May 25, 2018

What really stops us from being forward-thinking marketeers?

written by Anya Amrith
What really stops us from being forward-thinking marketeers

Forward-thinking marketing is the future…

It’s been a week of #RoyalWedding wonderfulness! Seeing the beautiful bride (and handsome prince, of course!) and the amazingly diverse, multi-cultural ceremony that Meghan and Harry planned. It’s been a wedding to remember, that has brought Royal Family traditions well into the 21st Century. It was forward-thinking.

The Monarchy is moving forward with the times – the same lesson also needs to happen to our marketing efforts. Yes, you read the right: Marketing can become habitual unless we push it forward and become forward-thinking ourselves. Let me explain…

We’re followers

What really stops us from being forward-thinking marketeers

It’s natural to feel fear and to be reluctant to try new thing. We apply exactly the same notion to the businesses’ that we work for. We’re less keen to pave the way, unless we’ve seen it done before. We need assurance that it’s going to work, that everything’s going to be ok. Our marketing is ‘safe’ – often copied from another company, but adapted to suit the products/services of our own brand.

But being courageous and trying something new doesn’t mean that it’s going to automatically fail. There’s a difference between being irresponsible, and doing your research to plan a forward-thinking campaign that’s going to kick ass. Brands are never going to achieve standout by being bland and boring – we need to take more creative risks. It’s money better spent, and with the correct support from an agency that knows what they’re doing it will be more effective.

Literal thinking 

What really stops us from being forward-thinking marketeers

We fall into the trap of selling products and services in the same way, over and over. It becomes the routine, even if it’s a service providing model.

For example:

let’s take the business of a professional wedding photographer. We’ll call the owner Ms A; who attends the wedding day to capture beautiful moments and uploads the photos after a few days. It works perfectly. How about adding something unique to the service?

What if Ms A was to invest in technology to allow guests of a wedding to download an app. They could record messages, video and take photos of the special moments taking place away from the professional camera. It could automatically place all of these snapshots in a timeline, acting as a continuous live feed to all guests. After the wedding, the couple can review the timeline. With an option to integrate with Facebook’s timeline, they’ll have another way of forever remembering their day. Ms A could incorporate this as part of her service, giving her a unique aspect. When something is memorable, people are more likely to talk about it to others – more potential clients.

You see – if we’re able to stop thinking so literally, we allow our minds to wonder and think of POSSIBILITIES. We’re able to grow as a business. Which nicely leads me to…

We’re too reactive

What really stops us from being forward-thinking marketeers

Subconsciously, we find excuses and have developed behaviours that automatically put a stop to the creative process. We stop ourselves from enjoying the PROCESS and instead put too much emphasis on the end goal. Yes, we want positive outcomes, we need return on investment. That doesn’t mean that you need to find the solution right away. Good ideas take time. Great ideas are born from a place of free thinking.

In a meeting when someone brings up an idea, we can be too hasty to ‘rubbish’ it. However, following through with the thought process of that idea could lead to the formation of another genius idea.  All businesses should be allowing time for creative thoughts and ideas to flow – it’s important to future development. But we’re so busy being reactive, we fill every single moment of our day with the feeling of ‘doing’. We need some time to be idle, to make connections. We need to free-flow.

In conclusion

Forward-thinking marketing isn’t just for the larger, corporate companies. Medium to small enterprises can also add creativity to their marketing practices. They can utilise technology that’s available to everybody to build a niche model. Being forward-thinking isn’t just about the money you throw at something; it’s about being strategic and open to the ‘what if’s’.