Today I want to talk to you about how constantly hunting for your company’s next big shiny thing – especially in marketing – could set you up for failure.
It’s called “Shiny Thing Syndrome” or “Shiny Object Syndrome” and it refers to a behaviour where people follow trends and ideas blindly without much of a plan; often seeing this shiny new thing as the new hot trend and something that’s a surefire way to make it big.
It’s often something that people do time and time again – try a new thing, get bored, don’t finish it; jump onto another bandwagon, don’t see success in that, don’t see it through; try another thing, get distracted part way through and jump onto another thing. Now there’s nothing wrong with keeping your ear to the ground for trends and giving new things a go. But you need to commit yourself to giving these things an honest try before jumping ship to the next.
But I do get it – there are all kinds of new and great social networking opportunities, online communities, and advertising channels that pop up every single day. It’s distracting and with marketing psychology and advertising algorithms being as they are, it’s easy to get sucked in. However not sticking with things can lead you to abandon projects prematurely, or worse, neglect things that are already working well that you’ve started to take for granted.
Let’s talk about how this applies to marketing. Modern, especially digital, marketing can come across as a quick, punchy affair. You can set up a new Google or Facebook Ad in a matter of minutes – the same goes for a social media post. Yet in reality, strategically approaching digital marketing takes a lot of patience – not just to set them up, but to keep an eye on performance, make changes to their content, and generally to tweak, perfect, and observe. It’s only time to throw in the towel after you’ve proven without a shadow of a doubt that it doesn’t work for you.
Content marketing in particular is a real long game. When you publish your first piece of content, it’s just not going to bear fruit straight away. Even if you promote it with pay-per-click ads, spam it on social media, and link to it in your email signature – great though those tactics are – it’s just not going translate into overnight viral success. The real value in content marketing is keeping at it, consistently plugging away, building your audience and brand awareness over time.
Jumping from a fancy new marketing channel, to a new outreach fad, to a new content approach without giving each of those endeavours time to bear fruit isn’t going to do you any favours. It’s only going to make you consistently inconsistent.
If you conceive that an idea is going to be a success for you, focus on that single-mindedly rather than spending some of your time looking around for other diamonds in the rough. Think of it like multitasking – if you spread yourself too thinly, you’re going to end up doing multiple things badly rather than one thing well.
So limit yourself to one or two shiny things at a time and aim to see them through, giving them a fair shake and improving your skill at them rather than just binning then before they begin to take root. Many things in life are slow to start – not just the shiny stuff.