Two people can look at the same crashing wave and have two completely different conclusions. To one of them (a non-surfer) the waves look ominous and more like a tsunami than an opportunity for recreation. To the surfer, the huge wave is enticing, and instead of a fear response, he or she simply says, “surf’s up.”
How do you respond to change?
You can get caught in either position when change is rapid – the awestruck beachcomber, or the surfer ready to engage. Understanding the wave action can help you take a more proactive postion.
At Story Collaborative, we’d rather surf than be swept away.
In 2019 we’ll be experiencing waves of change that have been building over the last couple of years. Some of these trends have now reached full wave height. Like ocean waves that crash upon the shallow coast, when culture and technology collide they create extra large waves in communication and marketing. Think about how Wikipedia has impacted the traditional sales of encyclopedias. The impact of these trends can make or break an existing business model.
Intentional responses to waves of change
We’re not among those who throw around dramatic claims at the end of every year about how the marketing sky is falling, but we are tracking trends that we believe are becoming change drivers. there is a list of those trends that we believe will shape what works in 2019, determining winners and losers during this year.
These trends are important to the companies and nonprofits that we serve because they determine the difference between effective marketing and growth and the loss of impact.
Organizations that adapt in response to waves of change, are the ones that grow and thrive into the future. Clinging to legacy approaches can take organizations down the road toward extinction. The list of iconic companies that have failed to adapt is long.
Here are some of the areas of change that we think will make a difference this year:
- Mobile Surfers – The percentage of people who access the internet (and your website) from their mobile devices is now well past 65%. This is changing everything about the way that people interact online, and mobile-friendly websites are just the beginning. What’s needed is something much deeper to engage the visitor with an experience with the brand on their mobile device. To surf instead of wipe out on this wave, you have to understand the mobile experience and how it applies to your organization and your customers [families].
- What you think of as a website, is really not an effective website anymore. What people want in a website has been conditioned by their experiences on Netflix and Amazon. People expect websites to be smart – anticipating what they want so that they find it right away.
- Social Media – Social media used to be simple. That changed when Facebook went public and committed to aggressively promote its advertising platform. Now, regular sharing by brands is restricted to 2% and managing Facebook ads have become a big priority, while there is a big disconnect between these two activities.
- Customers have high(er) expectations. While the reality of demanding customers is not a new experience, responsiveness on social, the expectations they now have for real-time customer service, do-it-yourself access and multiple communication channels is reaching a new level. They are becoming less forgiving, and the state of your technology will be compared against the biggest brands in the country.
- Small organizations are using big data to find and keep customers. Using marketing automation has become a key way to integrate customer service, marketing and sales to reduce costs and to fuel growth. When combined with an easy to use CRM and rich data sources for targeting, small organizations are doing what only the largest ones could accomplish.
- Purpose reaches deeper than mission. Having a mission, vision and values statement used to be the foundation for building an organization, but organizations that build in a corporate purpose are outperforming those who don’t. Think Tom’s shoes, Patagonia or “Life is Good” apparel. Purpose can’t be faked, and consumers will pay more if the purpose of an organization resonates.
Is 2019 Going to Be “Surf’s Up,” or Tsunami for you?
How we respond to change matters. Understanding the change that is occurring and taking intentional strides to adapt can make the difference between the waves of change causing us to say, “surfs up,” or experience the same waves as a tsunami that is destructive.