Time to Re Imagine Business! And the time is now. As they say, ” The future is already here, but it is a tad unevenly distributed ‘.
It’s a new world of business. So, isn’t it time to ring out the old and bring in the new? A new mandate has to enter the fray.
Can we shake free of the past? Including(yes definitely) past successes! Can we re imagine an entirely new way of doing business?
Could we stop using these two traditional phrases( I will tell you why):
” Push the envelope “
” Think outside the box “
The problem with both the above(other than their gross overuse) is:
Both suggest that there is an intact envelope or a sturdy box from whose known (and identified borders) we can step out from. But remember:
The envelope is already torn and crumpled..and
The box has been run over by a speeding trailer truck.
So, the task at hand is to:
Think “Weird“, however weird it may sound..be wired for it!
(Re)think ” excellence “
Re-Imagine ” leadership “
Get strange. Did you know that the No 1 source of innovation is ‘ pissed off ‘ people ? People who just cannot tolerate the mundane, the silly, the mediocre that is happening around them. That’s the origin of the best innovation you can ever lay your hands on. So, go ahead and seek pissed off people! HR, are you listening?
Fire the planners. Hire the freaks.
An “excessive cult of the consumer“- ” customer driven” also means being slave to demographics, market research and focus groups. So, ‘listening to customers ‘ might just be the No 1 sin in marketing...
Turn the cliched phrase on its head. ‘The customer is always right‘ to ‘ The customer is always late ‘-
Who wanted Post It Notes? Nobody for a dozen years till 3M ‘ wrote ‘ history and we still keep ‘posting’.
Who wanted Fax Machines? Nobody for the longest time till a ‘ critical mass ‘ of users came along.
Who wanted CDs? Nobody or atleast none of us who had just been through the transformation from phonograph records to tapes. Then the kids started using CDs and the awesome quality of sound made us go Ka-boom!
In the words of Doug Atkin, a partner at Merkley Newman Harty: ” These days you can’t succeed as a company if you’re consumer led-because in a world of constant change, consumers can’t anticipate the next big thing. Companies should be idea-led and consumer-informed”
It’s time to re-imagine. At ISD Global we are constantly trying to be as future ready as possible, driven by the weird, motivated by the untried and fuelled by no fear. To generate ideas that can transform businesses and thereby quality of human life.
Your time starts now. The clock is ticking!
And here begins my acrimony with acronyms..
POV: We know its Point of View but in reality how many of us( 7.5 Billion and counting)get a chance to articulate it. It mostly remains submerged in inertia, intimidation, insipid environments, throw in a bit of introvertism and all of that and that paints a pretty POVerless picture..
Now, could we look at POV in a different light?
POV: Power of Vulnerability. Ingrained, Always On, Comes with the Territory(of being human), Backs to the Wall, Sink or Swim..
Imagine the Power Within…time to unleash! Time to POVer on..
Image: Cara McDonald Yoga
It’s a Brand You world, and time to re imagine you,the Individual: being the storyteller of your own life, you either create your own legend or not.There is nothing worse than being ordinary. The current environs is not going to cosset you any more. Imagine: You’ve got a new boss: Buy a mirror: It’s YOU!
Image: Social Media 101
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”
Erma Louise Bombeck
Todd Henry’s brilliant book ‘ Die Empty ‘ is a wake up call surely. A guide to reclaiming your passion, finding your voice and unleashing your brilliance every day. We always seem to find solace in the fact there will always be tomorrow. But sooner or later all of our tomorrows will run out. That is time which is limited inventory. Each day that you postpone the hard work and succumb to the clutter that chokes creativity, discipline, and innovation will result in a net deficit to the world, to your company, and equally importantly to yourself. Ready to introspect?
I understand average might be both the old and new normal but a honest hand over your heart would have you admit that you were not meant to be average, nor am I. Average might be normal – I get that. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not for me and it shouldn’t certainly be for you!
When you day dream, do you see yourself as the average Jane or average Joe or as being grander than life? I suspect the latter. Way to go! Being mediocre maybe a safe place at first and you are in this trap of thinking that things can’t get any worse. But, we have to know that the flip side is that things won’t get any better either.
“Most humans, in varying degrees, are already dead. In one way or another they have lost their dreams, their ambitions, their desire for a better life. They have surrendered their fight for self-esteem and they have compromised their great potential. They have settled for a life of mediocrity, days of despair and nights of tears. They are no more than living deaths confined to cemeteries of their choice. Yet they need not remain in that state. They can be resurrected from their sorry condition. They can each perform the greatest miracle in the world. They can each come back from the dead…”
― Og Mandino,
It’s time to start an intelligent and provocative conversation with yourself. Be content in being discontent. Set yourself lofty goals without letting them intimidate you or scare you away. The very nature of our brain is such that it cleaves to the familiar. But the brain also remembers what it least expects. So, deliver the unexpected. Let familiarity breed contempt.
When the preferable is not available, the available becomes preferable. Beware of that. And all of it’s always been done that way syndrome.
So what does this mean for creative and marketing professionals. We understand that top lines and bottom lines are necessary compulsions in our corporate life. Stakeholder greed is de rigueur. Marketers will understand that the absolute worst place for a brand is to be “middle of the road, in no man’s land.” Average, adequate, middling are all meaningless. If you are in marketing and find yourself even remotely close to any of these trio, get away, fast. There is far more life beyond ” 25 to 70% off ‘ that you have been running as campaigns religiously for over the last 7 years. You are far better than that. Stop belittling your talent and capability. Especially with all the resources(financial & human) and standing that you have in the market as a brand. And above all, your individual ability, that is far far above the mediocre.
Time to raise the bar.
A lot of us are now on the drawing board mapping out ways to get better in 2018. The fundamentals are not going to change- reach, connect,engage, influence, transact and all of that- but what could we do to better stimulate the landscape as we get set to welcome and take on the New Year. Here’s a partial(and ever evolving list):-
a) A new BHAG of tricks: Nothing brings together a team like a BHAG — a Big Hairy Aggressive Goal —without enough time to deliver it. Backs to the wall brings out the best in us!
b) Am not alluding to the fact of disrespecting the organisation chart but don’t obsess over it on paper.Instead, get the right people, the right goals and vitally, the right trust in place.
c) And for all the HeRoines and HeRoes in HR, recruit with an immersion, not just an interview. Align passion with goals.Basic, yes! Hire marketing leaders with general management skills to ensure results exceed individual contribution.
d) When things are working well, that is the best time to deconstruct your strategy and try new things.
e) If you are in a new category where your customers need a lot of education and support, your organisation needs to be built around education first and products second.
f) Extend your approach to marketing beyond “getting a message out there”; focus on building trust.
g) Don’t overcomplicate marketing. At the end of the day, it’s still marketing: Market Research, Content, Sales enablement, Awareness, Demand generation, Partnerships, Customer retention.Customer advocacy.
h) When you’re the underdog in your industry, hire people with the DNA to creatively leapfrog the competition, not follow the industry norms. You need to have your Purple Cow(fantastic book by Seth Godin).
i) Own marketing across the organisation. Don’t be afraid to integrate marketers into other parts of the organisation, but always have at least a dotted line back to marketing.
j) Don’t be afraid of data and machine learning. The time is now to put all that data to use to solve the problems humans simply can’t and further the industry. The key is to leverage them as part of your team, not external resources. Data is the (K)new oil as they say! The transition even amongst large enterprises hitherto involved ion B 2 B marketing is happening towards a B to I space(Business to Individual).
k) The best marketing combines data and storytelling. It gives you a way to appeal to the emotional side of people. The Unique Feelings Proposition is what brands need to go after!
l) The future of marketing is in the CeX(Customer Experience). Success comes from knowing your consumers’ passions, being innovative in the way you engage them and having a team that collaborates across all aspects of the customer experience delivery. For consumers, the thrill and purpose of experience has replaced the earlier compulsion for ownership. So ride the opportunity.
m) Marketers will know that The Future of Advertising will be a thing of the past. So, re invent, re engineer, re boot and re calibrate! There is a new customer segment: the Customer Segment of 1. Get ready to reach out to them. Address mindsets, not demographics!
n) As we are all agreeing these days, digital is just as much marketing as marketing is digital. So the two roles have combined, and how! It’s a tell, tell, tell, digitell world.
o) Brands and marketers will recognise the immense power of Transparency and how consumers warm up to brands who are not afraid to stand in their own truth. In a Post Truth world, The Future is Transparency!
Marketing has the power, and responsibility, to inspire the whole company, not just customers. Marketing also has the power to be so much more than the “make it pretty” department.It has the imperative to inspire everyone in the company, not just the people who touch the product.So, let us know our rockets from our launch pads.
For inspiring quotes and actionable intelligence from brand owners and marketing champions, please check this link http://groupisd.com/isd-brochure/
Image Courtsey: Search Engine Journal