How was your year?
You shattered your KPI records? You delivered more from less and more with less? You found inefficiencies and eliminated points of friction across your marketing communications and consumer journey? Your agency brought you bold, fresh, new and innovation ideas? Your procurement department saved you some money without hampering or hindering your creative process? You successfully experimented with several emerging platforms and exciting early stage startups? You attracted and retained talented young Millennials to move your brand forward?
You did? TERRIFIC! You rock! You don't need to continue reading, but I would love it if you would comment below and share your success stories, best practices or next practices and some key learnings with the rest of us constituents.
We need more people like you to step up and share. We need leaders who are gracious enough to help raise the collective bar or rising tide in order to evolve our industry.
For everyone else (and I have a sneaky feeling it's the overwhelming majority), I have some bad news and good news. They're actually both the same: everyone else is in the same boat. So you're not behind but you're not ahead either. That's either exceptionally frightening or empowering depending on how you look it. If the former, you run all the risk in the world to be disintermediated by a direct competitor or even a startup. If the latter, you have everything to gain by making the first move (first mover advantage is not a myth; it's very real)
The choice is ultimately yours.
And the real good news is that there is still time! Not much, but enough to make a difference.
So here's my challenge to you: you have roughly 100 days left in the calendar year. Do something. Do something you've never done before. Not because you can, but because you have to. Actually you can and you should. Maybe you have some of those yummy use-it-or-lose-it funds left over in your budgetary coffers. Maybe you don't, but let's be honest, you can find it if you really want to.
This isn't about money. And besides, it's not yours anyway; it belongs to your shareholders, so why not repay their loyalty with a proof of concept that demonstrates you are genuinely committed to changing with the times.
I can't believe I'm actually quoting #DJT, but "what the hell do you have to lose?" Seriously, what do you have to lose? At worst, you might make a few embedded stalwarts a little uncomfortable.
So take the 100 day challenge, commit to a "Test 'n Learn Combo" (it's #4 on the McDonalds value menu); invest in a pilot or "experiment"; make a commitment to doing something you've never done before (here's the kicker) in a category you unequivocally know (beyond a reasonable doubt) is already - or will soon become - a mission critical sector for your business.
By all means, go it alone should you so desire. Or task it to one of your roster incumbent agencies if you are convinced they'll execute it "better, cheaper, faster." Or why not give a shot to one of the subject matter expert boutiques out there? (Evol8tion is one of them, but I would be just as happy to refer you to another company if you want a shortlist to choose from)
We can always come up with 100 reasons to say no, but why not force yourself to come up with one real reason to say yes. How about ushering in the new year with a win; a data point in a set that will help you triangulate and get to the future...fast...and even first.
How can you say no to that? It's rhetorical.