I get emails about new platforms, tools, hosting companies, unicorn solutions and tactics everyday. Mostly, I skim the emails, click a few links and then delete it. Every once and a while, I see something that looks promising enough that I register, download or buy.
Many clients seem to do the opposite. For them, every new gizmo needs to be bought, every new tactic needs to be tried.
Overall, I’m happy and appreciative of being forced to look at new things. It not only helps me stay up-to-date, but also gives me some insight into how clients are looking at their sites and my services. The problem arises we get so fixated on the new & shiny that we forget about the tried & true. You get so infatuated with silver bullets that you forget about system requirements.
- Buying a new site search package without ever having configured your old one.
- Jumping onto new Adwords features even though you still can’t get sales at the right A/S on your current inventory.
- Spending time searching for a videographer when you know you need a product copywriter urgently for your next catalog.
I don’t want to turn anyone off of trying new things. BUT I do want to caution you about jumping from one new fad to another without investing time to learn, master and optimize what you’ve already got.
A simple way to avoid wasting time and money on the bright & shiny is to ask, “Do I Need it Now?”
You can say “Yes” if…
…you’ve got no other tech or marketing projects/products in the pipeline already?
…you trust that you are fully utilizing your team and need to gain more bandwidth by hiring/automating/removing/redesigning
…your costs (CPC, COGS, LCO) can be quickly reduced — you need to be able to explain how that will happen
…you see an immediate way to increase cash flow, revenue, margins — again you need to be able to explain how this will happen
…your house is in order: SEO is sitewide, your email is targeted, CTAs are compelling, analytics are incisive and your team is well-trained.
If you can say “Yes” on at least 3 of these, then go for it. You’ve earned a new toy.
Did you say “No” to all of them? Then get back to work. You’ve got a lot of ground to cover.