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Azleen Abdul Rahim

In Memoriam: The Marketing Common Sense That Will Die In 2018

Despite their practicality and strong value, they were discarded for being either too primitive or no longer a trend to the new generation of marketers and consumers.

Bid farewell to these Marketing common senses that couldn’t make it to 2018. Despite their practicality and strong value, they were discarded for being either too primitive or no longer a trend to the new generation of marketers and consumers.

People are no longer human. The audience is no longer being treated as a fellow human being by brands. They are called leads and deemed as commodities. They can be spammed at, pressed on to get sales or to secure appointments, pushed at to secure trials and demos and never respected the word NO that comes out of their freaking mouths.

Sales figures as one of Marketing ROIs. In 2018 actual sales aren’t priority anymore, but vanity numbers are. The number of followers, reach, engagements, mention, virality, incoming traffics, bounce rate, heat map and a few more are extremely important to be reported back to the management. All these are elements of success. No sales, no problem. We are on the ‘right track’. Perhaps these vanity numbers can help to pay the office rent and utility bills every month-end.

Quality content. The substance will take a back seat in 2018. Technical superiority on how the content is being presented on social media will be right up in front. The element of presentation of the video, motions, graphics and other technical creativities must be delivered cleverly despite the fact there is no substance in the content showcased. It is okay if no one can learn anything from it, but the audience needs to be impressed by the ‘creativity’ shown in the material. After all, we are looking for virality and engagements.

A reasonable timing for results. Patience is virtue but sadly say it won’t go beyond 2017. The mentality of giving the marketing initiative reasonable amount of time to produce results is generally dead. Once the contract is signed up today, the customer wants the result to happen yesterday, not in the next 6 months. The customer simply can’t wait. They say, we have a very limited budget to spend on Marketing after spending multiple millions on the readiness of the product. In 2018, you will come across many jokes similar to these.

Writing for the human being. In 2018, articles, opinion and insights are written for the sake of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), not human. While the marketers claimed that these articles are written for human consumptions and optimised for SEO, in actual fact they are not. As a human being, we all prefer to read stories, with the right flow of words, seamless handover between paragraphs and the speed that match the pace of our moving eyes. Yet what we are seeing now is an article that is being flooded by keywords, distracted by a huge number of backlinks, the title that isn’t making any sense and doesn’t match with the content written, and the number of words of more than 3,000 altogether. Normal people hardly reads beyond 4-5 minutes, which is between 800 to 1,200 words only.

Good taste of pricing. Brands, especially SMEs are falling into the trap of those fake agencies who are giving away ‘quality’ content and services at such a ridiculous pricing rate. They no longer have a good taste of understanding the word reasonable price anymore, and they thought they’ll get quality output despite paying peanuts. Good agencies’ revenues will continue to decline because of this, and those fake agencies also will close their shops for good due to their incapability to cope with the consumers’ demand.

Let the work do the talking. There were times when people like to share a quote that says let the work or results do the talking. Come 2018, the same quote won’t be as popular as yesteryear’s. Personal branding activities are taking centre stage on all social media channels for 2018. These people want to rise above the personal branding noise, they’re aiming to become a public figure, popular, a keynote speaker and the ultimate authority within their own respective field of work. They prefer to let their selfie talk in front of their camera ranting trash every single day. Let me do the talking will become the theme of the year in 2018.

Paper-based business cards. Some geniuses claimed that giving away business cards is for dinosaurs’ professionals. It is lame, expensive and primitive. Come 2018, everyone should replace their paper-based business cards with business e-cards or maybe with LinkedIn. Nice. To some people, e-cards and LinkedIn just don’t make any perfect sense at all especially when you need more than 15 minutes to dig your e-card out of your mobile, or your mobile phone is running out of juice, or your mobile service is being interrupted for not paying the bill on time.

Stand-alone Marketing. To have successful campaigns, brands would require having these pillars running hand-in-hand; online marketing, traditional marketing and public/media relations. In 2018, brands can’t afford to work on either or anymore. They need to go for all three options at one go.

Employees are as excited as their employer’s brand. Relying on your own personnel to help on the shouting out of campaigns on for your brand will no longer work in 2018. Sorry to break this to you people, but your team members aren’t attached wholeheartedly to your brand as you thought they are. No, they don’t. They are quietly detaching themselves from being involved with you especially outside the 9 to 5 working hour. Why is that? The new generation of employees know that job security no longer exists, and this is the ultimate answer to their action. Loyalty, what is that?

The prediction that both traditional marketing and email marketing were dead. Back in 2016 and early part of 2017, many marketing ‘experts’ claimed that traditional and email marketing are as good as dead. They’re not only ‘expensive’, but the effectiveness is very much questionable. The predictions did shake the whole marketing industry a little bit. And now here we are, a few days away from 2018 and seems that the finger pointing stunt by these geniuses isn’t true after all. Of course, the printed version of newspapers circulation is gradually decreasing year-on-year, but the rest of the media channels are pretty much well intact. In 2018, traditional and email marketing will continue to grow to support the online campaigns being done.

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Written By

Azleen Abdul Rahim is the Co-Founder of Marketing In Asia. He also runs NSE, a social media management company. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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