can’t publish snarky sentiments and expect to get off drama free.

But I often find myself scrolling through articles, mostly via Feedly or another RSS gatherer, wondering why we have to go for the dramatic when it’s less than necessary.

Death, Dying & Killing It When You Content Market!

Is it just me, or do an awful lot of marketing articles tap into the idea of killing something? And, if not that, then they’re talking about the impending death knell of a practice we’ve all come to hold dear. Anyone else notice that? Just me?

Why do we feel the need to pronounce currently accepted and still valuable practices dead in order to be provocative? Every time I turn around I’m bombarded with another announcement of imminent death…

  1. SEO Is Dead! Stick With Social!
  2. Content Marketing Is Dead! Stop Beating A Dead Horse!
  3. Facebook Is Dead! Switch Immediately To Myspace!

Okay, I admit it. I may have gone just a bit too far with that last fake headline. But I know plenty of you have seen these pronouncements populating your feed of late.

While I’m all for taking off the rose-colored glasses and looking a bit deeper to see the two sides that make up every story, I have some problems with this Chicken Little, “the sky is falling” mentality.

Several problems, actually, and what better way to share them than with a dose of my patented Simmer Down Sassy Pants snark and sass.

#1: They Tend To Be Ridiculously Premature

People have been writing about and lamenting the death of Photoshop for years. It was not too recently ramped up with the launch of Canva, the supposed “democratizer” of graphic design – seriously don’t get me started, that’s another rant entirely – anywho … where was I, oh … the death of Photoshop.

It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Derek, my husband and partner in Go Creative Go business crime, still uses it every day. While I was never a big Photoshop fan, I’m still using Fireworks on a several times per day basis. FYI, Fireworks is another image editor/creator, optimizer owned by Adobe.

Photoshop is still available and still being updated by the fine folks at Adobe, though it’s now a cloud-based product. And, I see articles and tutorials published almost every day by fellow graphic design enthusiasts.

There’s no reason to jump ship quite yet!

#2: They’re Gimmicky!

Someone told someone else that provocative headlines were the hot ticket. Content marketing with catchy titles is the way to go.

Not so fast there, Tiger. Those are blanket statements. And you already know how I feel about blanket statements, don’t you?

Sure, the occasional provocative title will gather eyes for your well-written (we hope) content marketing prize. I’m not categorically against the pithy, the provocative. As a matter of fact, the title of this article could very easily be described as provocative, and, YES, some could say it detracts from my point. Maybe! Kinda!

Gimmicks are great in the short run, but if you don’t deliver on what’s promised they won’t reap you any rewards.

A catchy title that draws eyes CAN be great. But if those eyes aren’t delivered the promised goods and ideas, you’ve possibly lost a reader. Possibly a prospect. Maybe even a paying client!

#3: They’re Uninspired!

Bandwagon jumping is often the first sign that someone’s run out of creative mojo. When we’ve lost the ability to create something relatively new and targeted, we fall back on the standbys. The gimmicks. Click bait. Eye candy.

Again, there are times when a provocative title draws eyes to a real prize. A well crafted, ideas-full article or other form of content (podcast, infographic) that packs plenty of punch and generates real discussion.

There are some great “death to” articles that are absolutely on target and worthy of the shares the title generates. But it’s become too easy to add the word “death” to a title, and then fail to deliver on the expected punch and pithy entendre.

It’s at that point when the uninspired ruin a tactic that can be quite effective.

Death is, for all intents and purposes, permanent …

Yes, we could certainly discuss many a religious belief to the contrary, but work with me here.

Digital marketing, social media marketing, content marketing … each is equal parts fleeting and permanent. Permanent in that someone can always take a screen cap and reference your past foibles. But fleeting in that new ideas, influencers and best practices crop up every day. Dare we say every hour?

Let’s not bring pre-mature death on anything that remains useful, even for only a margin of our audience. Let’s, instead, consider how to bolster what’s flagging, how to revive what’s grown a little tired, and breathe new life into tactics and practices before we relegate them to turn to dust and blow away.

6 replies
  1. Danny Brown
    Danny Brown says:

    I remember when they said email was dead, because of social media. Guess what’s still the best marketing tool today?

    I remember they said the phone was dead, because of email. Guess what’s still the most-used tool when it comes to emergencies?

    The only thing that really needs to die is the “everything is dead” crud. Grrr…

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Apparently I don’t have Postmatic set up correctly, Danny. Told you there would be further tweaks. But I’ve left time the rest of the week for that!

      This article has been languishing in Google Drive, passed over for others. I thought it was time for it to see the light of day!

        • Mallie Hart
          Mallie Hart says:

          It appears to be working. It just doesn’t look like it does when I comment on your site. I’m going to get in on the next one-on-one session and they’ll get me all sorted.

          I’m trying out several new plug-ins with the new site look and bootstrap theme, so I’ve got lots of tweaking and revision in my near future!

          It’s all good!

  2. Don Purdum
    Don Purdum says:

    Hi Mallie,

    I agree with you that too many articles are based way to heavily on an unrealistic emotional standard. Photoshop for example is so ingrained that it will take a decade or longer for people to stop using it in the event that something better comes along because of familiarity.

    I remember when I started my first business it was unique in our small town and the bank wanted to sponsor a lot of money for it. Who was I to say no, lol… There purpose was no matter how great something else appeared it is hard to take the top dog down if they continue doing a good job and they were the ones who started something.

    It’s the whole familiarity thing.

    However, there is a difference between knowing and understanding trends and being able to see the writing on the wall. For example, I just did a blog / podcast / video on the reality that a new competition is coming for web designers that most don’t know about and aren’t ready for.

    It will drive prices down even more and will force many out of business. It’s artificial based web design sites and these things are for real. Businesses want to save money and therefore if they spend it the web designer of the future better come prepared to do more than ask “what would you like” and that will be $3,000 (or even $500) when they can get it for $10 a month on The Grid or some other system.

    So, there is a difference between creating drama for readers and creating value by exposing what is actually happening right in front of our eyes that people are not paying attention to and can’t see what’s coming.

    Great post Mallie!

    Have a great week!!!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      I’ll continue to go a little OT in my reply, Don. We’ve actually been seeing the opposite of your article. People who went for the proprietary monthly “easy button” package and were sorely disappointed. For us, as a web design firm since 1998, it’s always been about carefully crafting our service offerings and pricing to meet the kinds of clients we want to work with. Derek and I work with very different kinds of clients, so our offerings are more diverse and varied, in terms of pricing and what’s delivered.

      Sites like Wix and Square, and those targeted to specific industries like real estate, will always be on the periphery. They haven’t put us out of business in the past and they won’t in the future, because (and you know I so dislike blanket statements) the RARELY deliver what they promise.

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