Five marketing trends to avoid.


With digital this and customer that, it’s tough to keep up with the disruption du jour. So we thought we'd make it easier by outlining five growing trends that it's better not to follow.


Marketing Automation is the process of creating a machine that understands customer needs and trigger points and sends relevant messages through relevant channels at relevant times. It’s a direct marketing nirvana. But it’s not an easy thing to build. You need great tech, sharp data and brilliant minds. Automastasis is the thing that happens when the day-to-day marketing stops while the team skip up the Yellow Brick Road toward Oz.


It’s a little like content, only less valuable. Content marketing is a trend that responds to a change in the media landscape. With Mass Media in decline, brands are looking for new ways to get their message out. The challenge is the proliferation of dirt-cheap providers who can ‘create content’ for next to nothing. Cheap is cheap, but good content requires an understanding of both customer and brand to craft stories that sell the sponsor’s product. Anything else is contrite.


Social Media has super-charged the democratisation of customer voice. This, combined with the explosion of self-service channels, has put customers front and centre. This is a good thing. And great research can help distill valuable insight. But customadeity is the confused perspective that half-a-dozen homeowners with chocolate brownie should be the voice of God in your business. Customer perspective is great, but remember the story of Henry Ford, and his customers' passion for a faster horse.  


Agile Methodology is an iterative way of developing (particularly digital) products. It puts customers at core and involves many levels of well documented test and learn. Waterfall Methodology is a linear approach that begins with a clear definition of the problem. Both work, but in different ways. They're not great together. Waterfagile is where a bunch of people from a hierarchical organisation collect in a room and play with post-it notes. Where they have a scrum leader who understands agile methodology and they’re empowered to test, learn and deliver something, it’s great. Anything else is a waterfagile brainstorm.


Modern marketers need to be experts on… everything. They need to focus on stakeholders, customers, internal and external partners, changing paradigms and new technologies. For a start. Some also like to have a life. This can often mean assuming the position of something resembling an octopus with tentacles in every pie, hundreds of unread emails and a phone ringing red hot. Even the most brilliant can find themselves flailing from one urgent whatever to the next and at this point progress is paralysed. We call this flailalysis.

Bang on trend? We can help.

Obviously these 'trends' are fairly tongue in cheek, but if you're finding it hard to spot the wood among the trees, get in touch. We specialise in making complicated things feel simple. So there's every chance we could help. 

Michael Goldthorpe