The digital market is a highly dynamic place. Even with the smallest of the changes—be it social, political, or economic—the eCommerce is easily affected. As a result, it keeps going through constant changes. This apparently impacts the marketing trends. New trends come every year and some replace the old ones. Hence, it is important to make sure that you are not stuck with those old and inefficient marketing tactics. That being said, today we will talk about 10 outdated marketing tactics you need to leave behind in 2021.

Digitalization in the business industry radically transformed it. As a result, certain marketing tactics became old and died out. Moreover, the way digital marketing was practiced in the early era is quite different from now. In fact, there may be certain marketing tactics that were relevant just a couple of years ago but aren’t so now. However, there are still many businesses that continue to practice such outdated marketing tactics.

For example, the search engines don’t work the way they used to earlier. Now, you can’t just stuff keywords on your website and expect to receive high traffic. Just like that, there are many things that have changed. Make sure your digital marketing program is updated and you are not using these outdated marketing tactics.

10 Outdated Ways of Marketing to Leave Behind in 2021

Outdated Marketing Tactics

#1. Paper marketing

There was a time when print marketing worked great. Businesses would produce and distribute brochures and whatnots. However, in the current world scenario, this method of marketing is no more effective.

Think about it. What becomes of the brochures and other printed promotional material that comes to your place? Would you really make a serious buying decision based on that? The chances are that you might not even read them. So, it’s ineffective along with being expensive and time-consuming.

However, if you use it as an additional measure, it might be fine. But if your business promotion is dependent upon print marketing as a key plan, you’d be doomed!

#2. Wasting funds on the yellow pages

When was the last time you looked up a business in a telephone directory? Well, it might just bring back some childhood memories. Let alone the millennials and Gen-Z, even old-timers now prefer to use the internet.

Therefore, unless you want to be stuck in an eternal contract and having no customer service or progressive work done on your account, yellow pages might just be your thing. Or else, it is a dead marketing tactic.

#3. TV commercials

Again, this is one old marketing tactic that many businesses can’t let go of. If this generation is your target market, you need to know one thing. Millennials and Gen Z don’t watch television. In fact, many of them might not even have cable connections. So, relying on TV commercials in the present-day scenario would translate into the following:


#little to zero customer engagement

#wasted money and resources

#lower ROI

Therefore, if you are one of those wasting away your funds in TV commercials—stop!

#4. Advertising on billboards

Many businesses still advertise on billboards. However, in the current digital market, it has become an outdated tactic.

When you’re driving down a road and see a billboard displaying the contact details of a business. Would you really call that business? Or would you even try to find out about it? Well, most people won’t. Let alone buying anything from such a business.

Therefore, using billboard advertisements can is an outdated marketing tactic that you need to withdraw from investing in.

#5. Cold calling

If you think you can randomly call your target customers and convince them to buy from you, you are sorely mistaken. Give it a thought. What do you do when you receive a cold call? Have you ever really bought anything like this?

With the whole global market just a few clicks away, consumers are now more aware and informed. The present-day customer is more interested in researching and making her/his own decision. Hence, most digital marketing focuses on increasing inbound traffic.

So, it’s high time you drop your cold advertising methods and focus more on inbound marketing.

#6. Marketing to everyone

The traditional methods of marketing aim to serve people en masse. They don’t have a targeted approach and would market to anyone who crosses their path. However, this ‘spray and pray’ technique has died long ago. Marketing without proper targeting is ineffective, plus expensive.

Therefore, it is important to have a targeted approach in marketing. Or else, you’ll end up with wasted resources and disappointing ROI and conversion rates.

#7. Using social media only for promotion

This is another marketing blunder that many businesses make. When social media was a new thing, promotional activities might have worked out. However now, the consumer doesn’t just want to see promotional content on social media. In fact, if your business is all about promotion and advertisement on social media, your page may be discarded as spam.

People come to such platforms for socializing, researching, and learning. Therefore, you need to make sure that your business’s social handles provide valuable content for the target market. This is the key to effective social media marketing.

#8. Publishing same content on different platforms

Re-purposing your content is a good thing. However, you need to understand the difference between various social platforms. For example, people go to Twitter for short & crisps real-time updates. On the other hand, apps like Instagram and Snapchat are image-oriented.

Therefore, when doing content marketing on different platforms, you need to make sure that your content tunes fine with the nature of that particular platform. Publishing the same content just ‘as it is’ is an outdated marketing tactic you need to rid yourself of.

#9. Keywords stuffing

There was a time when you could stuff the matching keywords on your website and drive high traffic on it. However, that is no more the case. Keywords were used by many to trick the algorithm into giving them high ranking. But now, the algorithm bots like that of Google have become quite smart. In fact, they have become very human. So just like that, they have human metrics to rank your website. Now, your website can only rank higher if its content provides actual value to the audience.

So, if your search engine optimization is dependent upon keyword stuffing, you need to update it.

#10. Garnering more and more back-links

Links are doubtlessly an important aspect of search engine optimization. However, there are still many businesses that practice link building the wrong way. There is a general notion that higher the number of backlinks, the better. However, this is not true. Search engines like Google now pay more emphasis on the quality of the links. Hence, quality supersedes quantity. You can rank higher than a website with more backlinks if your backlinks better and quality sites.

Hence, you should stop focusing on garnering more and more links and should rather focus on the quality.

Bottom line

It is important to know what to do but it is equally—if not more—important to know what not to do. It is possible that you are wasting your digital marketing budget on some outdated marketing tactics. Hence, it is important to identify and get rid of such tactics. With the list given above, you can learn about so commonly used outdated marketing tactics that are unprofitable. However, as you’d notice, some of the traditional marketing can be okay to use if done additionally with modern marketing tactics at the center. In any case, even such marketing tactics aren’t very profitable.

Still unable to find what is wrong with your digital marketing tactics? We can help. Just drop a comment below.

Somya Sharma : Regardless of being a Delhi University graduate with a major in English Literature, Somya's interests are not limited to poetry and drama. As a person who loves researching, discussing and writing about topics rooted in various disciplines, the list of subjects that tickle her fancy is ever-growing. She finds the power of psychology in marketing particularly intriguing and has set out writing blogs with the aim of helping budding marketers polish-up.