The other day, Anne signed herself up on my email list.
After leaving her email address, she was taken to a landing page where I asked her to share her biggest challenge in digital marketing and communications. Anne’s biggest challenge was to keep up with digital trends in the accelerating pace of today’s online landscape. Anne shares her frustration with hundreds of other readers who have answered that same question over the years.
We become neophiliacs, or FOMOs1, always looking out for the next thing.
“Do we have to become fucking experts on ‘Pokémon marketing’ now?”
It’s a reasonable reaction, I think. How can one keep up in today’s wired world? The answer is simple:
One can’t. No-one can.
You could pick a channel like Youtube and immerse yourself only to realize that must choose a more precise focus. You might try to get a handle on Let’s Play-walkthroughs instead, only to learn that you have to dedicate yourself to a certain type of games — or to specific game developers.
Every time you scratch the surface, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
As a person who’s into digital communication for a living, I would suggest another way of looking at it. As I see it, you shouldn’t be pushing yourself to look for everything and nothing all at once.
Or, as Clay Shirky said:
The Pokestop Shop
The other day, I walked pass a local store for office supplies. As circumstance would have it, there was a Pokestop right outside their store front. In an attempt to grab this marketing opportunity, they got into Pokémon Go and added lures2 to attract players.
I got curious and found a spot across the street where I was able to sit down and observe. In an hour, around 25 Pokémon Go players visited the Pokestop outside the store front, but not one single player entered the store.
It’s not exactly bold to assume that these Pokémon players aren’t in the market to stock up on printer ink.
It got me thinking.
The office supplier’s website wasn’t optimized for mobile. The website couldn’t tell me whether or not they had certain products in stock or not. Wouldn’t their marketing efforts had been better spent on their site? If their website has 500 unique hits every day. What if the office supplier had aimed their “creativity” at those 500 daily web visitors instead?
Your Trend Filter
The question you should be filtering everything through is this one:
Q: At the end of the day, what is your brand really about?
Marketing and communications are fiercely competitive areas, simply because we compete for one of the world’s most rare and valuable natural resources; people’s attention. The hippie web is dead and online mediocrity is destined to follow suit.
Business can’t afford to jump on every online bandwagon that seems to be popular right now. In the case of office supply stores, they should probably be total nerds for inbound marketing, customer loyalty, market research, online conversion, search engine optimization, and e-commerce.
So, Anne and everyone else struggling to keep up, you really don’t have to catch them all! If you know what your brand is about, you’ll know exactly where to look for interesting new trends to explore.
Update: Since someone actually asked; I’m a Team Instinct Level 9 (who haven’t captured Pikachu yet).