March 2014

If you pick up any books these days, read any blogs or talk to anyone who is successful and you ask them what the keys to success are, they will give you the same old, boring methodology that is predictable and fatigued in my opinion.

They will most probably tell you that hard work, relationships, timing and passion is all part of being successful.

As the landscape evolves, so too do consumer expectations. The way people engage with brands is changing and there is an increasing demand for personal experiences so what should be the big focus points for marketing in 2014?

Rapid times require rapid change, and as we go careening into the future, there's only one certainty - we're in for a lot more change. That's why it's a great time to adopt some resolutions that will get you out of a complacency-funk and into an innovation-mindset - one word DISRUPTION.

Everything is transient. The market you are in today probably won't exist tomorrow. Many consumer electronic product companies are now involved with product lifecycles that last but six months or a year at best, driven by what I call hyper-innovation. Get with the program - everything is temporary, and change is constant.

Make decisions. Don't be someone who asks "what happened?" - make things happen. Far too many people have forgotten how to analyze information and move forward based on what they see. Worse yet, the idea of making a gut-feel decision and taking a risk seems to have disappeared with the culture of compliance that surrounds us. The world won't wait for you to make a decision - it will simply move on. So do something - it will feel good, and will help you to get ahead of those who are still wallowing in their attitude of aggressive indecision.

At the end of the day...

World class innovators win!

It's all about running the business better, growing the business, and transforming the business.

Disruption is about changing expectations of customers.

For entrepreneurs, the hardest part isn't necessarily creating the idea. In fact, the hardest part is getting your idea noticed in a cluttered market. No matter the category, the competition is fierce, and it's getting harder and harder to rise above the noise with traditional branding and marketing tactics.

IF you don't disrupt the market, you are eventually being surpassed by someone who will. Apple disrupted Microsoft to become one of the world's top companies. Apple would make a larger screen on their iPhone, now Samsung is disrupting them. Amazon disrupted traditional bookstores and now Big Box retailers. Bottom line is that if you are doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results you are in for a rude awakening. Remember how you change is how you succeed. Bottom business as usual is dead. You either going to disrupt the market or it's going to disrupt you.

Your business operates in the exact same way. Every customer interaction, from your voicemail message to your shipping labels to your website, is part of your thumbprint, and you better make sure everything is unique and ownable to you. All too often I see entrepreneurs focus on their product and their websites but not their business cards or contract language or even how they dress. Their marketing is a list of brilliant tactics, but most of them simply add to the clutter instead of standing out.

Seth Godin's words from his book "The Dip" appropriately highlight the importance of innovation "Being better than 98% of the competition used to be fine. In the world of Google, though, it's useless. It's useless because all your competition is just a click away, whatever it is you do. The only position you can count on now is best in the world."