Marketing Tactics on the Chopping Block in 2019
It’s 2019 - and just like a relationship on the rocks, marketers need to face the facts: some marketing tactics will not work in the new year.
Marketing is constantly evolving. In the past, content creators learned about keyword stuffing, web designers learned about the power of search engine optimization (SEO) in rigging search results, brands learned that machine learning and Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) creates captivating (and addicting) interactive content that improves the user experience, email marketers learned the benefit of personalized email automation, creative marketers learned to optimize video content and live videos on social media. Now, marketers are trying to implement more and more voice search technology as it grows in popularity.
Each year brings some new invention that reshapes the marketing world. Marketers need to willingly evolve their marketing strategy as their priorities shift and technology evolves.
So, in 2019, which marketing trends should marketers turn away from?
The term “Chopping Block” is a bit graphic, but just because something dies or is “dying,” doesn’t mean it cannot evolve into something better. Tactics on the “Chopping Block” will probably not work for most brands - but that does not mean they have never/will never work for brands.
Based on trends and performances in 2018, here are three marketing trends on the “Chopping Block” for 2019:
People - marketers, Snapchat users, stakeholders, even Snap Inc.’s own leadership have been predicting Snapchat’s downfall for years now...will 2019 finally be the year it dies?
Starting with the redesign of the app’s interface in 2017, then the growth of Facebook’s Instagram story capabilities (which completely ripped off the Snapchat story feature but has 1 billion daily users), to members of the c-suite stepping down, users have found every reason not to be on the social media platform that was once revolutionary for making pictures disappear.
Though the company was doing better in sales and ad impressions in 2018, Snapchat’s shares tumbled and the platform’s active users quickly declined (especially in their main geographic targets - North America and Europe), leading to net loss and decreased ad revenue. The downfall does not stop there. Since Snap became a public company, they reported “negative operating cash flow and negative EBITDA.”
The company’s focus on programmatic ads have increased impressions and ad exposure, but at the risk of losing even more users. An increase in ad saturation bombards the user with more ads daily and increases ad load time. Some brand advertisers, including Vogue, GQ, and Wired, are even discontinuing their channels on the platform.
Management cannot confirm to stakeholders when ad prices will stabilize. As of now, they are still on the decline. Snapchat’s leadership has not invested in improving the app, having only spent around $163 million from Q2 2017 - Q3 2018.
So...can Snapchat get itself off the chopping block? Perhaps. The company is taking some serious measures to reclaim their throne. Though Snapchat executives admit they will never be as big as Facebook, the app is working to expand their demographic into older millennials; invest in original shows, media partners, mini programs, and mobile magazines; improve the app’s analytical and measurement tools; and update to programmatic advertising instead of direct sales in order to increase ad revenue and expose ads to a wider audience (which incentivizes smaller businesses to work with Snapchat to gain a larger reach).
Google Display Ads
Google Display Ads are certainly not going away any time soon. Even still, generic and non-personalized display ads are on the chopping block.
Google cites that the Display Network reaches up to 90% of internet users. Reach doesn’t always equate to effectiveness, however.
Consumers get exposed to 4,000-10,000 ads each day. Therefore, people are bound to ignore generic, unsophisticated display ads. The chaotic, cluttered ad landscape, coupled with a finite attention span and the increasing popularity of ad blockers, brings the use of Google Display ads in 2019 into question.
How many of these ads are actually noticed, let alone remembered? How many actually drive conversions?
So how can marketers take Google Display advertising off the chopping block in 2019?
Start by being relevant. Marketers must put time, energy, and effort in producing effective, highly targeted ads for Google Display advertising.
Optimize the cost by changing the settings to Cost-Per-Click (CPC) instead of impressions.
Create visually simple, but captivating graphics in every format.
Avoid running the ad through mobile games.
Remarket, remarket, remarket! It will nurture, grow, and engage followers who have already expressed an interest in the company.
Augment the display ad strategy with other types of Google ad products, like dynamic search ads.
Influencers (but not Micro-Influencers)
Influencers are becoming diluted. The Justin Biebers, Kardashian clan, and Snoop Doggs aren’t believable anymore because people don’t have the same level of trust with an untouchable celebrity as they do with a peer or micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers are people with a substantial amount of followers who are passionate about and experts in their industry - and they’re also the reason why major celebrity influencers are on the chopping block in 2019.
Micro-influencers are cheaper overall, more trustworthy, visible in diverse markets, and present on heavily used platforms like Instagram and YouTube. These smaller-sized influencers are focused on niche markets, personalized engagement, and relatable content as opposed to “big shots” who may be backing a product because of the paycheck.
Even though micro-influencers have a lot of benefits compared to influencers…they could be on the chopping block soon. According to a study conducted by Bloglovin’, 59% of participants said that “posts that are inconsistent with the rest of an influencer’s feed feel fake.” Most consumers rank authenticity over innovation and product uniqueness.
When leveraging influencer marketing, marketers need to remember that consumers just want to know the brand has their best interest at heart. As long as brands continue to humanize their marketing efforts with a consumer-focused mindset, they will attain more success.
For the benefit of all marketers everywhere, it’s important to know which marketing efforts will lead to a more successful marketing strategy in 2019. Which marketing trends do you think will be on the chopping block in 2019?