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8 Overused Marketing Tactics

Sometimes you learn the hard way. Consider this common scenario: Your cool aunt comes to babysit and lets you eat as much ice cream as you want. So you do. The consequences of overindulging taught you a valuable life lesson that too much of a good thing isn’t always… as good as it sounds.

Getting a brand’s message heard in an environment oversaturated with information often leads marketers to forget this lesson, and go overboard with their marketing efforts. Modern marketers have the tools to make customer experiences infinitely engaging; however, overusing certain strategies can strip them of their effectiveness, or, worse, make them infinitely boring.

Industry experts say marketers should exercise restraint when it comes to…

1. Rich media ad attacks. “When I go to my trusted news source and you suddenly take over the page, my immediate reaction is to get rid of your ad as soon as possible,” says David Low, president of Launchpad Advertising. “You might as well create a billboard that bends over and bites cars as they drive by on the highway. There is nothing worse than accosting a potential customer as they go about their business—especially when you’re not adding value to their day.”

2. Complicated out-of-home advertising. “Too often marketers and agencies are pushing complex ideas or multiple messages in a vehicle that demands simplicity and telegraphic communication,” says Ray Gottschalk, EVP and managing director, West Coast, at TRIS3CT. “Viewers…can be charmed by arresting imagery, crisp copy, and contextual executions.”

3. #2many #hashtags #with #no #real #purpose. “Boring or poorly branded hashtags that are too general will get lost in the social sea, and too many hashtags make your content look like teenager spam,” Ly Tran, director of digital strategy at Proof Advertising, warns. “As with all things social, timing and relevance are [essential].”

4. Unnecessary rebranding. “A rebrand does not a new brand make,” states Tim Ettus, director of operations at Sparks&Honey. “Fundamental change must precede the brand’s marketing refresh, or consumers will still see the same old thing. But more often than not, the brands leveraging this tactic fail to alter the underlying fundamentals of their business that led them to require such a shift in the first place.”

5. QR codes with no reward. Tran says that “asking consumers to snap or scan a QR code requires some effort on their part. For consumers who are willing to take the time to engage with a brand on their mobile device, reward them with something worthy of the effort. Give them something unique or exclusive. The worst offense is when QRs just link to your website home page.”

6. Death by marketing automation. Salesforce‘s acquisition of ExactTarget and Oracle‘s Eloqua purchase have put marketing automation on the front burner. But HubSpot CMO Mike Volpe cautions marketers not to get burnt. “Marketing automation can be used for good or for evil—using it for good requires you to be effective at using inbound marketing to build a high–quality, engaged opt-in list of people who want to hear from you. Don’t take the lazy route,” he counsels. “Avoid the spam folder by focusing on attracting and connecting with people who want to hear from you and then sending emails that create value.”

7. Digital “junk” rewards. “Tricking consumers into engagements by misrepresenting the value of rewards erodes trust and alienates advocates,” Gottschalk observes. “Content downloads from second-tier media distribution sources and discounts for e-commerce readily available elsewhere online are common bad practices. The intrinsic value of the incentive must be in line with the ‘ask’ for the participant.”

8. Misusing a brand’s heritage. “What was once part of a brand’s heritage may no longer apply in today’s day and age, and therefore, should not be part of the brand’s marketing platform,” advises Ruth Bernstein, cofounder and chief strategic officer at YARD. “Some brands have extraordinary heritages that can, and should, be leveraged for marketing purposes. However, too many marketers choose to rely on a brand’s heritage without any truly modern relevance.”

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