Is blogging dead? Is organic social media dead? What about email, is it dead? Are millennials killing everything? Remember when the internet was clogged with these sorts of articles?
Back in 2013, there was a flurry of posts declaring that calling things dead, was dead. Many such articles were titled, “Declaring Things Dead Is Dead.” They were calling for the end of articles that declared things dead.
But as these posts were written, we also saw the peak of various ideas and industries were “being killed” by millennials. Leading up to and during that period, there were massive shifts in the economy, technology, and politics. Changes that caused social and political paradigms to shatter and change.
Big ideas, tactics, and concepts, don’t often end in a distinct way, unlike cups of coffee or the lives of mortals. That’s something the pandemic taught us: while we may suffer as things change massively, most things don’t truly end.
Restaurants didn’t cease to exist when they were barred from indoor dining. They struggled, but the industry evolved as best it could. That’s led to a massive step up in delivery and pick-up options. Grocery stores and non-essential retailers flexed and changed.
Technologies fade out of relevance as other technologies and world/industry events pull us forward. And it is tempting, as things change, causing the “way things were done” to decline, to call it an end.
In March 2020, it seemed like the world was ending. In practically March 2021, a lot of things changed, but very little truly ended. Disruption happens. How are we going to adapt?
Alright, alright but what does this have to do with marketing or business?
Just about everything. For humans, endings are both terrifying and easy. It’s easier to declare a relationship, a business, or a channel dead than to acknowledge its gradual fade from usefulness. When do we choose to run it into the ground or decide when to call it quits?
Closure feels good, but we don’t often get closure in the marketing and business world. Instead, we watch in horror as our products and services atrophy or the solution to our businesses’ big problems become less and less effective.
How can we cultivate truly agile marketing and businesses? Learn to acknowledge, then adapt to change.
Look at It Directly
Let yourself look at what’s changing. The worst way to handle change is to pretend that it isn’t happening, which is what a lot of us do. It’s not authentic, it makes us stressed, and the problem isn’t solved, it just festers.
It’s like ignoring how dirty your kitchen is by not turning the light on or driving with the music loud to cover up the grating noise your car is making. Turn the light on and turn down the music.
Are your posts losing engagement? Look into the data and see if you can figure out what changed. Did an algorithm change?
Awareness of both the changes and any repeating patterns is the first step.
Ask If This Change is Something You Can Control
A lot of changes, like the pandemic, were not things we were prepared for, or able to control.
Whenever I am stressed about something, I try to ask myself, “Is this change something I can control?” It’s an easy yes or no question that brings me some clarity. It gives me a choice when I ask what I can change vs. what I can’t.
If I can’t control it, that’s a relief in some ways. If I can control it, that’s also a relief.
All I have to worry about is controlling my reaction. For example, if a tool I use for my daily processes stops working, I can first find out, is this on my end (requiring an action) or something on their end. Maybe I was using an outdated plugin that the company finally dropped support. That’s good, it means I get the chance to find a tool that works better going forward.
I can decide to act intentionally instead of reactively.
See Obstacles as Opportunities (Not Endings)
The growth mindset frames changes as unavoidable obstacles. That means learning to navigate those obstacles to improve processes and routines.
It’s a great concept to apply to marketing/business and your life overall. Did something change that you can’t control? Appreciate it and figure out what you can start with the newly cleared space.
Appreciate True Endings
Sometimes, it’s as easy as a tool you use daily for social being removed completely. You have a chance to change the way your day looks and see if you can bring in new tools that make your job easier and the quality of your work better.
Or maybe a member of your team leaves. How can you allow the dynamic of the team or the work you produce to change for the better?
We don’t often get a full license to have a defined ending to things, so take advantage of the chances you do get.
What Would Success Do?
I was just listening to this super-actionable, inspiring podcast about making better choices. Because that’s what comes out of either real or perceived changes or endings. We are presented with the ability to make a choice, which is something that many of us aren’t prepared for.
In this podcast, one of the many great tips provided is to ask, “What would success do?”
It’s a great guiding question. It helps you define what success is, then visualize what getting there looks like. It’s a great launching point for goal- and strategy-making.
Change is a part of life, technology, business, and marketing. Our ability to roll with the changes and use them as opportunities will change how our business runs and grows.
In 2021, we’ve learned the seriousness of declaring something dead. Are we done prematurely sending things to their grave? I think so. With every perceived ending comes an opportunity. What would success do?
Let us know what you think?
- Is adaptability something you can build into a marketing strategy?
- How does your company handle changes and endings?
- What was the best thing that came out of a change in your life or job?