Second cup of coffee thoughts from a snow-bound Rochesterian. Let's make it the year of new truths.
Truth 1: Where ROI is emboldened with #WI — What If
As marketers we live in a world that strives to find better ways to measure and justify impact. And for good reason, of course. But we’re in danger of becoming incrementalists, of using data for justification of small, of safe. But safe doesn’t win big.
A great study by HBR proved that risk-taking leads to greater shareholder return: those that shifted more than half of their capital resources earned on average 30% higher shareholder return than the majority of companies who made small, incremental shifts year on year. Yup, 30%.
And CEO longevity improved too which is also a pretty good incentive I’d have thought.
So a new Truth in 2014: let’s try; let’s gamble and allocate money and time, projects, teams to ‘what if’. May 2014 be a year we all are thrilled by a scary success, and wiser from a few failures.
And by the way, safe isn’t talked about, famous, or inspiring to any of us.
Truth 2: The Millennial age is a mindset, not a demographic
Easy to sound so smart about an audience we’ve been talking about for, oh, about 14 years already! But the reality is that whilst they only account for 9% of US spending today, by 2018 that will rise to over 40%.
But think not just about the financial impact but the cultural one and the impact that has today on brands. The cultural impact of choice, of always on, of a rich and productive selfishness. I believe that very self-centered, insular view by Millennials has tremendous impact for brands and for us marketers – because it means we need to really understand genuine insight and truth into what motivates this audience. No more tell them and hope. But now we need to find ways to be relevant to an audience that focuses mostly on themselves. And by the way, I love that – this generation will create more, explore more, try more because they believe that they can, and because they are the least likely to be encumbered by tradition and ‘the way we do things around here.’
Truth 3: Organizations should be organizers, not avaricious
OK, full disclosure... I’m biased by the recent creation of @TruthCollective; my own creative company based on a model of collectivism – of finding and uniting specialists for specific client tasks. But think about it: the safety and supposed security and long-term view of companies with large incumbent workforces; companies who measure on size, seems to be the very opposite to what’s needed for a future of entrepreneurialism and exploration, of creativity and invention. OK, I know there are giant companies who produce great work — I’m not against everyone big. But I do think the potential for great, for invention, for better, will come from the small, the tiny, the inventive.
So 2014 here we come and I’m excited and nervous and eager to live, learn and try.
And not just say “what if.”