Digital Marketers and following trends go together like cake and icing. You can’t be a good digital marketer without knowing the trends. The question for many is around knowing which trend is worthy of your time. But do digital marketers have FOMO?

We’ve seen it all before. Back in 2006 we watched Facebook as it launched to the public and many of us eagerly followed to see what happened. Some leapt head first into it and of course, now most businesses are on Facebook. Long ago we reached the comfortable point of knowing that it is an investment that has paid off for many. 

Fast forward to 2016 and digital marketers are now looking at Snapchat Stories, optimising Instagram, shaking our heads at AR, refining our video, trying to keep the blog up to date and dipping our toes into podcasts, plus considering whether or not we should build a bot. All while we are keeping email automation running, SEO/SEM ongoing, running programmatic ads, uploading pics to Insta and status updates to Twitter, optimising the website, A/B testing the ecommerce platform and trying to decide what to do with Facebook Live and Facebook Shop. And they are just some of the channels.

Then we are trying out Edgar, updating our lists in Trello, managing remote and local teams in Slack, designing graphics in Canva, having calls on Hangouts, saving our docs to Dropbox and launching websites in WordPress, using plugins like SumoMe, and creating campaigns with Lead Pages. We’re tracking our progress in Analytics, doing remarketing on Google and Facebook, analyzing recommendations in Hubspot, comparing results against forecasts, trying to improve ROI and at the same time teaching our peers the importance of digital, whilst requesting more buy-in from management. 

It’s no wonder we are exhausted!

And tomorrow something else shiny and new will come along and we’ll be forced to make another decision about whether we have the time, energy or inclination to sweep it into our consideration set and take a deeper look.

Is this FOMO?

The truth is that if digital marketers weren’t interested in trends, there would be a problem. We could have totally missed Snapchat spectacles, been unaware of the alleged demise of Twitter or think that Meerkat is still going. We might not understand why “swipe left” is a thing and we could be completely left behind. Imagine if you thought Edgar was a person or didn’t know that Emma is in fact now an email automation platform. Awkward.

In all seriousness, trends are an important part of being a digital marketer and having a healthy fear of missing out on this type of information is a good thing. It’s part of staying current, feeling confident in your role, knowing what’s coming and helps you to be forward thinking.

Most marketers wisely attribute a small portion of their budget to trying new things as it’s accepted that the new shiny thing is unlikely to be a silver bullet, but rather may evolve into something useful over time. And if your customers aren’t using that channel, then of course, it’s rarely worth pursuing at all. 

Whilst trends are fun, they can also be distracting fads and chances are that you should actually be focused on doubling down on what is working now, rather than pursuing a new channel, tool or platform. But at the same time, yes we are digital marketers, yes we like exploring new channels, tools and methods. And in this case, a little fear of missing out seems quite healthy.

What’s your favourite new tool, channel or shiny toy that you’re using? Visit our Facebook group and share with us!