Even When Things Change...They Stay the Same...
Welcome to the company of tomorrow. THIS company is like no other that has ever existed in time and space. It is out to change the world by connecting people to their passions and the world to knowledge by existing at the center of every person’s online world, by working to make a life, not just a living and by striving to leave the earth in a better position than how we found it.
Not that it matters, but that drivel you just read above is a mashup of mission statements from Yahoo, Netscape, Apple and WeWork…all ripped from four unique stops across the digital timeline, yet all freakishly the same.
Yes, it is true: nothing truly gets old in the ever-evolving world of digital, except perhaps the use of comic sans. (Seriously. Don’t.) Yesterday’s case studies in abject failure are revolutionary success stories today. We LOVE to talk about Pets.com as a cautionary tale of dot-com failure and fiscal humiliation. Pets.com LITERALLY lost money on every single order it shipped…NOT because it was not getting orders, but because the business behind the model was not well-thought-out and was horribly executed.
But it was NOT a bad idea. How do I know? Amazon now sells in excess of $2 billion in pet supplies online each year.
Webvan. WebTV. Boo.com. eToys.com. Flooz. Kozmo. All headline-grabbing failures in the 2000-dot-crash. All services and products called innovations and disruptions today, albeit under different brand banners. Let’s be super honest: Instacart is just WebVan 2.0. One could even make an argument that Bitcoin is just fake-Flooz.
These companies didn’t fail because they didn’t have clever names or couldn’t spend money on advertising. They failed because they missed the mark by TTTHHHHHIIIIISSSS much…and that mark was defined by strategy, experience and follow through.
How do these disasters become near-misses instead of full Titanic-level crashes?
In today’s digital economy, the answer could boil down to data. Today, we have the ability and opportunity to instantly understand the needs, thresholds and requirements of our buyers--we have the ability to see all of it. The issue becomes how we act and react to it. Are we going to turn a blind eye to the complaints of our customers who receive broken bags of dog food and expired cat treats and only pay attention to the adulation and praise our fans and influencers splash across Instagram?
The challenge will NOT be how we create a clever brand, sassy mascot or a memorable vision statement. The challenge will be admitting that in this age of lightning-fast digital evolution, missing the fundamentals will be the difference between success and death. It is time to take a breath and remember that digital isn’t the future…it is already the past, which Antonio explained to Sebastian, is prologue.
With that thought, and with an eye on the future, I sign off for the last time as Editor of Marketing Magnified. The end of October marks the end of my ride with the CMO Council. I wanted to take the opportunity to deliver my heart-felt thanks for all of the memories and experiences. But I also want to introduce you to the exceptional journalist and content expert who will be picking up the mantle of this Editor’s Note starting in November!
Tom Kaneshegi will be here to challenge your thinking every month – and possibly without as many complaints about bad service or outing the various brands that have done me wrong over the years – yeah, I’m still pissed at you, Air France.
Tom is, without question, an editorial powerhouse. For over 20 years, Tom has been squarely rooted at the intersection of business and technology. He is an award-winning journalist and for those of you who tried to convince him of something while he was with CIO Magazine, InfoWorld, Forrester, Informa/Penton or TechTarget…he’s still got a keen eye for what’s next, what’s new and what is just utter nonsense. Now, he will be turning his eye on the world of marketing, growth and all things innovation. I, for one, can’t wait to start reading Tom’s insights and musings.
As for me, I’m off to new adventures. I’m still the same Liz Miller on LinkedIn and on Twitter and I can’t imagine that I won’t be sounding off in those two spots per usual. I can’t thank you all enough for putting up with the monthly tales of a mad marketer. Being part of this peer-powered network has--and will continue to be--one of the most transformative times in my career.
I leave you all in amazing hands. The CMO Council will continue to set the authority leadership agenda for the world of marketing. Now…if I can just convince Donovan Neale-May to approve my membership application!
So…for the last time…
Until next time…