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5 Questions to Ask Before Using A New Marketing Tool, Tactic, or Strategy

After live streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope were released, marketers furiously wrote articles covering if, how, and why you should use one or both of these new tools to infuse video into your marketing strategy. It was the same story with Oculus Rift and virtual reality, and the Apple Watch and wearables. Marketers are constantly trying to stay on top of the latest trends to stay competitive—as they should be. But, when it seems like a new tool is released every day, how do you know when it’s time to get on board and when it’s time to get out of the way? You have to pick and choose your strategies and the tools that drive them, carefully. It would be impossible to try them all. The next time a new tool or a supposed revolutionary new strategy arises, ask yourself these 5 questions to determine if the next big thing is right for your brand.

1. Will it help accomplish my marketing goals?

Everything you do as a marketer, including adopting new tactics and strategies, should work to accomplish your brand goals. If you don’t know what those goals are, take the time to define them and then come back to this post. Once you have your goals in mind, think about how the new product or tactic would help you reach those goals. Location-based marketing technology, such as iBeacons, are increasingly used to enhance the event marking experience and provide event data, instantly. If your brand would like to offer a unique experience to a targeted group of individuals, you may want to give iBeacons a second look. If you’re looking to expand your reach to a broader audience, you may not want to hop on the iBeacon bandwagon.

2. Will it align with my brand identity?

When a new tool, channel, or trend comes out, it’s common for publications to find reasons to tell marketers they need it to succeed. Especially if it’s hot in the press and on social feeds. While there’s often merit to these recommendations, you need to think about your brand identity and how adopting that tool, channel, or trend could affect it. If a new tool is in beta, marketing using that tool could put out the message that you take risks. Incorporating a strategy using 3D printing could send the message that you’re on the cutting edge. But what if your mission is to use traditional, stable strategies that you already know work well? Using the latest and greatest app, social platform, or tactic just because it’s trendy could muddle with your brand message and confuse your audience, who knows your brand as more stoic and traditional.

3. Would my personas respond to this type of marketing?

The point of marketing is to reach your ideal audience, people who will benefit from your product or service. If the new product or platform doesn’t reach your personas, you’ll be speaking to no one. Say you’re a healthcare company specializing in geriatric care debating whether you should incorporate Snapchat into your current social media strategy. More than 50 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13 and 25. Only two percent of users are over the age of 55. If your personas are in an older age group, they likely won’t be on Snapchat and the audience that receives your snaps won’t benefit from your services. Always have your audience and their habits in mind when making a marketing decision.

4. How will this technology/tool fit into my current strategy?

If you have a solid strategy that works well, be careful not to disrupt it entirely with something brand new—especially if your personas typically don’t like change. Your traditional, digital, and innovative marketing tactics should all work together to make one cohesive strategy. Considering venturing into the world of wearables marketing? This is a very personal and timely type of marketing. If your current marketing doesn’t focus on personalization, location, and immediacy, your wearable marketing could feel out of place. And you’d have to rework your entire strategy, which takes time, resources, and money.

5. Do we have the time, resources, and budget to devote to learning and launching this new tool or tactic?

When it’s time to introduce a new tool or tactic into the mix, you’ll need one or more team members to onboard that tool/tactic. If you’re adopting a new tool like live-streaming app Periscope, you need to have digital marketer well-versed in both social media and video marketing—someone likely to grasp Periscope quickly. If you don’t have an expert already on your team, you may need to hire someone. Do you have the funds to hire someone new? Do you have the time to hire and train this person? Beyond HR-related time and resources, you need to have the budget to incorporate a new tool or tactic. While a new app like Periscope is free to download and use, you may want to invest in lighting equipment to amp up the quality of your video feeds.

When considering a new tool or strategy, always first do your research and check that your sources are credible. Ensure you’re taking advice from thought leaders and/or similar companies who’ve used the product. This 3D printing article encouraging the use of 3D printing in marketing is written by 3D Printing Industry. While the content in this piece makes sense, the publication may not have the same perspective on marketing as you do. Always have an ear out for new strategies, tools, and, best practices, and ask yourself the important questions each time. Eventually, you’ll know when one is the right fit and you can put your all into adopting it into your current marketing strategy.

Picture of Katie Yohn
Katie Yohn
Forever a student of marketing and the written word, Katie is always on the lookout for new ways to connect with audiences. She enjoys learning about emerging trends and sharing what she's learned. She also has an affinity for alliteration.