Columnist: 10 online marketing trends to ignore

September 10, 2007 10:27 PM EDT

Mark Simon, vice president at New York search-engine-marketing firm Didit, offers the "The 10 Most Asinine Trends Online and Why You Should Ignore Them," in a column for Advertising Age that's directed at chief marketing officers (CMO).

(Paraphrased by me. But remember: This is a summary of Mark Simon's list, for your reading enjoyment. Read his whole column to find out more about his reasoning.)

  1. Business use of virtual reality, such as Second Life. "[W]alking (or flying) through these branded areas is more chilling and depressing than walking through an abandoned amusement park."
  2. Pay-per-post (paying bloggers to make phony recommendations) and astroturfing (fake grass-roots blogs). Consumers aren't that gullible, and this ruse will burn the brands that are discovered doing it.
  3. Smart ads (via behavioral targeting) that aren't so smart. "Many users share computers, which means that Spouse A is going to be targeted with ads based on Spouse B's search behavior. What could be more irrelevant?"
  4. "Searchless" advertising. CMOs' "systematic neglect of search marketing borders on the criminally myopic."
  5. Audio-reliant video pre-roll advertisements. "[M]ost users turn down or mute the sound to save their fellow workers exposure to the audio."
  6. Human-powered search engines.
  7. Knee-jerk algorithmic media buying.
  8. Behavioral targeting that goes too far (cyber-sneakiness). "Right now, only 30% of users regularly delete their cookies, but that percentage could soar if a widely publicized goof-up (such as last summer's leak of AOL search data, which was detailed enough to identify individual users) starts the regulatory wheels turning in Washington."
  9. Twitter and its micro-blogging ilk. "[T]his mindless stream of ephemera" -- I'm eating a tangerine! -- isn't interesting enough to be a viable advertising platform.
  10. Intrusive mobile marketing. "Users of mobile devices ... will never take kindly to advertising that interposes itself between them and a critical task."