Beating Marketing FOMO

by | May 17, 2018

I may not be Nostradamus, Jeane Dixon or even Miss Cleo (and thank goodness, considering they’ve all ceased to be), but I’m fairly confident when I predict that your marketing efforts are seriously behind both the times and the eight ball, and that your company is but one Twitter fail away from extinction.

How do I know this? Simple: You have no chatbot.

Seriously, my good marketing manager, what are you thinking? We’re not living in the dark ages of 2015 when you could put a little chat applet on your website, mark its status as “BRB” and go on your merry way leveraging paradigms and whatnot. You need a chatbot. And, come to think of it, an Alexa strategy. And a Google Home strategy. Probably an all-encompassing AI/voice/drone delivery strategy.

Also, influencers. Gotta have ’em. Never mind that your firm’s main line of business is industrial fasteners. You need Jacob von Gramophone livestreaming the latest X-11 Modified Brazier Head Rivet to his tweener army lest Gen Z grow up not knowing their hucks from their kwik-loks.

At least you have a Chief Advocacy Officer. What? No? Why do I even bother.

And scene. If the above feels a touch extreme, chances are you’re reading this on a Monday morning and have yet to slip back into the cacophonous deluge of marketing tips, tricks, listicles, scolds and death notices (TV’s been dead for 16 years, dontchaknow?) that fill your Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora feeds to the brim. If you pay attention to even a fraction of it, you’re likely second-guessing every marketing matter that comes across your Slack channel. Sorry, SharePoint. Desk blotter? Help me out.

And how could you not? This is a fast-paced world full of exponential change that you can’t possibly understand if you’re not taking the deep dive into big data to offer highly personalized, on-demand buying experiences for Millennials to Instagram. Right?

Of course not.

Yet, the marketing fear of missing out is both real and understandable. But also beatable. Yes, all the things I mentioned above are tools that numerous brands have (according their own reporting which may be suspect) used successfully. But the key word in that sentence is “tools.” Nearly everything you see being touted as the lastest, greatest, holy grailiest of advertising excellence is merely another tactic. Possibly a useful tactic. But then again, maybe not.

And that’s the key. To be able to determine which of the new (and existing) tools fit your brand’s needs best. Should you learn about them? Certainly, even though it sometimes seems impossible to keep up. Should you try some out? Absolutely; setting aside a bit of your budget – marketing or otherwise – for experimentation is always a good idea. But do you have to scrap everything and rush pell-mell into the Next Big Thing in order to stay alive? Yes. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. No, no, a thousand retweets no.

The tidal wave of new-and-questionably-improved ad tools will probably never ebb. But remember this: Anyone insisting that you embrace their prescribed tool is either selling a book about it, runs an agency that specializes in it, doesn’t know how to use other marketing tactics well, or all of the above.

So stay interesting. Create boldly. Speak strategically. Act honestly. Because the more things change, the more the fundamental things stay the same.

This piece originally appeared as the “Brand Brief” column in the June/July 2018 edition of Omaha B2B magazine.

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