3 General Marketing Strategies That Don’t Work Anymore
Whether you’ve been in business for years or your startup has just launched, you should have marketing on your mind. Marketing has changed so much in the past few years that it’s hardly recognizable from what it was ten or twenty years ago. And it’s not just because of the Internet. Yes, in general, marketing is changing a great deal thanks to new, free and low-cost media and people’s access to it. However, marketing is also changing because consumers are changing, and our models for how we choose brands and buy products are changing right along with us.
Business owners have some interesting opportunities in front of them today. You can spend virtually nothing and gain global reach through social media marketing. At the same time, you can’t simply move all of your marketing strategy into Facebook posts and Twitter tweets. Some traditional marketing techniques do still work, and some newer techniques really don’t, so how do you find the balance.
If we look at the old general marketing strategies that just don’t work anymore, we not only avoid using them, but we can also look at what it is about them that doesn’t work and why. With that knowledge, you’ll have a good metric for spotting techniques and strategies that will gain you followers and convert those followers to customers. You’ll also gain a nose for spotting the techniques that you should leave right where they are and never, ever touch, no matter how many other businesses are trying them out.
First of all, don’t waste your time on expensive commercials for either network or cable TV. Thanks to on-demand viewing options, more and more TV-watchers are skipping the commercials entirely. And, with more and more people choosing to stream their favorite television shows and movies, more people are choosing to “watch their TV on the Internet” instead of paying for basic or premium cable.
That’s not to say that video advertising is dead. In fact, this is still one of the best general marketing tools available to small and large businesses, alike. It’s just that the platform for these advertisements is changing. For example, YouTube offers a free service to play an ad for your channel as a pre-roll video for people who are likely to be interested your content. You can also invest in pay-per-click video ads on a number of platforms, as well.
Pay attention to viewer feedback, though. Hulu pays for its programming through advertisements placed at intervals throughout their videos. However, when a rumor leaked that Netflix would be attempting a similar format, viewers were irate. The last thing you want for your marketing strategy is to be associated with advertising that makes viewers angry enough to cause an Internet uproar.
Buying Mailing Lists
Speaking of things that make your audience angry, whether you’re sending out direct mailers or email newsletters, avoid the temptation to buy someone else’s list(s). More than ever before, people are really attuned to spam and junk mail. They don’t open emails from people or brands they don’t know, and they throw away unsolicited direct mailer advertisements before they even look at them.
Instead of focusing on unsolicited, outbound marketing strategies, go for opt-in methods. Create a landing page where your audience can choose to sign up for your email list or direct mailer. Give them incentives to sign up, like discount codes and the latest news and updates from your brand. Basically, people don’t mind getting promotional mail (or emails) – they mind when they feel like their privacy is being invaded. So focus on getting permission and building your mailing list, not on buying it from another company.
Focusing on Name Recognition Over Lifestyle Marketing
Finally, the entire point of most old-school general marketing strategies was to get your name out there and build brand/product recognition. In all honesty, while your brand still matters, this marketing strategy does not work anymore. Your audience wants to know how you can make their lives better. They want to know why they can trust your brand.
They want to see the kind of lifestyle that your products and/or services promote. Spamming the world with your brand name and/or products isn’t going to do any of that for them, and they’re not going to respond well to it.
So, now you know how and why these three prominent general marketing strategies don’t work anymore, and you should have an idea of what makes a good strategy in today’s market. Focus on opt-in methods and relationship-building, and you’ll have the basis for a strong general marketing strategy that will work for today’s customers.