What to wish for your Business and Brand in 2019? Changes.

What to wish for your Business and Brand in 2019? Changes! Challenge yourself and your own view of the world. There is a lot of routines, consensus thinking in marketing practices and organizations.

What to wish for your Business and Brand in 2019? Changes.

Usually, business teams in large multinationals, but also in small-medium sized companies follow ‘policies’, regulations, and a ‘Culture’ of approvals, consensus or obedience (from the so-called Seniors).

This phenomenon is as historic as the desire of Man to rule over others. Don’t take me wrong, discipline and framework are indeed needed in the business making. But what has happened to the idea generation? Where is the creative inertia and thinking of good people working to serve Brands and their franchise? Isn’t it cool anymore to have great ideas?

“We obey his master’s voice”

From budget acceptance up to analyzing customer behaviour (even the google analytics observation), there is a huge gap between Creative great ideas and the XYZ-years’ routine implementation in-companies.

Marketers are trying to learn the ‘digital living’, yet shareholders don’t yet see Growth ahead, out of poor Marketing, Communication, Service and support performance. The main reason for this is, again, that working people don’t challenge the ‘establishment’ in a company. They know, they hear, they even read surveys, but they don’t fix the bloody issues at hand. They are not permitted to?

The ‘fake’ beliefs rule the Marketing world

Now on to our recipe: put in the boiling pot few interns, arrogant digital natives that know it all, old-school (dinosaur) Marketers, many ignorant teams on behavioural data rooted on reality …and voila! you have a volcano of problems and silos not working together but antagonizing over ‘rules of power’.

Everything is ‘fake’: we work for Growth (but our prices aren’t matching realities); we innovate (but we don’t approve an employee project management software to save them time from meetings, approvals, and bureaucracy); we need better customer service (but we don’t match competence to people and jobs). Even the fabricated (hype or) belief that customers want ever more personalized messaging (the truth is, they avoid it like hell – please check Mobility reports), to the belief that millennials need your “Brand to take a stand”.

The millennials who still can’t make through a volatile job market. Same people, that can’t get access to VC capitals or partnering networks? The segment with the buying power that decreases by 10% every month, due to the expensive cost of living? Are you kidding me?

Companies ‘die’ of complacency

We know what we are doing. We’re experts. We have Leaders that are visionary. We have the best product. We are now digital. We hunt for Growth every day. Cliché phrases. Old-school irrelevant. They show huge resistance to change and “This is NOT how we do things around here

But the loyalty is dropping across the Western world. The disposable income’s challenges turn Consumers into suspicious beings and they don’t feel Brand value and rewarded (by quality) exchanges.

While industries transform, ordinary people are a bit hostile to the marketing ways of the past, but companies repeat their same plan almost every year. Yes, the same. Because they know best. They have a plan-tick-box in every corporate, marketing, HR activation. They are ticking all boxes to make their line Manager proud…

It sometimes feels that the route to a company’s success has been decided by committees, we read it on some website/media and suddenly applies for all Brands everywhere. All insurance propositions do this. All cars advertise on these channels. All hotels should have a travel blogger. All supermarkets do price incentives’ schemes (while other supermarkets transform with self-driving units!!!). Banks should connect to youth …or better, invest in #fintech!!!! Ha, ha, ha.

We must search out totally new ways to anchor ourselves, for all the old roots religion, nation, community, family, or profession are now shaking under the hurricane impact of the accelerative thrust.

Alvin Toffler

Stop, think, find out.

What do I propose for your 2019 dear business owner, marketer, founder, and startupper? Stop, think, find out. More. Into details. Rethink the model you operate for years.

Forget the website banners and your Google ads. Think for a moment real people, their patterns and challenges. It’s time for customer centricity to be realized instead of being a UX sketch on your desk. Think effectiveness in terms of service, happy customers and repeat purchases. Even if your coupon isn’t an e-coupon, the thing remains: you should put your heart and soul behind it.

Today I was trying to find in Microsoft Office365 site my invoice. Spending more than 30 minutes and no luck at all. The one link to the other, with a search that couldn’t facilitate the local language (then why on earth do they have a Greek-translated version?) I was reminded why in focus groups Microsoft is characterized “dinosaur”, “monopoly” “just needs the sale”.

In 2019 do yourself a favour

Challenge yourself and your own view of the world. There is a lot of routines, consensus thinking in marketing practices and organizations. Strangely for a profession made up of many roles across a huge range of verticals in both consumer and business-to-business, opinions can herd around certain received (or dictated) wisdom, often at the expense of evidence to the contrary.

How can you challenge for good reasons?

No1. Review your past 2-years performance. Mark in red every repeating phenomenon-result; it either means you have over-done it, or that you’re stealing attention and resources from other initiatives.

No2. Talk to the Marketing, Sales, and Communication teams. Workshop. Bring on the table fresh perspectives, asking them only to be practical (no theories please).

No3. Develop a testing plan with 1-3 new initiatives –yes, even if you are a multinational with ready-made ‘recipes’– and do the business case, either for innovation/transformation or for your customers, or for internal performance excellence.

No4. Select middle-level managers, take them out and discuss Culture and Trust barriers in the organization. Even if you are just to hear their fresh views. Even if you disagree. Business owners and Marketers specifically should hunt for the next 5-years growth plan, even if they are working for the NOW.

No5. Assign new deliverables on marketing/sales/product strategy, communications/digital, and corporate/trust teams. Ask them to come back with a 5-year plan, that the company should step-by-step progress and updated every year. Aha! Don’t forget to put all departments work together on these strategic deliverables; they don’t do it every day!

Take my word for it. If you start such initiatives you’ll revive the lost Creativity in your organization and you will go through a really successful and Happy New Year!

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