Why You Need a Curated, Authentic, Real-Time Mobile Approach to Your Disruption Strategy
"What we need to do," Jeff Bezos recently told ABC News, "is always lean into the future."
That's pretty good advice, particularly the part about "the future," because if you just lean in, à la Sheryl Sandberg, or just lean forward, à la MSNBC, without making sure it's toward or into something specific, like the future, you stand the risk of making people feel crowded -- if, you know, there are people right there, which there often are, particularly if you work in an open-format office or a co-working space. And then those people will be, like, "Whoa, step back, close-talker!"
Likewise, if you lean backward, you obviously run the risk of falling on your butt, and if you lean sideways, people might think you have bad posture, or that one of your legs is a little shorter than the other, which is actually pretty common, and you can get special orthopedic shoes to compensate for that sort of thing, so it's not necessarily a big deal -- but I digress.
Anyway, more and more people have been coming up to me lately and saying, "Simon, you're an influencer, a thought-leader, a visionary, and a highly sought-after expert on the seismic changes rocking the media and marketing landscapes. I need your advice. Which way should I lean?"
My answer is always, "Don't lean -- duck! Hit the deck!" And you know why? Because no matter what specific industry or sector you're in, I can guarantee you that it's getting disrupted ... by someone like me, a disrupter. And when I disrupt, I come in like a wrecking ball -- but a finely tuned, hyper-targeted one.
A lot of people think that disruption is some kind of random phenomenon, but it's not. It's a highly disciplined process, which is why I've been moving beyond disruption to something I call disruptology -- the study and application of best practices for disruption.
Increasingly, I have people coming up to me and saying, "Simon, as a SEO guru, innovator, personal-development enthusiast and noted disruptologist, what's the key piece of advice you offer your clients?"
My answer is always, "Go mobile."
In fact, when I speak at conferences, I often say that while literally moving across the stage, if the conference organizers give me one of those cool, flesh-colored wireless ball microphones that make it look like I have a giant mole on my cheek. And while saying "Go mobile," I show two slides in sequence. The first reads, "If you're not mobile..." and the second reads, "...you're standing still." People always seem to connect with that -- it's one of my applause lines -- because they get it.
Other times, people will come up to me and say, "Simon, as an impactful, purpose-driven, solutions-provider who connects brands and consumers online in a results-oriented way, what other advice can you give me?"
One of my go-to responses is, "If you're doing media or marketing, whenever you can, make sure it is real-time media or marketing." The reason for this is that, if there's one thing I know for sure, consumers crave authenticity. If they sense that you're doing your media and marketing in fake time, they will not be happy -- and unhappy consumers let everyone know they're unhappy. Studies (commissioned by Twitter) show that a single tweet complaining about a brand can be seen by as many as 368,524,217 consumers, thanks to the network effect, retweeting, etc.
Still other times people will stop me and talk to me in the street -- or at the airport, or in line at Jamba Juice -- and ask me, "Simon, as a tech evangelist, mentor, motivator, frequent Huffington Post and Forbes.com contributor, facilitator and collaborator, is there anything you want to impart to me, right here, right now?"
And I'll say, "Yes -- curate!"
In fact, I think the No. 1 way for media companies and marketers to accelerate their path to profitability is to curate. Speaking of Jamba Juice, take their Berry UpBeet Smoothie, for instance. Think of fruits and vegetables as content -- because they literally are. Would you want to drink a smoothie made of nothing but beets? No, of course not -- yuck. But by carefully curating a selection of content (ingredients) -- specifically, mixed berry juice, strawberries, blueberries and mangos, in addition to beets -- Jamba is able to create a content-consumption experience that is good and good for you.
The best media and marketing these days is about curation. And if you can add some authenticity into your curated mix, all the better. In 2014, I think artisanal marketing and farm-to-table media are going to be huge trends.
Mark my words.
Speaking of words, I'll leave you with a few more, for good measure:
Exude teamwork! Aim for fiscal sustainability! Foster passion! Build a learning organization! And most of all, be experience-centric!
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.