As the end of 2014 approaches, we thought we would take a look back at marketing trends of the year. 2014 was an innovative year for marketing, however, for every successful marketing trend, there were many other trends that were not so good. Here is a look at some failed strategies and tools that are fading into obscurity.
1. QR Codes
In the United States, QR codes are going to be next to meaningless in 2015. According to entrepreneur.com, in 2013, only 19.1 percent of consumers had ever scanned a QR code and these numbers have not significantly increased in 2014.
One of the main reasons that QR codes are an ineffective strategy is because the majority of mobile users don’t have the ability to scan these codes. The main issue is that mobile users have to download a specific app to scan these codes and this is an unnecessary stumbling block that hinders a marketer’s call to action. This also frustrates a marketer’s audience.
A solution to this problem would be to preload QR code-reading technology on smartphones. Apple and Google make up the majority of the smartphone market and unless both companies make a decision to pre-load the technology, QR codes are essentially doomed to fail.
Related: 10 QR Code Fails
2. Auto-posting on Social Media
Many marketers are guilty of this. Many marketers are short on time and auto-posting is quick and easy. However, each social network attracts a unique audience and has a unique purpose. The same message usually won’t work across all the different networks.
For example a post about a product is better suited for a channel such as Facebook however, product posts will not work as well on platforms such as LinkedIn. It is best to tailor content specifically to the network that it is being posted to.
Facebook News: Facebook Announces Organic Post Targeting
3. Over Optimizing
Search engine optimization is going to be important for the foreseeable future however, stuffing in as many keywords and key phrases into a blog post or website will no longer be effective for your search rankings.
Google is constantly changing its algorithm and filler is no longer acceptable. Nearly 90 percent of all queries were affected by Google’s new algorithm and future changes will also have a dramatic affect.
Marketers should focus on what the consumers want answers to. Concentrate your efforts on answering specific questions that your customers are asking instead of putting all your efforts on filling content with key words.
4. Responsive Web Design (RWD)
According to entrepreneur.com, responsive web design (RWD) refers to a website that can resize itself depending on the device it’s being accessed from. RWD is very time consuming and costs a lot of money. Return on investment from RWD is generally going to be close to zero for most businesses.
Sites that rely heavily on images or sites such as Google Maps are exceptions. These sites may require RWD because desktop versions cannot physically be contained by mobile devices.
Another argument for RWD use is that it drastically decreases load times on mobile devices. This sometimes isn’t the case because many designers simply hide elements to reduce loading times on responsive platforms. Hiding elements however doesn’t prevent them from loading and sapping resources.
An alternative to RWD is lazy loading, which is a non-responsive way to load all of your resource-intensive elements last. Another option is to just create mobile apps for mobile users. Apps provide a much better mobile experience than RWD.
These are just some examples of trends failed in 2014 and are not expected to have resurgence in 2015. Trial and error has shown marketers what works and what doesn’t work. It’s time to leave these trends in the past and look for innovations that are worth pursuing. What are some trends that you think will prove to be successful in 2015?