2016 may be the year that marketing and business sectors figure out how to navigate the chaos of an ever advancing digital world.
Where We've Landed
It's been a whirlwind of many changes since the world-wide-web became publicly available in 1991. In trying to figure out how to succeed in the digital age this century, the marketing and business sectors have forgotten one of the golden rules in managing change: don't worry so much. Before the world went digital, before different job sectors were transformed by computers, smartphones, social media, and other advancements, it was the wild west. Technology now documents and collects information in ways that have optimized our time and made our processes more efficient. Technology has made us more honest, making it harder for people to do and get away with dishonest activities. Technology has also made it a more level playing field and easier for startups and other individuals to enter and compete for business. The trouble has been focusing consumer attention, which is the key that can turn a consumer into a customer. With more ways to access information it becomes harder to win consumer spending. Consumers are spoiled for choice in every way. We are now martians on our own planet, trying to figure out how to use the tools we've discovered and keep up with every new wave of advancement.
How To Embrace The Chaos
Success is like the ocean, it's always changing. Sometimes the same conditions breed success, but formula responses don't breed record-breaking results. Success is about embracing the chaos, the uncertainty... realizing that things will never be comfortable and taking calculated risks. Whether it's marketing or any industry for that matter, relying on formula and "Big Data" will not keep you totally safe from failure.
Einstein and Steve Jobs on Intuition's Role
Albert Einstein always lauded intuition as our most precious gift. He understood that to overcome and master chaos and uncertainty, we need our intuition. It is a collection of our experiences and failures that lead us to our greatest discoveries and successes. It's about trusting our human gift that technology does not possess.
Steve Jobs was famously noted for ignoring market research when developing Apple products. In an interview with Business Week in 1997 he was famously quoted as saying “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” The challenge, moving forward, is successfully integrating the two [Big data and intuition] ..that brings results. (Source: Gee Ranasinha, CEO Kexino)
Intuition and Big Data together is what will help you steer your proverbial boat to successful shores.
How to Figure Out Where to Focus Your Efforts in 2016
I always get a kick reading the articles published around the cusp of a new year. These articles list trend forecasts, strategy recommendations, and opinions on the future of your industry. The thing is, everyone has an opinion. So how do you decide on what to focus on? You figure out what impacts your bottom line the most and what's right for you. Find where the holes are in your boat and then ask yourself 'what new things has our business been afraid to try? It's very hard starting a business and making it successful, but it takes money to make money. In all that time you've wasted not trying to implement digital marketing in your revenue funnel, why didn't you learn more about it and understand how it has helped other businesses, and could help yours? Why would you not give something you are passionate about the best chance of succeeding? Fear maybe? Frugality possibly? Whether it is budget concerns, being met with outside doubt and skepticism, overwhelming pressure and high expectations on ROI— if any business in any industry or sector doesn't want to lose out on what's possible in terms of success and revenue, they can't allow themselves to worry so much. Worry impedes your efforts. Fear is good in that it means you care, but too much fear hinders our ability to think clearly and take fruitful calculated risks. As much as advances in technology have disrupted and changed our lives, technology has also brought a strange order and fairness to what we perceive as imminent chaos.
Embracing technology has awakened our curiosity and forced us to get in touch with our trusty human tool: intuition.