Traffic was the hottest topic in marketing for a long time. New topics are now on the surface (funnels and engagement methods, for example). And the cycle will repeat itself soon enough, and new things become the must-use tactics. Let’s hope social media is the next one to get demoted from “essential” to “potentially useful.”
The same happens in most industries. One idea is the hot topic for a while before the next one emerges. For example, ADHD is the psychiatric equivalent of web traffic.
Here’s how it works: People hear about the symptoms of something (e.g., ADHD). They lack expertise to diagnose anyone, but the symptoms seem to match, so they believe they see ADHD. Companies come in selling the medicine and urging everyone to “ask their doctor” about it. And diagnosis rates skyrocket to absurd levels.
The same thing happened with traffic in marketing. Marketing pros described symptoms (e.g., lack of sales) and explained how the cause was lack of traffic. People heard it, recognised the symptoms, and wanted the solution: more traffic.
Selling what the masses are asking for is easier than selling what they really need. And so, countless traffic products popped up. There are good ones, but the majority of trend-topic products are as useful as an umbrella in a hurricane. It might make you expect to stay dry, but when your boots are full of water, you might want to update your expectations.
Just like smart psychiatrists didn’t join the ADHD craze, there are marketing pros who never lost sight of what matters more than traffic.