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Our Way is Becoming the Old Way | DC Marketing Mixer #44

When I first set up my home office I was adamant I have a desk phone. However, I do not want to pay for a landline. Instead what I wanted was a single phone number that covers all my devices, plus the desk phone, so I have one “business line”.

Google Voice essentially covers this for me without all the fees of a VoIP service. But, no desk phone. Until I found the ObiTalk devices! Folks, I’m in love. This little box makes it so you can connect any regular phone to Google Voice. Here is my amazing desk phone.

Black RCA office phone with black and white caller ID screen on a brown desk. Single receiver with large old school buttons that are very worn.

It gets better. This week I needed to get some medical information, plus info from the state. Anyone who has done this knows its a Kafka-esque network that always includes having to send faxes. Guess what! I connected my all-in-one printer to the ObiTalk and for the first time in over 10 years I both sent and received a fax.

So laugh at my desk phone all you want, but I didn’t have to spend all day at a Kinko’s or use some shady web service to send a fax.

On to this weeks newsletter:

  • Brand blogs are a waste of time and energy.
  • Reels will ruin Instagram and digital marketers should care more about it.
  • Newsletter pop-up’s are the worst thing on the internet right now. I will die on this hill.

Content

As someone who blogs, manages social accounts, and all branded content marketing for my company, this post stings a little. But its true. Our customer, everyone’s customers are digital experts and can find great content in a million places. Why on earth would they come to a brands wimpy SEO blog for help?

Seriously, 99% of the brand blogs on the internet are so terrible the only good they could possibly do is shutdown and save the Earth a few pounds of carbon from the energy reduction. This is the truth:

I’m not saying there’s not a role for content in marketing today — there is — but it is way over-hyped as a salvation in a world flooded with amazing content. Most companies are producing tons of ineffective content simply because they’re afraid not to.

I’ve had a similar realization about my own marketing efforts. Why create a branded blog when all you create is 400 word drivel? Why spend so much time on social if organic brand reach is less than 1%? Fast growth and new users has ruined marketing. All we care about are vanity and its going to take us down. Once we accept we’re not special, we can actually go out and do something meaningful.

Pissy answers to common marketing questions

Social

Of course the last two weeks have been dominated by TikTok news and I’ve avoided talking about it. But, now that Instagram has launched Reels and the future of TikTok is as clear as mud, I’m concerned. There’s plenty to be concerned with including the Whitehouse involvement, data transparency, and even Gen Z interpretations of the dust up.

My primary concern isn’t with TikTok, instead with Instagram. The threat since Facebook acquired it back in day was they would ruin it. That it would slowly become a bloated, functional nightmare that no one enjoys using but continues to do so out of necessity. I think Reels finally brings us to that point.

Social media has lost all its innovation. The industry that lead the “disruption” era, which included the “move fast and break things” leader in Facebook, is now stuck in an infinite loop of copying each other. This is bad. Really bad. Especially for us as digital marketers. Innovation is what invented our industry and we need more innovation to keep it alive.

Reels is a worthy TikTok rival lost in Instagram bloat | Engadget

Email

I gotta talk about email sign up forms. I know this isn’t email as in how to write or create or send emails. But, I have to rant.

What the f@ck are y’all doing? Why does every website have a newsletter pop-up 2.3 seconds into visiting your site? Yes, you. I’m talking to you digital marketing person. Why are you letting this happen?

There is never, in any scenario, that A) the first time I visit your site and before I read your post I’m going to sign up so I “don’t miss anything” and B) I will NEVER (underscore, bold and all caps) sign up for a brand newsletter. Why do I bring this up now? Because it is a plague stretching across the entire internet. Nearly 2/3 of all websites I go to have a newsletter pop-up. I no longer want just an adblocker. I want a newsletter blocker. I’m well aware I’m writing this from my own newsletter, but I don’t have a freaking pop-up that spams every visitor. I don’t try to hide it by waiting for the user to scroll. I don’t hide the close button for a few seconds.

This is a shitty, slimy, hack tactic and you should remove it as fast as possible from your site. Just ask around to your non-marketer friends and family. They hate it and if you don’t stop, Google and other browsers are going to step in and take it away for you.

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Would love to hear from you on this topic!

Email: obscurednarration@gmail.com
Twitter: @domcorriveau

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