Shiny Object Syndrome

 
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Marketers love chasing the shiny new thing. It seems like every week, we learn about a new technology, social network, or media platform that promises to be the next big idea in marketing.

Marketers love chasing the shiny new thing.

We sometimes get so enamored by the shiny new thing that we forget the fundamentals that the business goals come first. The shiny objects that we come across are only worthwhile in terms of whether and how they enable us to reach those business goals. The value is in what the shiny new thing enables, not the shiny new thing itself.

Any successful marketing program takes sustained energy and commitment.

Last year, a marketing friend was asked, “What’s your Snapchat strategy?” Not only did the question automatically assume that Snapchat was a fit for the brand, the question implied that the brand would develop a new strategy for Snapchat rather than ask how Snapchat could enable or amplify the brand’s existing strategy. The question put the cart before the horse.

Any successful marketing program takes sustained energy and commitment. The cost of perpetually chasing the shiny new thing hits all of the other priorities that have to be put on the back burner to make room for the shiny new thing. If we try to do everything, we won’t do anything particularly well.

Of course, brands can’t stay static and our best laid marketing plans have to be adaptable. It makes sense to assess new marketing opportunities as they come along. But we have to keep that exploration in context. There are no magic bullets in marketing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how marketers should navigate the shiny new things that come along.

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