THE CASE FOR TRANSFORMATIVE OVER INCREMENTAL CHANGE

Each year - perhaps in September, perhaps January - do you feel re-energized, looking forward to a year when you will do things, well, just that much better?

While it may in fact be refreshing to think of the new, but have you ever considered that year after year, you might be following a strategy of incremental improvement, when a completely new approach might be what is really called for?  If so, you’re not alone.  But why?

It is much easier to use that energy to look for marginal gains using the approach you know and love. And it is far harder work to change the paradigm that has delivered success in the first place.

To think more about transformation - rather than incrementalism, compare the following incremental marketing initiatives, vs the alternative transformational approach:
  • Improve conversion from 5% to 6%.  Instead, why not focus on targeting the “other 95%”?
  • Ask everyone for referrals.  Instead, why not figure out a way to help the people who refer business, build their business?  They’ll return the favour.
  • Spend more money on pay-per-click ads on Google and Facebook.  Instead, why not think about organic search results and develop content that your prospects actually care about?
  • Update part of the website for a new service launch.  Instead, re-charter the website for lead generation, support, and a tight integration to social, marketing automation, and CRM?
  • Renew the logo.  Instead, renew the brand by building a powerful culture.
  • Enforce CRM data entry compliance.  Instead, figure out how to expose the CRM’s data using custom dashboards for leadership, middle-management, and front-line staff. Or begin investigating how Machine Learning and AI can be used with the data you already have. 
WEEK’S ACTION PLAN

Is your organization focused mainly on incremental marketing projects?  This week, use your energy to choose where transformative projects can significantly move the needle.

Marketing insight #1:  Incremental improvement is important too, and should be part of the day-to-day processes.  But when there is change – new year, new strategy, new staff in the role, new senior leadership, etc – why squander the opportunity to make substantive, and possibly transformational, improvements.

Marketing insight #2:  When organizations think about Digital Transformation, too often it sinks into incrementalism, or is rationalized by cost savings, rather than strategic leaps. Digital Transformation requires transformational thinking.



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