Digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving, so no matter if you’re a Chicago web design company or an online bookstore from Los Angeles, you will need to adapt your marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, many outdated marketing techniques are still being used today, even though their expiry date is long overdue.
Marketing campaigns should be revised regularly, even on a monthly basis, so if you’re falling behind in this department, it’s time to get in the know.
Read our article and find out which marketing strategies you should avoid using!
The 11 Techniques That Used To Work But Became Obsolete
There’s an old saying, if it works, don’t fix it. People who are not marketing experts, i.e., the majority of the global population, believe that using outdated marketing techniques is no big deal when in reality, it is a huge deal.
The Internet is ever-changing, and new trends come up every few months, if not weeks.
The faster you are to catch up with these trends, the better your online visibility will be, and that results in higher traffic, better conversion rates, more revenue, and plenty of other positive outcomes.
The same applies to offline marketing, which will also be touched upon. To achieve the most optimal results, you need to drop the following digital and non-digital marketing techniques:
#1 Billboard Marketing
Renting a huge billboard in a popular location may be cool, but it is very outdated and expensive.
Note that billboards may also be a traffic hazard, and they are seen by everyone passing by, not just your target demographic.
Targeted marketing will be touched upon further in the article, but that surely is not an outdated thing, because targeted ads work the best.
Regardless, if you’re investing a lot into billboards, you should instead direct that money into more effective marketing techniques that can reach more people and aren’t location-specific.
#2 Pamphlets, Brochures, and Other Paper Marketing
Paper form marketing used to be very popular, but it is surely going out of style. In most cases, paper products used for marketing end up in the trash or worse, on the street, parks, or bodies of water.
Spreading trash is one of the worst’ achievements’ of outdated marketing and it should stop.
People are not interested in reading pamphlets that they unwillingly received. They shouldn’t be left in the mail or given out randomly on the street.
The only sensible way of using paper marketing is handing it out to people when they desire to see it or when they are already buying your products or services.
#3 Direct Marketing
Marketing products directly by using door-to-door salesmen or marketers is also very outdated. This makes your marketing attempts too generalized, and it does not help reach your target demographic, once again.
If you offer your services and products to people who aren’t interested, you are wasting everyone’s time, and you may achieve exactly the opposite of the desired effect on people.
#4 Fake Advertising or Testimonials
Sadly, false advertising used to be incredibly popular and it still is, but any intelligent person can see it from a mile away.
Paying for fake reviews or testimonials or fabricating them on your own is a very outdated and dishonest marketing technique. Customers value honesty, integrity, and even morality, so steer clear of fake testimonials.
Seeing a five-star review for a new product that has no proper credentials or backing is not very trustworthy and most people will disregard it. Even testimonials from random people or bots can’t fool a person twice.
Furthermore, bots are becoming a big issue on all major social media platforms and websites, and they’re easy to spot and block out.
Spamming ads through emails, pamphlets, or any other way is outdated and, frankly, it does not achieve much other than slightly annoying people. Try not to send the same emails or pamphlets multiple times, even if it’s not completely the same.
Similar or identical marketing techniques get tiresome and don’t affect people positively at all. If you’re using a newsletter, make sure that it is creative and fresh, don’t re-use content because that is not an effective marketing technique.
Luckily, even email providers offer solid built-in anti-spam systems, which will launch spam emails into the trash or spam folder, where they belong.
#6 Cold Calling
Cold calling is a thing of the past and rightfully so. It is an outdated technique that causes confusion, anxiety, and the opposite marketing effect on many people.
Some of us dislike speaking on the phone to strangers and finding out about new products or services this way is usually disappointing and not in anyone’s interest.
Most people ignore calls from unknown numbers and that’s why cold calling is out of style. There are also many ways to block these types of calls, and if you use cold calling it’s likely you will only be able to reach the same person once before they stop answering your calls.
#7 Ignoring Personalization
Personalization is not an outdated technique; on the contrary, it is very beneficial. Not using behavioral targeting and personalization is a huge waste.
Consumer brands use personalization to reach their target audiences, and this type of marketing is very effective and it should be used. Targeted ads on social media and web pages are a worthwhile investment. Also, figuring out your target audience should be a priority.
Once you narrow the target demographic, your marketing campaigns will be significantly more efficient and fruitful, and you will be able to earn much more than you have invested in marketing.
#8 Disregarding Audio and Video Marketing
Audio marketing was fairly popular in the past, and it still is. Radio ads are not outdated, even though they are used for decades.
Online audio ads are fairly new yet very effective, and so is video advertising. TV commercials are also effective, but they are very expensive.
Instead, you should consider short video ads on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Social media is a lucrative modern asset that should be used to its full potential. These platforms are incredibly popular and used by virtually everyone with internet access.
If you haven’t already, consider investing in audio and video marketing online. Radio is not a bad ad space, but consider podcast commercials and similar new audio marketing biomes.
#9 Third-Party Marketing
Even though third-party marketing can be useful and successful, that is not always the case.
Sometimes using good-old word of mouth marketing, and spreading the word through trust-based circuits is better than paying a fortune for an influencer or other social media third-party marketing.
Outsourcing the marketing to influencers who are moderately famous at best is not always the best idea.
If you can use in-house marketing, it’s mostly better than outsourcing marketing resources. Even though this is not a marketing technique, you should consider providing the best possible product or service.
If your customers are happy, they will spread the word for you, and that will come for free, which is incredibly rare in marketing. So, give the word-of-mouth marketing another chance, and invest in happy customers, because that surely is not outdated and it never will be.
#10 Creating Meaningless Marketing Content
Making content for content’s sake is never a good idea. If your knowledge, budget, or other resources are limited, you should not just pump out content and pray for the best.
You should come up with clear and straightforward marketing intentions and goals. That way, even if you are creating content at a slow and steady pace, it will be much more effective than creating infinite blog posts, nonsensical newsletters, social media updates, etc.
#11 Not Caring for Optimization
Mobile marketing is still often disregarded, even though it’s common sense to advertise on mobile websites and apps. Smartphones and tablets aren’t going anywhere. They are used by billions of people.
According to Statista, in 2021, the number of operating mobile devices was as high as 15 billion. What’s more, mobile devices are used more frequently than desktops!
According to Global Stats StatCounter, mobile devices account for nearly 54% of all devices, desktop devices account for 43.5%, and tablets account for only 2.5% of the total device usage.
Optimization is not reserved only for mobile browsers. Websites are often poorly designed for desktops too. Therefore, a serious marketing campaign should involve the optimization of websites for marketing and promotion across all platforms.
Last Piece of Advice
In marketing, you need to be open-minded and ready for change. Some old marketing techniques still work, e.g., radio ads and word of mouth or referral marketing. However, some strategies are already gone on their way out, and rightfully so.
Remember to optimize your content, personalize it, and keep it fresh. Follow the ever-changing marketing trends, and your online and offline marketing will be much better for it. Once you update your marketing strategy, don’t forget about it.
Revise your techniques every now and then to stay ahead of the competition!