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Marketing Trends that Failed in 2016

Digital Marketing

Reading time: 4 minutes

At the start of every calendar year, marketing gurus and experts attempt to identify the trends that will dominate the marketing industry in the year to come. While some of these trends will hit the mark, others end up as little more than failed trends. Those who threw out suggestions for marketing trends in 2016 had some gems, and some failures. From social media to performance marketing, read on to learn what resulted in failed trends in 2016.

Over-Personalized Content

There's a tremendous push right now to produce digital content that is tailored to individual target groups. The idea is to put the right message in front of the right group, recognizing in the process that no two customers are on the same point in the path-to-purchase when they interact with your brand. In most cases, personalization works. Over-personalization though comes with risks. For example, Facebook and Universal were knocked for over-personalizing a message and showing different movie trailers to users from different "ethnic audiences."

Poorly Capitalizing on "Wearables" Technology

Wearables, smart devices such as watches and even beds, are viewed as the next growth area for personal smart devices. However, jumping into this new category with your own brand has pitfalls if not taken seriously. McDonald's attempted to put its unhealthy image behind it in 2016 and offer "Step-it" activity bands in its Happy Meals. The fitness trackers, it turns out, only made matters worse as the poorly-executed devices left users with a rash. Marketing your brand and service with wearables is great, if it suits the niche. Done poorly though, you'll further sink your brand.

Rushing to be First on Social Media

The news cycle of the past used to take a day for blunders to reach the wider populace in newspapers, if not longer. Today's social media world puts blunders in the national conscious within minutes, if not hours. There are countless examples of companies jumping to use social media marketing, particularly in the midst of a tragedy, to offer condolences with not-so-veiled advertising of their brand in the process.

Read More: How to Use Social Media to Get New Customers

Chatbots Run Amuck

Last but not least, chat bots are a piece of technology that can be used in automated marketing that should probably be approached with caution. There are benefits from using chat bots, but if even Microsoft can run afoul of the dark side of chat bots, your brand should probably approach with caution and do its homework before unleashing a bot on the world.

There's already a new list of marketing trends expected to dominate performance marketing and other digital realms throughout 2017, but if 2016 is an accurate indicator, there will be victories along the way coupled with failed trends.

Read More: How to Optimize Content for Mobile Marketing