Dynamic times call for dynamic change. Nowhere is this more true than in the marketing and communications sector where technology morphs daily, companies less than 10 years old dominate the space (e.g., Google, YouTube, and Facebook, among others) and agencies of all types have become fragmented and hyper-specialized (e.g., digital boutiques, systems integrators, design firms, mobile marketing agencies, search engine marketing firms, community and social media specialists, and the list goes on and on).
With all of this specialization, one would think marketers are ecstatic – almost gleeful — in the services and intellectual capital they receive from their agencies and partners. But, according to several recent research reports this is not the case. In fact, marketers are still longing for something else — more innovation, better and more actionable data, increased dynamism, and a nimble, almost fluid, approach to marketing that can help them navigate the constantly changing seas of this new landscape.
So how should our industry cope with these marketplace dynamics? Change and innovate regularly — at least every 6-18 months. CAUTION: This does NOT mean jettisoning the fundamentals of your business. Rather, I’m suggesting that you examine your service offering and kill the parts that no longer work or have relevance in the marketplace so you make room for innovation. It’s sort of like Spring cleaning. You need to get rid of old clothing, furniture and clutter in your house so you can make room for more relevant and appropriate stuff.
Here’s a simple but effective way thinking about it. Follow the A, B, C, D’s and Skip to R formula.
A = Architect – Architect the blueprint for change.
B = Build – Build the business model and infrastructure to support this change.
C = Create – Create the products, services, culture + community to succeed in this new landscape.
D = Destroy – Interrogate and destroy the parts of your business that no longer work.
R = Repeat – Repeat this cycle every 6-18 months.
Obviously, this is easier said than done, but some companies are doing it.
For example, take Anomaly. After nearly four years in business and reaching their self-imposed max of 100 staffers, the agency was wary of becoming big and bloated. So what did they do? They opted to launch an off-spring — ‘Another Anomaly’ — an autonomous company with its own balance sheet, clients, partners and offices. Perhaps this is why they received an honorable mention in the most recent edition of Fast Company’s, Fast 50 innovators.
Whether it’s following my A, B, C, D, and skip to R formula or simply examining your business model periodically to ensure it remains competitive and relevant in times of change, it doesn’t really matter. What matters most is that you embrace change, constantly innovate, and strive to become the most valuable partner to your clients.