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Better Safe than Scramble : Don’t be a late adapter

Rachel Wilkie

Marketing TrendsWhen do you hop on and off the marketing trend bandwagon? This is a question that is constantly ruminating in the minds of CMOs and VPs of marketing everywhere. Oftentimes, marketers wonder whether or not the newest marketing tool is worth the investment.

The best solution is to come up with an overall strategy on how to handle trending in the market place. Trending is extremely time critical. Executives are forced to make quick decisions on somewhat new and unknown technologies. To avoid chaos and confusion, it is good to put a plan or policy in place to help guide decisions on adopting new technologies, as opposed to scrambling and jumping in at the last minute with no strategy or plan of action. Investing in trends requires smart timing and consumer analysis.

Here are a couple tips on how to help your company safely move forward with early adoption:

1. Do your homework

An easy way to avoid missing out on a great opportunity is to do your homework. Research up and coming marketing tools and decide if it could be a good fit for your business. A good way to do this is to check marketing discussion forums and informational sites. Even the news can offer insight into consumer trends, which marketing usually sticks closely to. If a tool or technology meets your business needs and helps spread the word on your company, then it might be worth it to invest the effort now. Many companies will hold off until a methodology is considered a “stable” medium. However, if your company is looking to be innovative this is not a good approach.

2. Don’t Expect a One-Hit-Wonder

More often than not, your business won’t blow up because you sent out one mobile text ad, or set up a twitter account. Don’t expect a one-hit-wonder just because you are using a new technology, long-term results can take time, no matter what the salesman promises. Take GROUPON for example, a hair salon advertised a 50% off coupon for their services and were immediately booked for 2 solid months. However, they salon wasn’t seeing a profit margin because of the large discount. Well, about 5 months later they noticed repeat business from the coupon, but now these clients were paying full price. Mission- success! The coupon was just a gateway to a long-term relationship. Be patient, when it comes to utilizing bleeding-edge technology there are other benefits involved such as establishing your company as pioneering and an industry thought leader. Go into these new marketing tactics with an open mind, and with some measurable goal, no matter how small.

3. Test, test

Testing is always a great idea before you invest in a full-blown campaign, software, or any other piece of technology. Many companies will send you demos, or will allow you to try out their product or solution at a very low cost on a smaller scale. Sometimes you can even work out a guaranteed number of leads, views, or traffic. This is a great way to see if you will get results, and if your staff can manage implementation, etc. While tests are often on a smaller scale then the real deal, it can give you a general idea if it is the right fit for your company. If at all possible (or applicable), try before you buy. You could find out that you don’t have the resources to support the initiative, or that it has more capabilities then you thought possible.

4. Don’t scramble

Remember the key to success in the arena is to research, strategize, and plan out the marketing tactics. Your company will not find success in a hodgepodge of new technologies. Your strategies, messaging and brand need to stay coherent. Jumping on the latest and greatest idea will not bring success in itself, there needs to be thought and a plan behind the action.