Was how Charles Handy defined “wisdom” at a recent event- it has stayed with me
It is particularly needed at the moment – as many in marketing are transfixed by new technologies and have persuaded themselves of two things a) change is pervasive and b) change getting quicker.
This second statement has been taken axiomatic for at least 15 years now and has been used as the hook to sell out any number of conferences – and it can’t be true. If it was our eyes would be popping out with the sheer velocity of tech fuelled change.
Also it makes planning very difficult – if change is so fast surely what we plan to do will be rendered obsolete in short order. What to do?
Two further bits of wisdom to navigate by
Jeff Bezos: ” Think about what’s not going to change over the next 10 years and put your resources into that”
Bill Bernbach: “Human nature hasn’t changed in a million years. It won’t change in the next million years. Only the superficial things have changed. It is fashionable to talk about the changing man. A communicator must be concerned with the unchanging man -what compulsions drive him, what instincts dominate his every action,even though his language too often camouflages what really motivates him” ( my ital)
When you look at the best innovations in tech over the past few years they are essentially new ways to answer old and innate human needs. For example- “Find useful information as quickly as possible” ( Google) “Show off” (Twitter)”Be nosey about what your friends are up to” (Facebook) “Flirt and get off with members of the opposite sex “( Tinder). “Buy stuff cheaply and with the least hassle” (Amazon)
Which leads me to what I think marketers should do about tech fuelled change
1) Uncover what their customers really really want.
2) Brief your tech experts to find better ways to deliver it.
3) If it is new as well, that’s great. But don’t commission anything just because it’s new.
In the next post i will try to answer Jeff’s question – “what’s not going to change in the next 10 years”