We all like compiling lists (just take a look into your Twitter feed, there should be a few of them zipping around at that very moment), so I figured I’d compose one of my own. Today, on the eve of an exciting new year, I present to you: the top 6 things you shouldn’t waste time on in 2014.
1. Content Marketing
Remember Cannes 2013? Yeah, no one does by now. But as every year, the festival created a buzzword that was too charming to not be turned against ad land by their very clients. After June 2013, everyone seemed to be in need for a content strategy. Storytelling, you know? So if you hired some particularly skilled people for that task, be sure you milk their wisdom and sell it to your clients until June 2014. Why? Because then there’ll be Cannes 2014. And a new buzzword.
2. Future of Facebook
We’ve read a lot about Facebook and how teens are turning their backs on the blue social giant, since it has turned too much into a public stage than a cool place to hang out. Yet, the social superpower will just have the financial backbone to buy itself some more time. So don’t worry about the Social Network’s future in 2014. (Plus: In terms of advertising, we are still betting on TV, so why worry about a shrinking audience on Facebook already?)
3. Naive Social Media
That said, let’s take a closer look at Social Media. The Internet has changed and 2013 was a bad year for its reputation: too many hoaxes, too many failures, too many naïve believers (yes, I’m one of them). All of that will change, of course. The young and naive days of the Internet and the Social Media are over. People will get more literate every day and as a result the share buttons will collect dust. Things won’t spread that easy anymore as new gatekeepers rise. And Social Media will finally grow up and get institutionalized. (And become boring, see “Future of Facebook”.)
4. Trend Watching
For me it always came as a surprise that one of the more frequent questions asked in my first years in advertising was: telling clients and colleagues about trends. When I started in advertising I thought this was the place where trends were invented, created, and established. Sure, you have to keep up with the times. Yet, I’m afraid, brands and advertising sometimes spend too much time reacting onto external wishes than acting upon our internal believes. (No, earning more money or being more profitable do not count.) Stop looking at the outside for what you should find on the inside.
5. Brand Loyalty
Much has been said and written about brands and their followers, fans, and lovers – those enthusiastic customers. And then there is this number: people wouldn’t care if 73 percent of brands just disappeared over night. (It’s even worse in Europe.) So why should we waste too much time wondering about brand loyalty if most people obviously don’t even care about the brands? In that light, Martin Weigel’s words about the task of advertising are even more true: “Our task is not nurturing enthusiasm but overcoming indifference.”
6. Typical Strategy Processes
I’ve stumbled upon two very interesting articles about the strategic process in 2013 (read them here and here). They struck a chord with me – and I very much believe and hope some agencies will change the way they do strategy in 2014. Towards a faster, more dynamic, tighter integrated approach. It’s too much waste of time to withdraw into the back room and hope to re-emerge with some brilliant, operable concept that will stun everyone. After reading those articles, you probably will waste less time on your typical strategy process in 2014.
These are the top six things you shouldn’t waste your time on in 2014, in my humble and not exactly dead serious opinion. What do you think people, businesses and advertising in particular shouldn’t waste time on in 2014? Type away in the comment section below.