Letting go of control

What you might find interesting is an article during the week where the Editor of the Wall Street Journal complained that Google devalued everything it touched. What I think he was saying without saying is that Google (and the web) flattens old established hierarchies and business models – much like the web has fundamentally changed music distribution – ie the web has eliminated inefficient channels between creator online casino and consumer and adds transparency to everything a company and people say and do. 

Old industry types struggle.

Frictionless information distribution  between content creator and consumer – who then has the power to comment (good or bad), recreate and share.

Is the concept of PR control, privacy and is copyright dated in the increasingly connected world?

In the marketing battleground (of now) and the future, transparency will be an increasingly important component to not only business to customer engagement but to corporate recruitment, finance (kpi for investment) etc.

Eg How green is your company?  Is it a giver or a taker?

From a business marketing experience what I’m keen to begin to explore is how we incorporate this into online customer engagement, from websites, to blogs, photosharing, Facebook etc.

Unanswered emails and calls not returned

Harbour City - Sydney, Australia

Harbour City - Sydney, Australia

I was heading across town the other day and saw a local plumbers mobile phone number on the back of his truck and an old “Find Me in Yellow” sticker , I called, left a message and three days later still not reply. 

What’s the point of advertising if you can’t get the next part right? 

In hindsight I suppose it’s just supply and demand and that some plumbers don’t need to advertise – a good reputation and word of mouth is most important. 

Anyway, in other industries that’s not quite the case, there’s a battle for customers and advertising is critical to the mix.   Even in a 50% downturn there’s still 50% to be spent!

Yesterday small business advertising landscape was dominated by the Yellow Pages.  Today advertising dollars are migrating to where customers now find out and talk about your products and services – that’s online – whether Google, Facebook or the other billion or so websites and services out there.

Australian online advertising spend was around $1.7B last year and growing while casino online conventional media is decreasing.  The current economic climate is only going to increase online marketing’s share of the advertising dollar.

The majority of those online advertising dollars are going to Google Adwords – the paid, auction type classifieds listing in the right hand column of search.

It’s sort of funny how a majority of businesses have just transferred the old Yellow Pages, dominant market share “Not happy Jan” if you’re not in, belief across to Adwords.

Don’t get me wrong, Adwords is important but IMHO it’s not as important as good content and design, SEO (Search Engine Optiminisation) and a good business to start with.

For example spend money on advertising and web only to take ten rings to answer the phone or three days to reply to an inquiry email.   Not good.

I’m amazed how much is thrown at all these advertising options to  drive people to a website only to deliver an ordinary experience.  That first 15 seconds on a website is the most important – it has to quickly build trust and transform a web site browser into an inquiry. 

The better your website qualifies the visitor the less physical resources required to manage the leads.

As a student of marketing and advertising we were always taught to create a Sustainable Competitive Advantage – whether that is brand, a unique selling point (USP),  service, distribution, your company culture, staff, partners and systems.

Whatever it is, it has to be something that is important to the customer.

With the today’s Connected Net – Internet advertising delivers online word of mouth marketing and reputation building.

What is the right path?

Imagine - Lennon's Ode

Imagine - Lennon's Ode

Tsunamis of change flatten landscapes causing us to reevaluate and rebuild.  The same process impacting people and brands. The marketplace is fundamentally different then yesterday.  How do you reconfigure and set direction?

Moving foward I’m reminded (unfortunately) of Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams “Build it and they will come”.  Do you recreate based on Malcolm Gladwells “Blink” – your gut instinct and passion, or conform and risk analysis paralysis?  The old rules are “old rules”. 

My favorite blogger Seth Godin wrote today about “The customer is always wrong” and the difference between a hobby and a career.  Do what you enjoy, life is short.

Sometimes it seems as if either the goal posts have moved or that you find that the path you were heading on was casino not going in the right direction, ie you’re not happy in your job, people don’t respect your work, you wish you were somewhere else and so on (note see my favorite advertisement from this years Superbowl)

How do you respond to the new market place, what do you do?

You evaluate, and decide to change tack like a sailing boat navigating across an ocean, you steer in another direction, maybe you create a new product or service?

It seems to me the ultimate destination is always centered around happiness, wealth and good health and I think it was Confucius who said – “it is not the destination but the journey that matters”

  • Happiness -what can you spend hours doing, enjoying, “in the zone”, with passion!
  • Wealth – is there a market for your products and services?
  • Health – mental, physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, spiritual, social, creative. 

When you start on any new journey there are so many unknowns and diverting noise demanding attention which can appear daunting or, maybe you are not aware of what you don’t know and simply step into the darkness, learning as you go – in time your eyes and senses adjust, substance takes form.

No matter what, practice makes perfect and builds confidence in all aspects of life.  Over time we develop our knowledged eye and understand the difference between real and imagined limits.

As the Nike ad says Just Do It!  If it is right your audience will connect.