I think if there is one thing in the world of marketing that hasn’t changed, one statement that has been consistently written with blood, one emotion and desire that everyone regardless of where they sit have unequivocally expressed has been to “PUT THE CONSUMER AT THE CENTER”. Ironically enough though, we have consistently failed in making that desire and vision a reality; as an industry we continue to put the “TECHNOLOGY” and the “CHANNEL” at the center. Whether we like it or not, that has been our reality.
Of course we have evolved that thinking and expanded the horizon to put the “HUMAN” or the “USER” or the “PERSON” at the center, and for the right reasons. But that does not change the reality still.
We continue to invest millions in digitizing a shopping cart, trying to add all sorts of black screens on it and transforming that into a super computer for a mom who already has her hands full with a baby and another digital device with which she apparently spends 90% of her day with – yes her smartphone. INSTEAD of just creating a placeholder (non technology lead thinking) for her to keep her phone on that simple physical cart and of course getting her the relevant information and experience on a screen she is MOST comfortable with, freeing her hands to do what she knows best – SHOP.
Like many others, I have shared my bit on why that may still be the case and a number of fundamental shifts that need to be made to truly become a consumer obsessed organization. But there is nothing more compelling and powerful than this ONE SINGLE CHANGE – BRING THE #HUMANFIRST MINDSET:
CHANGE THE MEASURE OF SUCCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS & HAVE COMMON GOALS – BECOME #HUMANFIRST
Regardless of whether you are an agency, a brand, or a marketer, we continue to measure, reward and incentivize people and teams for building technology solutions, for managing multiple channels, for just their utilization. We are still focused on the traditional practices and notions of “globalization”, “cost saving”, “reusability”, “standardization” and others. Success is still proportional to the scale of the initiative and investment.
We need to flip that around and measure, reward and incentivize people based on the level of consumer engagement and participation they are driving, consumer behavior they have been able to inspire and change, consumer loyalty they have been able to generate or perhaps measure everyone by the share of requirement, the share of voice, the share of wallet —- every measure that revolves around the “CONSUMER” and not the channel or the technology or the scale.
If we are able to bring that one shift across an organization, across the functions, irrespective of whether you re back office or front office, whether you re marketing or sales, technology or research, brands or agencies — we will deliver experiences that will CHANGE LIVES and not just intrude them.