I had the pleasure of beginning my marketing career pre-internet. Well, I think floppy disks and four-colour VGA monitors existed back in South Africa circa-1992/1993 (we were a little behind the rest of the world), but for the most part ‘you’ve got mail’ was still a phrase reserved for the one job that surely would never be under threat: the mailman.
Today, the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme, where the word “analog” is essentially verboten and a swear word and the 30-second spot is pretty much dead and buried (but don’t go telling that to those still buying and selling the old dog).
It’s all in my fourth, book, ‘Z.E.R.O‘, which hits newsstands (assuming they still exist) within the next two weeks.
I believe it’s still available in hardcover, although I’m told it may be one of the last books EVER printed on trees. You may want to grab one as a collector’s item. Soon we’ll all be reading them on our personal Google Glasses, while we pretend to be soooo interested in the conversation with our artificially intelligent bot-date — or worse still, our IRL spouse!
As someone who has made a career in the ‘what comes next’, I have digital and its successors to thank for paving a path where ‘the next big thing’ is priced at a premium and good old common sense, best practices and strategory is discounted or considered ‘value-add’. And while I’m making my acceptance speech, I would like to send mad props to all those delusional executives who continue to push back on progress, evolution and innovation in favour of the elusive retirement package and the belief that big ideas, storytelling and creativity will always trump real data, proof of concept and actual, measurable and tangible results.
Actually I’m a big fan of ideas, storytelling and creativity — only I don’t feel it absolutely, simply has to be done via television commercials.
Regardless, I’d like to plead the case that I don’t discriminate. I hate everyone equally, which is why I’m here to turn my back on BOTH the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ in favour of… the ‘old’ and the ‘new’.
I’m here to offer you a simple 2 x 2 matrix, framework, paradigm or whatever you want to call it when it comes to planning and executing marketing campaigns, commitments, ecosystems, funnel flipping programmes or whatever tickles your fancy.
I want you to throw out the worst of the old.
I want you hold on to the best of the old.
I want you to embrace the best of the new.
I want you to reject the worst of the new.
Sound oversimplified? Perhaps. But I think it’s also quite profound, even if I do say so myself.
The fact is, there is a lot wrong with the incumbent model. We all like to beat up on the status quo, but shouldn’t we also give credit to the universal best practices that have stood the test of time?
On the flipside, there is a lot right with the new ways of doing business — from mobile intimacy to social reciprocity to digital parity. At the same time, there is also a cacophony of absolute crap associated with the get-rich-quick schemes of emerging technology Lotto.
And so the next time you think about constructing a marketing programme, I invite you to find your optimal mix of best-old, best-new, worst-old and worst-new to ensure you move forward with the former two and leave behind the latter two. I don’t expect the mix to be even, but my hope is that you will naturally select and optimise your marketing mix — and in doing so, distance yourself from both the endangered dinosaur and false prophet.
Joseph Jaffe is founder and CEO of Evol8tion, an innovation agency that matches early stage start-ups with blue-chip brands. Follow him on Twitter @jaffejuice.
This post was first published on MediaPost and is republished here with the permission of the author.
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