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B-to-B Insights : All Hype or Truly Hip?

A look at 10 current trends from a marketing veteran

February 2013 By Bob Bly
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With the rapid evolution in marketing technology, today's B-to-B marketers have become overly obsessed with finding the next big thing. Unfortunately, the next big thing often turns out to be nothing much. Here are 10 of today's top marketing trends and my curmudgeonly take on each.

1. Blogs
A columnist in a computer magazine once wrote that the best thing about the Internet is that anyone can post to it, and the worst thing about the Internet is that anyone can post to it.

I used to watch the show Dexter's Laboratory on the Cartoon Network with my kids. In one episode, when Dexter's mother is talking incessantly on the phone, his father rips the phone out of the wall and proclaims, "I can't stand another minute of this mindless gab!" That pretty much sums up my feelings about blogs.

There are some blogs that are well thought out and compellingly written. But those are a minority. Most blogs are, at best, content pollution—a lot of jibber-jabber.

2. QR Codes
Another hot marketing trend today is to plaster QR Codes on everything from postcards to product packaging. I would feel more enthusiastic about this marketing tactic if I owned a smartphone, which I don't. Certainly I see the convenience for road warriors. But for those of us who aren't mobile and stay at our desks, I'd just as soon enter a URL in my browser or call a toll-free number.

3. Mobile Marketing
Again, I don't have the capacity to appreciate any sort of mobile marketing, because I never go anywhere and therefore don't carry a cell phone. But clearly, I am part of a primitive minority: According to Mobile Marketing Asia, more than 5 billion people own a smartphone.

I've tried them, and I don't see why anyone would prefer a smartphone over a laptop or desktop PC for viewing emails and Web pages. But that's just me.

4. Twitter
A marketing magazine that competes with
Target Marketing ran an article criticizing Trojan because the brand hadn't tweeted in a year. My response is that Trojan may have instead been doing email marketing, landing pages, banner ads and other things that actually generate a measurable ROI.

 

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