Shiny Object Syndrome: What You Should Know About This Dangerous Marketing Mindset

Working with business owners and organizational leadership over the years, I’ve noticed that business owners always want to grab the shiny object of the week and organizations always want to grab the shiny object of competitors.

Let’s face it, neither of these approaches will solve the marketing problem.

The issue with shiny object marketing is that it doesn’t always align with your business objectives, competitive advantage and ideal customers profile.

The truth is, just about every business gets hit by shiny object marketing every once in awhile.

But there is a cure.

An marketing strategy must be in place before any marketing tactics make sense

Through working with CEOs and business owners I’ve seen incredible results happen once organizations gets the marketing strategy right. Once this occurs business owners and organizations can surround it with just about any set of marketing tactics that are implemented and measured consistently.

That’s how important the marketing strategy component is.

Build your business on these two very strategic components and you’ll never wonder about getting a ROI on marketing tactics or the shiny object syndrome.

1. Discover and Define Your Ideal Customers

There’s a lot of research you can do to unearth your ideal customers or target markets.

The simplest and best way is just to start having strategic listening conversations with customers or target markets. Begin building a detailed profile of your current customers. Group your most successful accounts that are profitable+refer your business.

Below are the two ways to get the ball rolling as they can provide a great foundation for getting at what’s truly important to your customers. Start talking to customers every month and you’ll be rewarded with insight and sales.

  1. Talk with your best customers. Your best customers have the following two behaviors: they are profitable and also refer business to you. Not to mention it’s not practical to engage all of your customers in a conversation. Discover who your 5–10 best customers are, then email or phone them asking for feedback on your marketing, sales and service processes.
  2. Eliminate “yes” or “no” questions. My motto is to “go Oprah” on your customer base and make sure you ask open ended questions. Some of the things you’re after is the LANGUAGE your customers use when describing why they buy from you, the WORDS and PHRASES your customers use when explaining what they value about what you do, and the DESCRIPTION of the perfect buying experience. You can’t get that by asking them to rate things from 1 to 10.

The hard cold truth is that understanding your customers allows you to market your business more effectively and generate more sales.

2. Clearly Differentiate Your Business

Here’s what I mean: Often I will ask business owners and management to tell me what’s different about their business from others. The most common answers are, “we have the best price, we give our customers a quality product, or we have better service.”

Communicating price, quality, and service are no longer strong enough reasons to clearly differentiate your business for a potential prospect. These are all customer expectations.

The difference needs to be in the way you do business, how you package your product, the way you sell your service, the way you answer the phone, your appearance on a sales call, your signage, marketing kit, etc. — it’s all in the way you provide your service or product.

It’s a myth that being better than the competition is the way to success, bigger profits and bigger opportunities.

I can say without hesitation that being better is a waste of time, being different is where the money and competitive advantage is at.