Fads are fun, but they wreck and confuse your marketing plan. As a B2B marketer, you probably don’t want to take a stick of dynamite to your marketing plan and see what happens because “it’s the latest thing.” Think QR codes, TikTok, and flash mobs.
Need an excuse to reject the latest fad? Let’s take social media as an example. You know it’s a fad when…
1. Nobody Knows What the New Fad Does
Videos are good for some things. Short videos are good for others. Each new medium offers a format. But do we know what this new format is best for? Both of the following need to be true:
- The new format can show your product or service especially well.
- Your audience is using it.
If both of the above aren’t true, avoid this fad.
2. The Hot, New Thing Has No Track Record
It’s new and lacks historical data and any track record of past success you can use to understand what it might do for you. How will you measure success? What do you expect it to do for you? Do you have a good reason to think it will help you? Extra points if it contributes to an already-stated marketing goal.
If it doesn’t clearly support an existing, measurable marketing objective, walk away.
3. It’s So Hot Right Now
The key is “right now.” The absolute last thing a B2B marketer should be doing is what “all the kids are doing.” Everyone’s excited about it to the point they’re saying they need to do it without really knowing what it will do for them.
Are all the kids using it? Cool. Let them use it, and we’ll be back in a year or two when we figure out what it’s best for and what everyone else is using it for.
Let Others Experiment
Marketing isn’t that complicated. This means you need to understand what you’re spending your time and money on.
If someone wants you to use some new social platform or some other marketing tactic, make them explain it to you. If they can’t explain it simply, as Einstein said, you have to assume they don’t understand it. And if they can’t tell you what it does, how it’s worked in the past (for your type of message and for your audience), do what Nancy Reagan told us to do in the ’80s: just say no.