A lot has changed in the marketing world in the past 365 days. Marketing Automation has gone from a fairly unknown tool to a must-have. Small to mid-size businesses are starting to develop strategies and tactic plans for Content Marketing. Customer Experience is so common a topic that we now just refer to it as CX.
I’m completely optimistic about the future of marketing, and yet, there are some very bad tactics getting employed out there. Let’s take a look at some that you should leave in 2016’s dust.
1. Obnoxious Pop-Ups – Let me get this out there. I am not opposed to pop-ups. I use them and they are exceptionally effective. Obnoxious pop-ups are another matter completely. You know the ones I’m talking about. They either appear every two seconds or you have to spend a full minute trying to figure out where the heck the “X” resides to close it out. The worst of the worst are the ones that obscure most of the page. This tactic is often combined with the “where is the X” game.
If we go back to CX, I think we can all agree that this is an awful customer experience. If this isn’t enough motivation for you, world on the street is that Google will be punishing for mobile pop-ups that are obtrusive. This is a clear sign that Google cares about CX and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that they will not be done with punishing this type of bad marketing behavior.
2. Auto-Play Videos and Pre-Rolls – Is there anything worse than going to a site (this is even more “awesome” when you’re in public or at work) and videos start blaring from no where? Bonus obnoxious points if you can’t figure out where they are or how to get rid of them. Ditto for when you are looking for how-to content and have to deal with the several seconds of video before you can click on the “skip” button. We hate these things as consumers and we need to stop doing them as marketers. Sure, you’re getting views and clicks, but at what cost?
3. Slideshows – Oh, how I hate thee. You find some juicy content and are all excited – only to realize you’re going to receive bite-size tidbits and have to hit the “next” button 30 times to get through this article. What should have taken 3 minutes to read has now eaten up 10 minutes of your life. If you’re hell bent on using slideshows (and I don’t mean decks, I mean parsing up an article inappropriately), at least provide the “view on one page option.”
The three items in this post really boil down to one big marketing black eye…
4. Using Metrics to Justify Bad Behavior – I began my career as a direct marketer. I will forever care about producing ROI and justifying continued funding. I fully believe that content marketing, though a long-term strategy – should be measured. That said, measure the right things.
Time on page and views are great and in most cases, should absolutely be a part of your metrics. However, twisting them to sell advertising or to send up the corporate chain is irresponsible at best. The metrics are going to look good, but you’re going to suffer in the long-term because the customer experience is so poor.
Looking Ahead – In 2017, never forget what you think as a consumer. If you find a tactic annoying as one, try to find another solution as a marketer. Have CX at the forefront of your mind at all times.
What bad marketing behaviors would you like to see stay in 2016?