Don’t Always Chase the Shiny Objects; Plan and Measure to Achieve Marketing Success

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New technologies are constantly changing the way that people communicate.

Inevitably, brands will look for ways to leverage these new technologies to reach their potential customers where they are. While this can result in success, it can also cost your business of a lot of time and money with little or no return on investment.

So, what are you supposed to do?

With so many options available, many people don’t have the time to research and try everything.

That is part of the reason why I write this blog. That is, I often examine the “new” thing to try to explain how it can be used to grow your business.

However, I need to point out that while I am scanning the horizon for the next big thing, I don’t recommend that you try everything that I write about. Chasing all of the “shiny objects” might end up costing you money.

In fact, some of the things that I write about might not work for your business at all. As Chris Brogan often used to say, “Your mileage will vary.”

Instead, I recommend starting with additional research to determine whether your current and potential customers can be reached using the latest technology.

Next, you need to create a plan that includes measurable goals that will help you achieve your marketing objectives and then implement the plan, measure, adjust, and repeat the process all over again until you find out what works.

That said, you shouldn’t ignore all of the “shiny objects” either. That can cost you money, too.

The key is to have a disciplined approach to trying new things and then measure the results along the way and adjust as needed.

The 70 | 20 | 10 Approach

As I pointed out in a post written in 2016, Millward Brown recommends that brands allocate 70 percent of their communication budget to low-risk, “bread and butter” content. These are the things that you know work for your brand.

They also recommend that the next 20 percent of the budget should be used to innovate based on what worked in the past, and that the remaining 10 percent be used to try brand new things.

This gives your business the flexibility to try “the next big thing” with less risk involved.

If the “next big thing” or “shiny object” ends up being a passing fad, no problem, you haven’t invested much.

However, if it ends up being a great way to generate leads and ultimately helps acquire new customers, then you can make the decision to increase your spending in this area.

This also means that what is defined as the “shiny object” now might end up being the “bread-and-butter” content in the future.

As I mentioned in 2016, in the end it is important to monitor and measure what is working and make changes based on what the data tells you.

Sounds easy, right?

There is work involved, but with the right training and effort, success can be achieved.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

I am a marketing analyst and strategist. I earned my master's degree from West Virginia University in Integrated Marketing Communications in 2023. I also hold a bachelor's degree from UW-Madison in Sociology with a Concentration in Analysis and Research, and I completed the Mobile Marketing Professional Certificate Program from Auburn University in 2015.