Change seems to be the word that is the center of my life nowadays. Well let’s just say, personally and professionally, all that was, is no longer there! I’ve recently resigned from my job, started my own business, handling a million projects, moved countries … so Change might be the understatement of the century in my book. However, I won’t bore you with my life, I’m interested in the word change in the our business world – more precisely the marketing realm!
In that world, change, to many, is still a dirty world. People in general fear change and avoid venturing into the unknown because of that fear – I say embrace that fear and let it be your drive. Change is inevitable, so you better make the best of it, otherwise the fear will consume you! The biggest change, at least in my region of the world, is trying to embrace social media as an effective marketing tool. Marketing has escalated from an age of catering to needs, and imposition, to an age of engagement and transparency. The problem lies in the latter! In a region renowned for discretion and secrecy, how can you possibly expect them to embrace the transparency imposed by social media. In a recent pitch to Subway by one of the most reputable agencies, the focus was on social media and viral marketing. In short, all we need to do is engage the consumers and embrace their lifestyle, and they would do the rest. They were the marketing campaign! They made would have made it viral! I’m using the past tense, because the pitch did not go through since the board refused to leave the brand in the hands of the consumers! They wanted TV, Radio, Billboards, … the big stuff – they still wanted to preach to the consumers! We have been living in the age of information for quite sometime, so the consumer cannot simply accept the information you present to them. They have their own source of information, which can be summed up in a 3 words: word of mouth, others call it word of mouse, I call it: World 3.0!
But why did the board turn down this incredible pitch? CHANGE is still a dirty word! Accepting it (the pitch), would have meant that they had to move away from their comfort zone, the traditional world of mass advertising, the world of Bigger is better, the more money we spent the better! Here’s a wake up call – it doesn’t work that way anymore! Personalization and Engagement are key! Social media offer companies that combination at relatively minimal costs.
Change is NOT a dirty word – we have made it so. We have created this fear. We think of change as a venture into the unknown, a world of uncertainty, possibly associated with pain and loss, exposing oneself, anxiousness – we have created such anchors and we convince ourselves that we need to overcome them! Here’s my view, why overcome when you can completely eradicate it. It does not exist unless you want it to! I think trying to overcome the fear of change only makes matters worse. Without sounding too cliché, why not simply look at change positively – here’s are the words i associate with it: excitement, potential, higher returns, promising, a drive to success, a new world with infinite possibilities, a fresh start, and last but not least, an opportunity. If you look at change from my angle, you are bound to succeed.
A company/individual has to be ready for that change. There are excellent examples in Seth Godin’s book – Meatball Sundae. A lot of people take the leap without warming up, and they might strain themselves! So I am definitely for planning change, but don’t delve into it, yo might miss out on it! Don’t make planning another excuse for the fear of change. A good example of that is Duke Nukem 3D is a first-person shooter computer game developed by3D Realms and published by Apogee Software. It was released on January 29, 1996 for the PC. That game was very successful and the company kept planning the release of the sequel for ages. Guess what, we’re still waiting! They missed it!
A very nice book to read about change is one you have probably come across many time – Who Moved My Cheese? by Johnson Spencer. It is the story of four characters living in a “Maze” who face unexpected change when they discover their “Cheese” has disappeared. Sniff and Scurry, who are mice, and Hem and Haw, little people the size of mice, each adapt to change in their “Maze” differently. In fact, one doesn’t adapt at all…
I could go on talking about change forever … don’t worry, I won’t! In conclusion, I ask you to embrace the opportunities presented by change! The only thing holding you back is YOU, Think About It!