I pay zero attention to any marketing trends.

Forget the trends. Get the basics right.

You know what? I want to come right out and say it. I’m an idiot. A little while ago, I wrote this post thinking that Beme was going to be a huge trend.

I was completely and utterly wrong.
Because Beme is gone. For someone who does a whole lot of marketing, you’d think I’d be a little more accurate from time to time.

But the fact is, until as recently as last year, I was pretty obsessed with following the latest marketing trends.

Hey, some guy who spoke at some conference someone tweeted about thinks that Quora is the next big thing? Great, I’ll spend hours on it this week.

Hey, that influencer who is actually an investor in Snapchat says that Snapchat is the most important marketing platform right now? Sweet, I’m on board and in bed with it.

I was chasing my tail. Chasing myself around in circles. Thinking that I was being productive, when I was really just climbing in bed with a bunch of ideas that had a bunch of money or Big Important People behind them, without considering their wider meaning or impact.

At the end of the day, I was spending so much time on all of these marketing trends, that I wasn’t really spending any time doing any actual marketing. Because marketing and advertising, at the end of the day, are about getting your products and messages in front of your audience.

Fooling myself with the latest fancy apps and ideas wasn’t doing that. Fooling around with all of these fancy platforms wasn’t doing that.

Here’s a quote from a guy I look up to more than anyone else out there, David Ogilvy:

“In saying this, I run the risk of being denounced by the idiots who hold that any advertising technique which has been in use for more than two years is ipso facto obsolete. They excoriate slice-of-life commercials, demonstrations and talking heads, turning a blind eye to the fact that these techniques still make the cash register ring. If they have read Horace, they will say that I am difficilis, querulus, laudator temporis acti. Se puero, castigator, censorque minorum. So what? There have always been noisy lunatics on the fringes of the advertising business. Their stock-in-trade includes ethnic humor, eccentric art direction, contempt for research, and their self-proclaimed genius. They are seldom found out, because they gravitate to the kind of clients who, bamboozled by their rhetoric, do not hold them responsible for sales results.

Man, preach it Ogilvy. He recognised then, as we should recognise now, that the basics of advertising and marketing are a lot more important than flashy trends and sexy ideas.

For me, that’s the focus now. Less on trends, more on the basics that actually work. I’m not going to go around raving about some new exciting platform or some growth hack, I’m going to focus my energies on doing the stuff that has always worked to sell products:

  • Understanding what my audience want and how they talk and how they listen.
  • Communicating honestly with my audience based on that understanding
  • By Writing great copy and creating great content.

That doesn’t mean I’m a luddite. I’ve grown to like Snapchat these days, in a way I never used to (I used to hate the platform) and I’m happy to use it. I’m happy to use the new tools. But only if I genuinely want to. I’m not going to proclaim that they’re the second coming, and I’m not going to call using them “Marketing” if that’s not what I’m doing.

Forget the trends. Get the basics right.