The tactical advantage of new things

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A very brief strategic thought about why you shouldn’t wait to try new things in the world of marketing. New things capture the attention of the early adopters but the laggards and the mainstream are slow to catch on. There are thousands of marketing managers out there waiting for the case study to come out, and when it does, they’ll flock to the not-so-new thing like lemmings, causing considerably more poor performance. The best time to exact incredible performance from something new is before the masses arrive.

For example, when LinkedIn Sponsored Updates first hit the marketing world, very few brands were trying it. As part of my work at SHIFT Communications, I jumped in with both feet (and corporate credit card), and got some astonishingly good results from it. Just a week later, so many more of the rest of the crowd was trying them out that performance was a full 20% lower. The space got crowded quickly.

Here’s one of the few guarantees of marketing: if you’re waiting for the case study of the industry leader, you are guaranteed not to be that industry leader. Jump in as resources and time permit, experiment, and constantly be ahead of the crowd, ahead of the competition. You don’t have to go all-in and put all your chips across the line on every new thing, but you do need to at least ante up.

Where do you go to find new things? Search the final frontier. Read lots of blogs. Read developer notes. Use developer sites. The new stuff is always happening in development first, and eventually finds its way to marketing.

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