In the last 15 years, the marketing world (and really the world in general) has changed a lot. Print media has declined. Digital media has risen. Mobile marketing became a thing. Content marketing became a thing. Interactive content marketing is becoming a thing. Disruptive marketing was out. Storytelling was in. Now storytelling might be out? It’s tough to keep up with the pace of change sometimes. If there has been one constant in the last 15 years, it is this: marketers love to declare that something that was once very important, even essential, is now “dead.” Honestly, when a marketer says something is “dead” it usually isn’t. Usually, whatever has been declared dead has merely changed in some fundamental way.
Here are four marketing trends that have been declared dead that really aren’t.
Google search results for the query “SEO is dead.”
“Search Engine Optimization is Dead!” is one of the most popular marketing industry article topics out there. Generally, the assumption is that with recent algorithm changes, Google is making it impossible for SEO specialists to optimize their sites. Old tricks like filling a page with a certain keyword, or creating a wealth of backlinks just don’t work the way they used to. The truth of the matter is that SEO isn’t dead. It’s merely changed. Google has essentially made it so that old black hat SEO techniques no longer work. However, white hat SEO is still very much alive. SEO now needs to work hand-in-hand with content marketing to build a rich, in-depth site that people want to go to.
Generally when people say “Facebook is dead” what they really mean is that “Teenagers don’t think Facebook is cool anymore.” This is true. Kids love Snapchat and think Facebook is for their moms and dads. But guess what- there are lots of moms and dads on Facebook! While teens are a coveted demographic, parents are the ones with the power of the purse-strings in most households.
Generally, marketers say display is dead because display never really lived up to its promise. Display did lots of things that users hated- it seemed like spam and the ads were disruptive, so no one clicked on them. However, just like SEO, new technology has allowed display to morph into a more advanced, more useful form that is yielding better results for brands. This topic is explored in depth here.
This is a relatively new one. Big data has been a hot buzz term for a few years as new tools have come along that allow brands access to more data than they ever dreamed possible. Now, some industry insiders are starting to say that big data is DOA because using said data hasn’t yielded expected results. In addition, in some cases, internet users have gotten upset when they learned just how much of their personal data brands had access to. The truth of the matter is that big data needs good data whisperers to make it effective. That is, it’s not enough to get the most data, you also need people in your organization who know how to read data and can tell you what to do with it.
The truth is, nothing in marketing really dies. However, everything in marketing changes. Saying that something is dead makes for a powerful headline but the truth is far more useful.