Friday, November 6, 2009

Added Features

It's fascinating to track waves, whether it's Lists to Twitter or campaigns to add a dislike feature to Facebook, it's interesting to see the landscape evolve. The thrust of change, easy or hard fought, seems to be coming from consumer or individual demands as opposed to business models or internal strategies.

"I want my phone to do this."

"I want this out of my plan."

"I choose not to work out of the office."

Whatever it is, people are taking the initiative to make demands and initiate a kind of compromise that is leaving some businesses behind. You can use advertising as an example in a very general sense, the idea of sticking to the same approach despite an evolving consumer preference creates a dead end. You cannot corral people into digesting their information a certain way, there are simply too many variables. The three or four tried and true arenas for marketing oneself are diluted. Mechanisms exist to circumvent advertising, preferences are honored and, quite simply, people are opting out in the literal sense.

So, does this mean a hamster-on--a-wheel existence of catering to external elements?

Hasn't customer service on some level always translated to that?

Or are we not thinking about it the right way?

What about imagining a way for it to work? A way to make the business run smoothly as it met, and maybe even exceeded, the expectations? I mean, when you get down to it, it's really kind of simple. The marriage is— your bottom line, your fulfillment and your clients.

The way to a harmonized trio would involve considering each one and taking pains to make sure the balance always stays fairly close. Can you think ahead and find ways to please people as you accomplish your own objectives?

So instead of running just to keep up, you veer a little off course, look ahead and carve a new way. Better, stronger, faster, cuter. Whatever. Just don't do it in a vacuum, don't pedal furiously only to find yourself alone. You are as entitled as anyone else to demand a better way, leaving behind what hasn't worked.

We're working on this. Strengthening relationships where it makes sense and extending our capabilities where we anticipate people (ourselves and our clients) needing to go.

It is scary and challenging, but the alternative is a much darker place, don't you think?


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