Top 5 Reasons to Beware of Top 5 Predictions (cont.)

Not to worry, we weren’t going to get too far into 2011 without finishing our list of 2010 predictions that didn’t quite work out. If you thought the first two were interesting, you will like these:

3. Avoid all of the flash-in-the-pan digital trends.

Applications like Yelp!, Foursquare, and Places added immeasurable insight for marketers in 2010, and they were all gimmicky tools that are on the verge of being obsolete already. Marketers last year were worried about sinking money into dead-end fads. This is a valid concern, but too much paranoia can limit your campaigns, especially when the competition isn’t afraid to throw a little extra cash at a new idea.

2. Old tricks won’t work anymore.

While some were predicting that new marketing platforms were becoming obsolete, others suggested that the traditional methods wouldn’t find a place at all. It was said that consumers have caught on to marketers’ tricks, and won’t be swayed by the textbook strategies we learned in college. What will we do? Apparently…..even older tricks. 2010 saw a resurgence in direct marketing, particularly the traditional postcards and catalogs that were dropping in popularity until recently. Many studies showed that consumers in key demographics were turning away from modern marketing tactics. People in the 18-34 bracket found online ads to be untrustworthy, and a combination of digital and direct marketing turned out to be the best solution.

1. Ad-blocking software will kill online advertising.

This is actually more true than anyone may have thought at the start of 2010 (well, anyone except this blogger, anyway). Growing transparency in online marketing tactics led to the FTC starting – and passing – “do-not-track” legislation. This threw up red flags across the online spectrum, but it really isn’t as bad as it appears. The FTC legislation requires that consumers are given the option of turning off tracking software. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all consumer tracking will disappear, it just won’t be as rampant and unmonitored as it has been in the past.

While each one of these individual “prediction-fails” can define a component of the marketing world in 2010, when you combine them, it should point out that looking towards the future is great, and even trying to predict the future can be beneficial, but not all predictions should be weighed by the same criteria, and following them word-for-word could have negative repercussions on your success.

More specifically though, marketing is a living, constantly evolving industry. The only way to succeed is to remain flexible, remain consistent, and be willing to change with the times.

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Founded in 1989, WebbMason is one of the fastest-growing print and brand management service companies in the United States, helping marketing departments and their internal and external partners save money and streamline processes through a winning combination of industry expertise, exceptional print supply chain partners and technological innovation. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, WebbMason has 20 sales offices throughout the United States.

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