Sometimes I am making a speech and I realize that I am meeting a lot of traditional marketers–people my age (or even I admit, a little younger) who are trying to make the adjustment to digital. And as I am speaking, and explaining concepts, and exhorting people to take a chance and make a change, I realize something. The people that are sitting in front of me are going to be fine. It’s the folks that don’t want to listen that are screwed. It happened to me again last week in Princeton at the executive breakfast for the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executives Group (GPSEG) (slides here). The people in the audience asked great questions. They paid attention. They came in already knowing a lot. But there are many, many others that are trying to slide by–telling themselves that they can retire in five years so they don’t really have to learn this stuff. Those people are wrong–they don’t have five years.
The pace of change is accelerating and technology is driving it. Many areas of life are affected, but marketing is the one I like to talk about most. Think about how much different the world is from five years ago. In 2007, no one was marketing on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or YouTube. Even B2B companies had not heard of LinkedIn. Few companies did anything significant in mobile. Fast forward five years and there are few companies that aren’t doing at least one of these–most have two or more. If you go five years further, who can even imagine what we will be doing then?
But it isn’t the particular tactics or venues that matter. It’s the philosophy. Don’t worry about whether you should be spending on paid search with Google or whether YouTube search grows even faster or whether Facebook does its own search. Just focus on being attractive to searchers wherever they are.
Don’t fixate on which social network is important this month. Instead, focus on creating content that people want to share. They figure out how they want to share it.
Every time you start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up with a million different tactics, stop. No one can do that, anyway, so why drive yourself nuts? Instead, go back to the core principles. Good content attracts. Good content gets shared. If you focus there, it matters a lot less why it attracted them or how they shared it. Just make sure that you can count everything so you know what is working and what isn’t. Then let ‘er rip.