Sometimes you need to take a step back, figure things out, decide if these things will really affect you, or if it’s just lot of media speak that ultimately has little to do with you. For example – did the last General Election really affect you, your business, your aims or wants? probably not… we’re all full of protestations, but do we actually vote with our feet? When we receive properly bad service do we never return?
So things happen, we get excited, a big vote, a momentous sporting event and sadly the occasional bad news happens as well like the Belgium bombings, or other outrages that seem to happen not that far from us and our lives, often too close (but this isn’t really my point).
What I’m trying to say is should we use current affairs in our marketing repertoire of available tools, if so how and more importantly how do we plan for this.
I’ll drop in an example here: should we Tweet about something political like Brexit? We’ve plenty of time to plan, we know the date it’s going to happen, June the whatever, we have time to make the Union Jacks with our logo on them, we’ve plenty of time to write the press releases, draw the plans, decide on our white papers… in fact we can make a great thing of it. So why don’t we.
It strikes me that there are two issues at stake here, the first is that most marketing with the SME category is to reactionary, something happens in the past and we react to it, it snows and we tell people our products are great for snowy weather and secondly most of our reactionary marketing is unplanned.
For sure, fixtures like Christmas or Easter are easier to deal with, but everyone else is clued up to this as well, thereby risking our message being lost in the crowd, besides often a big event like Christmas is a busy period anyway, so marketing is not as critical at this time. This means there’s a hole… because we’re reactionary in marketing or we’re active during key moments means we’re missing out on marketing precisely where and when we need it most of all… the lulls, the quite moments.
I’ve not yet mentioned the Bandwagon yet – this is a form of marketing that can be very effective, where you/we produce something that relates to a current situation right now. We see it all the time, anything satirical is almost certainly bandwagon marketing, someone will have drawn a sweet pussy cat being shot and related it to Donald Trump, or someone will have taken a ten pound note and crossed out the Queen in their campaign against the EU.. I am sure you know what I mean.
But why shouldn’t we do it, the more I think about it the more logical it seems, if you or your company can think up an idea, then publish it… that is the beauty of the Online world, it’s just a phase or digital image, it’s completely doable and it’s quick.
Looking at what is happening currently, most bandwagon marketing is done by either the big corporate boys with their marketing agencies or the little man developer who get caught up within his own success, both perfectly fine ways to catch people#s imagination, but there’s no reason why anyone can do it.
Steps for Planning
So, what is needed to make bandwagon marketing a viable option to further promote your company, products or services?
- Pen and Paper – any idea needs to be written down, quickly, as soon as the idea happens. A store of ideas can be collected… it could be a book at the front desk for all staff to contribute towards or it could be a notebook next to your bedside, but no idea is too small
- The Team – plan the team now… you need to know who the copywriter, photographer and graphic designers will be – get these people into place and ready to react to your ideas…
- Timing – decide on the timelines for each publication, you might want to get something onto Twitter within three hours, or you might want to plan a whole campaign within a couple of days.
- Mix it up – finally be aware that your bandwagon marketing needs to be flexible enough to mix in with any other marketing you do
Bandwagon marketing should be about knowing who is going to do what in a very short time frame… get that right and the time it takes from inception of the idea to actual publishing and getting you message across can be just hours.
In truth – we all have ideas, all the time, particularly business owners and top management – the question is how to get those ideas through the system as quickly as possible and that’s the part that needs planning.
Should you or shouldn’t you, that is a big question, after Charlie Hedbo, so many Facebook users added a Tri-colour to their Facebook Profile, as a mark of respect no-one would criticise anyone who did the same, it has a full Bandwagon feature to it, but it also shows that you stand for something as well… I would venture to say bandwagon marketing absolutely has a role to play, but under the right circumstances and of course the sooner you join said bandwagon the more ‘on-message’ you should be.