Trends in marketing are a lot like those in fashion or design. When you’re in the height of it, a Von Dutch hat paired with shorts and Ugg boots seems like a great idea. It’s only when you realize you’re late to the party and everyone you wanted to impress is somewhere else that you realize maybe this wasn’t your best course of action.
Marketing is a LOT like that. Trends can be enticing. They call you in like a siren to a sailor and it’s not until it’s too late do you recognize that you’ve just thrown a ton of time and money into something that was never going to end well.
The thing about trends, no matter the industry, is that they are typically fleeting. Your business, on the other hand, shouldn’t be. That’s not to say you cannot incorporate trends into your marketing strategy, it’s more to say you should recognize them for what they are: an idea that could augment your existing strategy.
How to Spot a Fad in Marketing
Most fads in marketing come about quickly and fade even faster. One of the key things to look for when weighing whether or not the newest “it” thing in marketing is just a fad, is to consider its popularity against its usefulness. It may seem counterintuitive but if something is gaining popularity fast, or at least it seems like it is, it more than likely is not worth your time.
One of our hard rules is to give every new marketing tool, social platform or other gimmick a real consideration as to the WHY behind your interest in getting on board the so-called train. If the rationale is, “everyone else is doing it,” then you pretty much have your answer.
Marketing is never about doing what everyone else is doing. At least successful marketing isn’t. A good strategy should carve a niche for your brand that allows it to stand on its own two feet and build quality relationships with customers or clients who turn into brand loyalists. The most timeless brands and companies are the ones who focus on the mission – not their competition.
How to Avoid Fads in Marketing
To steer clear of any fad that could be detrimental to your business, focus instead on the value you want to be giving your target audience. The tools you leverage within your marketing strategy should be beneficial and well-planned. When you are rushing to pivot and add something new without taking the right steps to do it properly – that’s pretty much a dead giveaway and alarm bells should be ringing in your head.
Instead, consider whether this latest trend elevates your brand or will help you reach your overall goals. If it is more a matter of doing something to keep up, well then, it’s probably not your race.
How to Hold True to Your Marketing Strategy
No two marketing strategies are the same, just as no two businesses are the same. Sure, you may have similar services or prices as a competitor, but your business is distinctive and so should your strategy be. Trust your gut and know what decisions are best for your endgame. Not everything available to you needs to be on your docket. Be selective, be proactive and take your time. Good marketing is a marathon – not a sprint.