Don’t sacrifice marketing fundamentals for the sake of being first
Cutting-edge marketing technology has its place, but contributor Evan Magliocca says retailers mustn't misalign their priorities.
Retailers are always chasing the next major shifts in technology, customer touch points and platforms. We focus on the competition, staying on top and innovating, and the environment fosters an innate desire to be first. But what’s the real value in being the first to market?
Being first may win awards and a pat on the back from industry professionals, but it usually doesn’t help the brand’s bottom line and often creates some barriers for customers. Being first-to-market on technology also means being the guinea pig for the rest of the industry. Brands that take a more cautionary approach can avoid the challenges, barriers and headaches that the pioneering brands wade through.
Frankly, there’s little motivation to be first. It doesn’t give brands any major benefit, as the rest of their competition catches up quickly by standing on the heads of those that braved the waters. Indeed, some newer brands are chasing the future when they haven’t even established themselves with tried-and-true profit-driving strategies and technologies.
Instead of chasing artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, automation and a variety of other slightly distant futures, brands should instead invest in winning areas that are proven to show returns and are essential to customers.