Shiny Object or Solid Strategy? What You Should Know Before Jumping on the Latest Trend

For B2B marketers constantly looking for ways to edge out the competition, break into new markets, and better engage their target audiences, a new marketing trend can feel irresistible. Being a first-mover on new trends can position your brand as an innovator – a company that’s ahead of the curve and not willing to stick to the status quo.

However, that’s not the only reason brands are quick to jump on new trends. They are also motivated by external pressures that exist in today’s hyper-connected world. These external factors include:

  • Competitive Pressure: When a main competitor adopts a new marketing trend, it can feel like you’re at risk of losing business to them if you don’t quickly do the same.
  • Success Stories: One highly touted success story can be alluring for B2B marketers, even if it’s not clear that all businesses are experiencing the same benefits.
  • Media Influence: When a trend gets a lot of initial media hype, it can build pressure for brands to be part of the trend.
  • Customer Expectations: If customers expect a certain type of brand content or communication (ex: through a specific channel or format), brands feel rushed to meet that expectation.

However, jumping on a marketing trend too quickly also runs the risk of wasted time, money, and effort on a strategy that you don’t know enough about, hasn’t been proven effective, or may not be right for your brand.

The Science Behind Marketing Trends

A trend begins as an innovative response to new consumer needs, and as innovations prove effective, they quickly gain traction. An easy example is the rise of smartphones—as people used them more frequently in their daily lives, it vastly changed the way people wanted to communicate with brands. Brands had to develop mobile-first strategies in response, now a permanent fixture in the digital marketing world.

Consumer behaviors are changing more rapidly and on a wider range of platforms—from social media to search engines to mobile apps, at virtual events, and throughout the digitally-driven marketing and sales process. Determining the longevity and real potential impact of a trend can become difficult amidst the noise. B2B marketers often find themselves in a dilemma—to adopt new trends to stay competitive or to wait and see if they have lasting value.

When to Embrace (or Avoid) New Marketing Trends

Knowing when to embrace or avoid new marketing trends requires having a solid understanding of your brand, your audience, and your ability to test trends as they emerge. Think about the following:

Evaluate Trend Origins and Mechanisms

Look beyond the surface appeal of a trend. Investigate its origins. Is it driven by genuine consumer needs or technological advancements only? If a trend emerges due to increasing engagement or consumer demand, it’s worth considering.

Analyze Data Beyond the Hype

Collect and analyze data on how the trend has performed in industries similar to yours. What metrics improved as a result of adopting the trend? Was there a real ROI or just a temporary spike? What do industry experts have to say about it?

Assess Fit with Your Marketing Ecosystem

Consider how the trend fits into your existing marketing ecosystem. Does it complement your current strategies, or would it require a complete overhaul?

Scrutinize the Implementation Timeline and Resources

Some trends can be implemented quickly and show immediate results. Others might need a long-term commitment and substantial resources. Assess the feasibility of adopting the trend based on your available resources and the expected timeline for seeing results.

Consult with Frontline Teams

Your sales, customer service, and front-line marketing teams can provide insights into whether a trend is just a buzzword or if it has real traction among your target audience.

Test Before Full Adoption

Conduct a small-scale test or pilot program to gauge the trend’s effectiveness and suitability for your business without committing significant resources.

Trust Your Brand’s Core Values and Vision

If a trend doesn’t align authentically with what your brand stands for, it’s likely to do more harm than good for your brand, regardless of its popularity.

Creating Systems for Trend Adoption

The key to capitalizing on new marketing trends lies in creating systems and processes for their swift evaluation and implementation. The foundation of this kind of system is a dedicated innovation team, a cross-functional group that brings together diverse perspectives from marketing, sales, analytics, and product development. This team’s primary role is to scout for emerging trends, assess their relevance to your business, and swiftly establish pilot tests or small-scale experiments to gather insights for informed decision-making.

Data analytics also play a pivotal role. Leveraging advanced analytics tools, your marketing team can track the performance of new initiatives, measure their impact against key performance indicators, and gain valuable insights into customer responses and market trends. This data-driven approach ensures that decisions are not based on speculation but on concrete evidence of a trend’s effectiveness.

Fostering a culture that values innovation and is open to calculated risks is essential. Encouraging experimentation and accepting that not every trend will yield positive results creates an environment where learning from failures is as valued as celebrating successes. In the long run, this leads to an ability to quickly capitalize on trends that work for your brand, while eliminating the ones that don’t.


  • Kellie Walenciak

    Kellie Walenciak is the global head of content and communications for Televerde, a global revenue creation partner supporting marketing, sales and customer success for B2B businesses around the world.

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