Over the course of the last few months, we asked a lot of marketers what notable trends they think 2016 will bring. We also asked them what we should leave firmly behind. As you can imagine, everyone had their own opinion, but in more than one instance, we saw overlap on words these pros would like to see banned from the marketing vernacular in the new year.
These are the words we’re officially banning from the 2016 marketing vocabulary.
So, your new ad didn’t go viral and your boss wants to know why. It had a cat and an authentically crafty craft beer, and he can’t quite understand just why that foolproof formula didn’t get the reach you were looking for. It should have gone viral. No other form of measurement will do.
Can you relate? You’re overwhelmingly not alone.
“Will this go viral?” We should be producing content because it makes sense for our audience, not with the sole goal of it going “viral” – Diana Plazas, Marriott
“Ugh. I still get asked to make things “a viral video.” Can we make that stop? Here’s how you make something go viral… make something so amazing, inspiring or funny that everyone is moved to share it on their own Facebook page. If it’s not that, it ain’t going viral.” – Tammy Gordon, AARP
“I’m certain this has been mentioned (this year, and in many years past), but the term ‘viral’ needs to be laid to rest (can we please all make a pact this year?). Simply put, good content posted to the right people at the right time needs to always be the goal. Marketers should know their broad and targeted audiences very well, and social media is the perfect testing ground to understand what content resonates. If the content works, amplify it. If it doesn’t, learn from it and adjust the content strategy accordingly.” – Nathan Jokers, FCB Chicago
“Viral. Any good marketer knows that viral campaigns don’t come from thin air. It takes a lot of content creation, planning, seeding, PR, media pitching, and promotional dollars to make “viral” happen as a brand. My hope is that marketers (and business leaders) will focus on results in 2016 without needing the viral label.” – Ashley Baxter, AT&T
“Don’t use the word “viral” unless you’re talking about getting a flu shot.” – Ali B. Zagat, 160over90
Marketers, the millennials can see you coming from a mile away. Beating words like “authenticity,” “craft,” and “artisanal” into every possible product label from a new pair of glasses to a bag of pistachios, we’ve officially jumped the shark. Millennials are people, too. Let’s start treating them as more than just a buzzword.
“How about Millennials? You can’t shake a stick with someone trying to figure out this demographic. But I think we should stop trying to analyze a group based on the range of years they were born and start thinking more about people’s behaviors and mindsets. They’re not always the same thing, ya know.” – Spike Jones, Edelman
The term, “content marketing” has become a catch- all for anyone looking to develop a program that has a what without a why. Everyone doesn’t need to be on every channel. Ironically, two of the best content marketers we know were the ones blowing the whistle the loudest as December came to a close. Better content, people. Not more. Please.
Yes, I know that is a funny choice from me since I’m the Co-Author of a book ALL about content marketing, but I’ve been saying it for years and I will say it every day. All marketing is content marketing and smart brands are finally starting to realize that.
This doesn’t mean I want to see anyone stop creating blog posts, tweets or videos. In fact I want to see plenty more creation across all social platforms, but I want to see everyone realize that just because the tools and platforms are easier to use than ever before, without a strategy and planning your marketing is not going to work.” – C.C. Chapman
“I’d love to take a break from “content.” It’s a simple, inoffensive word that describes everything from text to images, video, audio, and just about any medium you can think of, but I’ve heard (and used) the term so much that it’s practically meaningless now.” – Ali B. Zagat, 160over90
It’s time to clear out these overused words and phrases of 2015, and make room for the new in 2016. Or maybe this time, we can all just agree to talk more about strategy and not buzzwords? Deal.