Marketing & Web Trends We Wish Would Buzz Off

Marketing trends come and go. Some may last a while, but most fade quickly. And some we wish would fade sooner.

I asked the BizzyWeb team what popular trends they want to see buzz off - and they were not shy about sharing.  Here are some of the hottest trends right now .... that we wish would just fizzle out (and more importantly - what to do instead).

 

The Trend: ChatGPT and Other AI

Immediately ChatGPT or any ai 😂
- Jenny, Online Marketing Specialist

Chat GPT!
- Chris, CRM Operations Manager

Everything AI (original, I know...). It's very important to understand that this technology is in its infancy. While it can be an excellent tool - considering the integration of tools like chatspot - it is not currently an end-all-be-all solution for every problem.
- Mitch, CRM Specialist

Why It's a Trend

Let's kick this off with the hottest, "Buzz"-iest topic of all. AI is huge and everywhere right now - with new tools being released all the time. It seems like everyone is using AI, making AI, creating doomsday prophecies about AI, etc...

Why We Wish It Would Buzz Off

With everyone rushing to use AI and see what they can "replace" with AI, it's often a case of putting the cart before the horse. Even sophisticated tools like ChatGPT are still not perfect - so trying to rely too much on any new technology can blow up in your face. There are concerns with copyright, inaccuracies, and SEO issues. 

What To Do Instead

Feel free to experiment and play with AI, but don't immediately start using it for everything or in place of any employee. AI is an exciting, powerful tool - but like any tool, it's dependent on the user to make it effective. Even ChatGPT will tell you directly if you ask it that its purpose is to help aid, not replace the work of humans. For more concrete tips on effectively using AI in your marketing, check out our blog: 3 Pitfalls to Avoid with AI Content in Marketing.


The Trend: Forcing Users to Scroll

Hiding the information the reader is looking for just to get more ads on a page! Super common for online recipes - I'm there for the ingredient list and steps not the writer's life stories! haha
- Anatoly, Web Developer

Why It's a Trend

Time on page and scroll depth are both factors that Google considers when ranking your website. So, if you fluff up your page with a lot of text and force users to scroll to find what it is they're looking for, your numbers will improve. This will then send a false signal to Google that your audience is so interested in your content that they're spending more time with it.

Why We Wish It Would Buzz Off

This trend is a key example of why user experience is so important to consider in design. While it can help you rank on Google (for now - more on that later), you're doing so by intentionally annoying your visitors. That's not likely to endear them to your brand.

What To Do Instead

Google historically will block these sorts of practices moving forward each time they update their algorithm. With the widespread problem and a huge AI-powered update on the horizon, it's extremely likely Google will crack down on this tactic. Instead, focus on your user's intent and aim to deliver the best content that serves up what they're looking for, without the games.


The Trend: Larger Logo in Website Header

"Make the logo bigger" (unless that's played out)
- Maggie, Designer

Why It's a Trend

It's a little misleading to label this as a trend - this is a common clash between clients and graphic designers as long as graphic design has existed. So common in fact, that it has a song about it:

However in the modern arena, "make the logo bigger" usually refers to the logo that appears in the upper left of a website's header.

Why We Wish It Would Buzz Off

Clients often want their logos larger because they're proud of their brand and want to increase brand recognition. However, this perspective ignores user experience and all of the other elements that go into your branding. In some cases, it can even hurt user experience - on mobile, for example, a too-large logo can consume nearly the entire viewing screen. 

What To Do Instead

Aim for a balance. Your logo should be large enough to be legible, but not so large that it overwhelms and is the first and only thing viewers see. Consider how you can support your brand's identity through colors, imagery and written content. Your customers will form a perception of your brand based on all of these elements - not just the logo.


The Trend: Meta/Facebook Ads (as of 2023)

I would love to see advertising on Meta die. Meta is difficult to use and impossible to get support, ads are rarely effective.
- Liz, Online Marketing Specialist

Why It's a Trend

Meta has historically been a powerhouse, with online advertising being a critical component of Facebook and Instagram revenue. By now it's so common that it's standard practice to use PPC ads on one or both if you run any online ads at all.

Why We Wish It Would Buzz Off

Liz succinctly hit the nail on the head - Meta is undergoing a lot of internal changes which are reflected in neverending updates to the back end of the system. If you've tried to run any ads on Facebook or Instagram, you've likely noticed that the interface is wildly different almost every time you log in. This makes it extremely difficult to use. Additionally, a number of policy and technology changes have reduced both the effectiveness and return on ads across all Meta properties.

What To Do Instead

It's easy to fall into the trap of advertising on these platforms because "everyone else is doing it." Instead, focus on your niche and audience. That may mean that Meta ads are still the right move - but it may mean that they're not. Many brands, especially B2B brands, have shifted to other social media websites to advertise: and for good reason. Go where your audience is actually spending their time online. If they're not on not Facebook or Instagram, it's not worth the hassle and money. 


The Trend: Influencer Marketing 

I want to say influencer marketing, but I also want it to stay for the internet drama it causes. 
- Jena, Senior Content Specialist

Also influencer posts/marketing.  Just ugh. 🙂
- Liz, Online Marketing Specialist

Why It's a Trend

Influencer marketing is a way to lend an authentic voice to your brand - by connecting with your ideal target through a voice they trust (in theory).

Why We Wish It Would Buzz Off

Influencer marketing, especially in the B2C sphere, really blew up in popularity over the last 10 years or so, to the point where there have been several high-profile scandals involving influencers and brands, and a general distrust from audiences around influencer marketing as a whole.

What To Do Instead

If you're going to do influencer marketing, do it effectively. First, truly go after influencers in your niche - WHO is your audience? And what are they spending their time online doing? Often the most effective way to leverage influencer marketing in this skeptical climate is through sponsorships of podcasts, YouTube videos or streams. This still taps into the power of the influencer while still striking a clear line for their audience about how you're compensating the influencer. Lastly, don't discount micro-influencers with a much smaller audience - if they occupy your niche, they can promote your brand directly to other users who are right in your target market. 


The Trend: Aggressive Automated Emails

Arrogant follow up automated emails.  "You didn't respond to my last email so here's another."  I didn't respond because it wasn't valuable enough to take up my time.
- Trygve, Director of Business Development

There is an upper limit to the number of times you should email a person in a day with garbage marketing emails.
- Rachel, Director of Project Management

Why It's a Trend

Everybody wants to make it to the top of the inbox. With an average of 347.3 billion emails received and sent each day, that's a lot of competition. Why not make yourself stand out with some inflammatory language?

Why We Wish It Would Buzz Off

This one's easy: it's annoying, and it's not effective.

What To Do Instead

Your customers are people just like you - consider how you would respond to an annoying/aggressive email. Are you likely to reply to a company that emails you 10x per daily? Or are you likely to just unsubscribe or mark those messages as spam? Provide value for your customers in every email. Use tactics like targeting and segmentation so you're only sending emails to a relevant subsection of your audience, not blasting it out to anyone who can receive it (regardless of interest).


The Trend: Stagnating Pipelines

Using stages like 'Not a Fit' or 'On Hold'. Deals that do not progress through a pipeline with an increasing probability of closing won should be marked as closed lost. "But what if this is something we should re-visit?" This is the perfect way to utilize a closed lost reason. A workflow for a closed-lost deal with a closed-lost reason may be something such as 'bad timing' that might trigger a follow-up task to the deal owner in x amount of time.
- Mitch, CRM Specialist

Why It's a Trend

One word: hope. There's always the chance that a deal might, by some miracle, close in the future. So why get rid of it forever?

Why We Wish It Would Buzz Off

While the sentiment of not wanting to close a deal is understandable - hey, I'd be lying if I said we weren't guilty of this one too - it's ultimately going to muddy up your data and the effectiveness of your CRM and entire sales process. 

What To Do Instead

As Mitch recommends, don't be afraid to mark leads as closed-lost - but don't shut the door on them forever. Use workflows and sequences to your advantage, to create targeted follow-ups for those leads. You can create several different workflows for each type of closed-lost reason, to help nurture those leads for a potential future - without clogging up your sales pipeline. 

Trends may come and go, but smart marketing tactics will stick around for a while. It always comes back to the same end goal: get the most conversions, which means providing the best value for your customers. That includes caution when chasing trends as well.

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BizzyWeb is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing and web design agency that helps companies get the high-quality leads they need to grow and thrive. Our tactics include inbound marketing, SEO, advertising, web design, content creation and sales automation. We are an accredited HubSpot Platinum Partner and we offer full-service HubSpot onboarding, enablement and strategy for new and current users.
Dave Meyer
Author: Dave Meyer
Dave Meyer is President of BizzyWeb. Dave has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications and has presented digital marketing topics to thousands of people across the US and Canada.