Marketing Strategy – Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome


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Since the dawn of marketing, teams have been routinely diverted from solid strategic work to determine whether they “should use [insert new shiny thing]. ”

In the late 2000s, social media was often the shining object. Before that, it was the web. If you go back far enough, the television was the shining object. Recently, “go-to-market” and “RevOps” have become buzzwords.

While all of these tactics and channels have their place, doing something because it’s new and trending isn’t necessarily the best course of action for an organization.

Anyone can get Shiny Object Syndrome. In fact, at some point in our life we ​​are almost all guilty of this.

In the context of B2B organizations, however, this is more damaging when senior team members are the culprits.

Marketing isn’t the only department under such pressure, but because marketing can and should generate revenue for an organization, shiny object syndrome can seriously derail company goals, resulting in can lead to team frustration, budget cuts and even layoffs.

A common scenario of shiny object syndrome

Your CEO is going to a conference that has a marketing component. The executive is unhappy with the results of the current marketing team or is simply interested in further growth for the business. He or she hears a case study of how the “Brilliant New Marketing Platform” increased business revenue by X%.

After the conference, the Marketing manager receives an email from the CEO: “I just returned from a conference. ‘Brilliant new marketing platform’ sounds interesting. What do we do with this?

Panic sets in. Marketing chief goes into fire drill mode to figure out how to implement “brilliant new marketing platform” without asking CEO first Why.

The most important thing is to know why the shiny object is requested. Understanding the underlying reason for the request is essential. The executive may have valid concerns about the outcome, but another solution may be more appropriate.

Is the shiny object really right for you?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the shiny object help our strategy?
  • Is our industry engaging with this shiny object?
  • Will this shiny item help or hinder our team’s goals?
  • How difficult is this shiny object to operate and maintain? What are the costs and benefits?
  • Do we have the right team to take charge of the shiny object?
  • Can we afford to do it right?

How to stop panic marketing because of shiny object syndrome

If you are asking yourself the above questions and can defend the shining object, absolutely incorporate the new tactic into your overall strategic plan. Marketing can and should be agile. But even if you think it’s an interesting idea, you need to figure out how to implement it and how to measure it.

If you come across a shiny object and are wondering whether you should implement it, use this flowchart as a guide.

Flowchart for adopting a new marketing tactic

If you’re asking all the right questions and hate the answers, you need a way to explain to leaders why the shiny object is not good for the organization. You have to build a case to continue on the current path or adjust the path without the shiny object.

Your response to anyone asking for a shiny object that doesn’t make sense should include …

  • A reminder of the current objectives and a validation that they are still correct
  • An assessment of the current strategy and its effectiveness (If your current strategy is not delivering the desired results, that doesn’t mean a shiny object will solve the problem. Find the real problem and work to solve it!)
  • An assessment of what the shiny object is and why it is not suitable (e.g. financial barriers, lack of expertise, irrelevant to your target audience.)

As long as your marketing team members are asking why they should be implementing the shiny object, have a strong strategy aligned with business goals, and can measure the effectiveness of what they produce. , shiny object syndrome should be an easy obstacle to overcome. .

Next: Avoid the pitfalls of reactive marketing

Did you miss part 1? Read it here.

More resources on marketing strategy and shiny object syndrome

Don’t Give In To FOMO Marketing: Four Steps To Resisting Shiny Object Syndrome

The next shiny thing

The price of chasing the next shiny toy

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