I found myself on a roll last week; the kind that makes people who love you cover their eyes and beg you to walk away.
During our first conversation with CEO's of three very different companies, I was interrupted and told that my company's job wasn't to change the way they did business, it was simply to "Make something happen."
My point had been that "the answer" would not likely come from some new digital tactic or group of tactics that would lure prospects out of hiding because the audience hasn't been hiding; it's been ignoring them.
"So figure out how to make 'em listen. That's what your job, right?
"No," I said politely to each. "My job is to help companies engage with people they can truely help. And the only way to make that happen is to prove to those people that it's in their best interest to engage. We don't tell them , we show them. It's simply more effective to cultivate a growing audience of people who love what you do, along with why and how you do it, than is is to hunt each prospect down as they scramble to stay out of your crosshairs."
The bottom line is that we live in a different world. These established companies were founded on, Company First! Sell to whomever you need to, just keep selling. They went ten thousand miles wide and an inch deep; scortching the earth, stretching the truth and manipulating as needed to knock over prospects and make their numbers.
The result is that people have had it. They dismiss brand messaging as irrelevant. They expect personalization; that the brand's they're considering and supporting know and actually care about their wants and needs.
That's now price of entry and that takes focus.
It takes accepting that the brand won't be the best for most people if it's going to be a perfect fit for the right people.
That means changes are necessary.
We have to move Marketing inside. It changes from being a series of opportunistic messages that fall on deaf ears to an ongoing demonstration of the brands's commitment to its audience. This demands the brand deliver real value to the audience at every point of contact, every time. And it means the brand competes only with itself to improve its performance every day.
It sounds daunting and there are other improvements that will happen over time but these changes can be accomplished if the brand's commitment is real.
The point is, there really is no choice. The majority of new business fail within the ir first three years and MIT predicts that 40% of business that exist today will be gine within five years. Those are staggering numbers.
So complain about why the Cubs will never win a World Series or why Michigan can't beat Ohio State. Just know that giving your business a real chance to reach its full potential, really can happen.