It is a widely common adage that change is a constant. Not too long ago we also were introduced to the concept that the changing economy has brought us to the new normal – whatever that happens to be, but one thing we have come to realize is that it is definitely not business as usual!
So why then, when we know instinctively that change is occurring all around us, that so many of us continue to do the same traditional plans when it comes to marketing our business? As Albert Einstein had suggested, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Over the last several years many of us have been stuck in a reoccurring trend – we start the new year with the best of intentions and high hopes of a better year, but in reality we have also plugged in some pretty conservative game plans, due to the overriding concern that business is not really ready to rebound yet. We want to grow and look at new markets or services, but once the first negative headline appears, we automatically put the hold on any new initiative.
An argument could be made that this conservative mindset has kept many organizations still in business today – or on the other hand it could be said that this approach eliminates opportunity as well. As Steve Jobs had once stated, “What has happened in technology over the last few years has been about the downturn, not the future of technology. A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of [customers], they would continue to open their wallets. And that’s what we’ve done.”
Not all of us will be as progressive as Steve Jobs and Apple, and yet this logic does speak to the concept that we need to be willing to innovate and look for new strategies within our organizations. Perhaps this will be new products or services, or maybe it will just be embracing some new marketing concepts to help engage a new audience.
As the new year approaches, now is the time that many of us start serious planning and budgeting. While I would not suggest throwing caution to the wind, I do think that we all need to really embrace this concept of change.Don’t just talk about it, but give it a test – update your current materials, and then also introduce a new version targeted at a specific audience. Measure the results and then try it again. Utilize some of the new media – or even better yet, integrateyour message across several media forms. And perhaps most important, don’t let the first whisper of negativity in the economy alter your plan. Create your vision, and then stick to it!