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When to Go Against the Status Quo in Marketing

05.08.2020 | Andrea Pratt

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There are many marketing tactics out there, and new ideas, trends, and best practices pop up regularly, so it can be hard to know what to integrate into your marketing plan.

One way to decide is the “But everyone else is doing it!” method. If other players in your industry are using a particular tactic or channel, shouldn’t you? If all the marketing blogs are talking about voice search, TikTok, and micro-influencers, shouldn’t you be using them?

We recommend a different—perhaps groundbreaking—approach: Doing what works.

go against the marketing status quo


Sure, any marketing tactic or trend is worth looking into. But don’t feel like you have to adopt every single one or even the hottest ones.

There are a lot of businesses out there leveraging certain tactics because someone told them that they should or because everyone else was doing it—not because it makes sense for their marketing or they have the capacity to do it well. Maybe they’re participating in content marketing without a true SEO or distribution strategy, pushing out organic social posts to an unengaged audience, or dumping a ton of money into a marketing automation software that they’re not at the scale to leverage properly yet.

So how can you know which trends to adopt and which to leave behind? Never fear! The knowledge is already inside of you (or at least within reach). If you know your customer, you know which marketing strategies have a good chance of helping you reach them.

Bottom line: Keeping up on current trends across industries is vital for marketers, but don’t get caught up with the latest and greatest trend if your audience won’t value it. Oftentimes, sticking to what you’re doing and investing additional energy there can be more powerful.

Conversely, if a tactic that isn’t popular in your industry or trendy is working for you, who’s to say you should stop?


Tactfully send out information


We’re not saying you should never change things up, try new things, or adopt trends. Really, you should always be prepared to change and making changes as needed! Marketing is all about adapting to evolving customer wants and needs.

Just don’t buy into the conventional wisdom that “more” and “new” is always better. If a status quo strategy or a new trend seems like something that’s logical to add to your marketing efforts, consider it with your team. Does it make sense for your audience and your brand? Will it fit within or work in harmony with existing strategies? Do you have the budget and time for it? Will it provide long-term value, rather than just a short-term win? If yes, go for it!

We’re not against trying a long shot tactic every once and a while, but stick to sure things as much as possible. And once you do employ a new tactic, give it time before calling it one way or the other.

Hit your targeted goals


The key to knowing which strategies or tactics to ditch or keep is measurement.

There’s been a measurement crisis in marketing probably since the early days. It’s been tricky—or just time- and resource-consuming—to prove the return on investment (ROI) of certain tactics. But there’s no excuse anymore! Now that most everything is digital, measurement is easier than ever.

Before you can even measure, you have to know what you’re measuring against. Create a marketing plan and set objectives. Stick with that plan and don’t change willy-nilly. Once you can confidently judge that something is or isn’t helping achieve the objectives set in that plan, act accordingly.

We get that the marketing FOMO is real. But if you adopt tactics without being mindful, you’ll waste a lot of money. You may even lose some customers who are put off by your brand acting inconsistently.

Remember that adopting that one strategy or tactic isn’t likely to be the silver bullet for your organization, anyway. “Marketing is now heading in the direction of being about ‘marginal gains,’” explains Neil Patel. “There will be a big shift from people focusing on one channel and trying to find the ‘Holy Grail of marketing’ to working on slightly improving each area of [their] marketing.”

Marketing isn’t about quick fixes; it’s about incremental, data-informed changes to intentionally-chosen strategies. Just like you wouldn’t slap on a new coat of paint to fix a car with engine trouble, don’t expect a marketing strategy or trend to revolutionize your marketing performance.



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