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When Should B2B Marketers Get On A Platform Hype Train?

The official announcement of the upcoming iWatch already has seven brands jumping on the wearable for early marketing presence. But the million dollar question remains unanswered: Will iWatch be a hit?

Questions like this are the reason why so many B2B marketers aren’t so quick to embrace the emergence of new platforms. And while they’ve made mistakes of being too slow about it, there’s still certain merit to their caution. You can get on the hype train a little too early.

When then is the best time?

The first step is to break this question down into a series of questions:

  • How many are already on it? – Hype trains are often described as brimming bandwagons. However, you can actually narrow it down to who is really influencing the bandwagon (aside from the source of the hype). The seven brands getting on board the iWatch could serve as one example. These are the people who have more solid reasons to risk investment in a particular marketing platform and aren’t solely driven by hype.
  • Do you trust these influencers? – You need to tell the difference between business leaders who are onto something and just a rag-tag bunch that’s being too opportunistic for their own good. One way to start is to compare your objectives with theirs. Are you thinking what they’re thinking? Can you defend the idea to your sales team and your higher ups?
  • Is there any writing on the wall? – Going on the other side of question, you could also be going against the tide too hard. If it’s starting to look like a new platform is gaining traction with your competitors, the writing is definitely on the wall. You don’t even have to worry about adopting a platform inasmuch as recognize the new challenge it will pose and new strategies to address it.
  • What is your plan? – As already established, you need a plan to go with your decision to adapt a particularly new platform. Other parties might have influenced you but now is the time to distinguish from the a bit. That doesn’t mean you can’t look to them for some examples though. In fact, you’re practically on the train together and might have to pull together to get things done.

There will always be naysayers and there will always be unknowns when it looks like a new marketing platform or channel is on the horizon. But for all that is new, knowing when to ride a hype train is a timely skill that’s still relevant.

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