We’ve targeted the book’s advice primarily at adopters of innovation, but an understanding of the hype cycle can also offer insight for the “supply” side of the equation too.
In recent review of the book, Britton Manasco rightly advises marketers to watch for the Trough as “True thought leaders will see this coming and prepare their prospects and customers for the coming slide in market excitement.”
In an exceptionally thorough white paper that predates the release of the book by a couple of months, Roger Warner of Velocity marketing agency provides marketing advice for each stage of the hype cycle. It’s clear he has plenty of first hand experience of working through the cycle a few times, based on the examples and the depth of the insights he gives. Each stage has multiple recommendations, targeting everyone from the truly visionary leaders who create the trigger:
“During this stage, you need your vision and your story to win. You also need to your language to win. In new markets, nothing has a name yet. If you’re there early, you need your names to be adopted by the industry.”
to those who arrive later to the game:
“Marketing on the Plateau may sound like a maintenance job but actually, it needs to be just as creative and visionary as any other stage. The idea is to differentiate with new spins on the same basic themes and issues that have now been accepted by the market.”
In an aside, Warner questions the naming of the plateau: ”A plateau doesn’t sound like a very exciting destination after all that suffering. Gartner could have chosen a better term for this phase, but you get the idea.” Interesting point. Perhaps we should have called this phase the “Plains of Productivity”, where the grass is green and the herds roam in comfort. Or perhaps the slightly negative connotations of a plateau (as in “career plateau”) are actually appropriate. It’s at this point that so many people start to feel a stir of longing for the thrilling roller coaster ride of the early phases, and abandon the comfort zone to seek out the next new thing.