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4 Cheesy Tactics Marketers Need to Retire

cheesy marketing tactics
Guest Contributor
cheesy marketing tactics

cheesy marketing tacticsWe’ve all had those times where we see someone with a dated hairstyle (the jerry curl or the mullet) and we think “Woah! Hello, 1970’s.” It’s a dated, tired trend that should have been retired a long time ago. Well, this isn’t limited to just hair.

Marketers all across the world have some tired trends they just can’t quite seem to let go. Here is a list of the top cheesy marketing trends, our reactions when we see them, and how to avoid them.

1. Only Talking About Yourself on Social Media (or Elsewhere)

It’s probably not news to you that social media has completely revolutionized both marketing and our world as a whole. However, so many marketers are stuck in the old-school mindsets of marketing, trying to apply them on social.

The reality is that the old-school marketing tactics of pushing your message in front of someone simply doesn’t work. This happened in email and then spam filters were invented, TV has DVR’s and radio has commercial-free Spotify. People don’t want your messages shoved in their face.

Instead of using this tired approach, take some words of wisdom from Simon Sinek, “Instead of showing up to let everyone know how great we are, show up to find out how great everyone else is.”

Think of your social media channels as a giant cocktail party and use them to develop relationships and listen for interesting conversations you can be a part of. The beauty of the technology is that we can do this at scale like never before.

This approach is a longer-term approach, but down the road is a key piece to developing die-hard advocates and vital to the long-term success of your brand.

2. Using Overly Emotional People to Express Marketing “Pain Points”


It’s true; there is a great deal of research and psychology behind how our brains interpret the images of humans. We see someone happy, sad, tired or bored and our brains actually start mimicking that emotion. This is why when you see a really bad fall or trampoline fail, you cringe a little bit.

However, there is also a fine line of how excited your imagery should be. Having someone smiling and enjoying your product or service is one thing. To have someone so excited they are literally bursting at the seams is a bit overboard. The same goes with negative emotions.

Take your own photos and make the emotions shown in the genuine and real. People’s B.S. meters are so high these days and the more genuine you can make your images the more people will connect with it.

3. Transforming the Owner Into a Cartoon Mascot

Before the day and age of digital graphic design, marketers had to rely on other ways to develop creative ways to create marketing materials. One pretty popular way was the cartoon drawing of the owner.

hubspot-blog-1Although this might have worked well back in the day, these days the vast majority of consumers see this as tacky and dated.

If you’d like to add a bit more fun and creativity into your brand, I am a fan of the brand mascot such as Moz’s Roger or MailChimp’s Freddy. I think a fictional mascot has a bit less self-absorbed tone than one of the owner and typically do work well as cartoons.

4. Creating Website Content as One Giant Image Instead of Styled Text

Before all of the more advanced styling options of modern CSS and Javascript, it was fairly common practice to create website pages or sections of a page as one giant image.

I’m still surprised how often I will find websites that are still using this design tactic. I would assume it is because of a lack of knowledge in web design and front end development; however, it would be well worth the investment to hire an agency or developer to convert it from an image into text.

By having a page or part of a page created as one giant image, it not only kills your page load times, but it also is extremely bad for SEO. Because it’s an image, search engine crawlers cannot gain much information about what the content is and thus will not properly index it.

Marketers need to invest in good designers and front end developers so they can properly create website sections that not only look great but also load fast and are cross-browser/device compatible.

Lay Off The Cheese

These are just a few of the tired old trends that marketers should probably lay to rest. It will be interesting to see what tactics we are using now that will also fall into this category in the next 5-10 years. What other trends do you think marketers should retire? Please share in the comments below!

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Luke Summerfield
Luke is a Senior Program Manager - Platform Ecosystem - Product Team at HubSpot. Luke helps explore, launch, and grow programs/products that solve developer challenges. His mission is to create the world's most lovable and collaborative development experiences.

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