Buzz, Hype, and Shiny Objects – Where to Focus Instead

With all the hype in marketing, some topics get way too much attention, while other — in some cases, more important — topics languish because they’re not as sexy or too hard to deal with or feel overwhelming. What topic or trend do you think is overhyped at the expense of a related, more important topic or trend? What is it, and why should marketers start focusing on it?

Manny Medina, CEO, Outreach

AI and data are two areas that are overhyped. The pitch about predictive analytics is, “buy me and all will be revealed.” The reality is, predictive analytics tools are simply reading information back to you — for example, prioritization of what personas to go after — which your analysts can do for you. Instead, start with fundamentals; start with customers and a story, ask if the story is resonating with them, and then tweak the story accordingly.

What I wish had traction is having more of a beginner’s mindset. Let’s figure out what works by testing it, instead of, “I hear video is the shit, so let’s do it!”

Testing is especially important for understanding what works at different points in the funnel.

What gets a deal to accelerate or gets a particular customer to respond? Triggers and landing pages are table stakes. Today, marketers need to understand the full end-to-end customer journey—that is, what works along the entire sales and marketing funnel. This will help with attribution, as well as sales and marketing collaboration; tracking engagement together not just for prospects, but also for customers throughout their lifecycles.

You need to know what causes growth as much as what causes declines. Put on your scientist hat, so you can double down on what works and stop doing what doesn’t. Understand customers better to deliver a better experience. Back to Contributors list


Tod Loofbourrow, CEO, ViralGains

What’s overhyped are metrics that feed the ego versus metrics that matter, like business outcomes—which marketers need to pay more attention to. Most marketers measure themselves on things that are easy to get, as opposed to the things that actually matter. For instance, there are still lots of marketers who measure video success on CPM, clicks, and impressions — how many people did it scroll by for a second or two in a news feed or play when half of it was off the screen.

But, as a storytelling medium, video is all about engagement. So, marketers need to measure things such as engagement and behavior and attitude and action: How long did someone spend watching the video? What does someone value? What does someone believe about your product and your brand? Are you seeing brand lift? Are they considering a purchase?

I could show you a wonderful video of my car driving fast on the highway, ask you at the end whether you care most about performance or styling, and you tell me performance; so, the next video you see might be about the engine. And the next might be about other performance features. In this approach you think about sequential messaging and customers journeys, then you measure the things that move the needle on that. That’s when you move away from vanity metrics that really don’t have an impact. Back to Contributors list

Read the full article to hear from other leaders in the space.