The B2B marcom world has had an interesting last decade trying to navigate its way through the latest digital marketing trends (and we don’t just mean social media!). As consumers in our personal lives, we are marketed to almost entirely differently than in our business lives. By now we all know that new tactics that have emerged for B2C aren’t always beneficial for B2B. This isn’t a new concept, but it is one that should get an update every now and again. Just because a new digital tactic is trending for B2C doesn’t mean we can’t give it a try here in our more niche B2B space.
Last month we attended a digital marketing conference (shout out to Digital Summit Philly), something we do regularly to keep us up-to-date in the marketing world. Many digital marketing trends are focused around SEO, community engagement and lead tracking. All those things sound great for B2B, and we start to get excited about being able to implement the latest and greatest for our clients. Inevitably though, we find ourselves having to figure out a way to adapt our newfound knowledge to our clients’ size B2B strategies because the majority of successful examples are B2C or large companies with seemingly endless supplies of resources and content.
So when do we know which tactics to adapt and adopt, and which to wave to as they fly by us?
Taking a marcom method leap of faith
First, you have to be able to identify Shiny Object Syndrome when it rears its ugly head; the “ooh let’s try that!” syndrome that captures so much of your attention on a new fad that you lose sight of your big picture. If you focus on anything that catches your eye without prioritizing or weeding out the bad ideas, your marketing communications efforts become haphazard, ineffective and costly.
Perhaps it’s your boss, or your client, or your college intern that suggests you try out a new marketing approach. “I saw that our competitor is doing this” or “The large company I worked for before this was already doing it”. Those might be valid reasons to research something new, but this easy checklist* for curing Shiny Object Syndrome can help ensure you’re being practical.
- Is your customer there?
A pretty simple question. If your customers aren’t also adopting the same behaviors as your marcom tactics are promoting, it won’t help your business. Some research here will be essential.
- Does it align with your goals?
If your main goal is increasing traffic to your website, but the new trend keeps your customers within a separate website, your efforts here won’t be benefiting your goal.
- Do you have the content and the resources?
If you are going to commit to trying a new particular approach, make sure you have the additional time, money and resources to dedicate to the tasks necessary to make it successful. Don’t take the resources from another successful tactic to implement a new one unless you know it will also be effective.
- Can you measure success?
Speaking of success, what is it for you? Have specific KPI’s for each goal and know how to measure each of them. Don’t be afraid to dive into the data to really track your customer engagement and how they align with your goals.
Not all emerging tactics are fads… imagine if your company didn’t “catch on” to websites yet! So don’t let the threat of Shiny Object Syndrome scare you away from trying anything new. Once you have considered each step in the checklist, you can decide if the potential new marketing trend is suitable to your business, goals and strategy, or if you’ve identified a bad case that needs to be cured. If it does have promise, take a small leap of faith with the new trend that might just lead you into lucrative new territory.
*Courtesy of Tiffany Starnes, FSC Interactive during the Digital Summit Philly presentation “A Proven Cure for Shiny Object Syndrome: Measureable Goals”