Deep Dish Blog


The Art of (Digital) Marketing: Adopt Change

I recently attended the Art of Marketing Conference in Calgary featuring some terrific speakers that covered a number of topics relating to business and supposed "revolution" that the marketing industry is currently going through. After attending I'm convinced that the function of marketing is indeed going through a revolution in the Western World. Rather than post some of the general highlights I thought it would be best to frame my key takeaways as they relate to digital marketing, specifically. In addition, I have chosen to break things up across a few posts so that I can give proper attention to some of the select speaker's insights and how their message relates to digital marketing.

"Switch: How To Change Things When Change is Hard" - Chip Heath

Chip Heath spoke specifically about managing change and I though this was quite applicable to many marketers who are faced with the challenge of wanting to try new things but have managers that are comfortable with how things are. Change is hard but the best way to adapt is by making it easy to adopt change. Many of us know that traditional advertising and marketing methods are becoming less effective yet our habits tie us to the things we've done in the past (I.e. direct mail, billboards, radio, cold calls, and trade shows). At the same time digital endeavors are gaining steam since they're typically more engaging, efficient, and measurable. It can be risky to try something new and it also takes more effort to switch approaches, but here are three things that can help you adopt change and include more digital efforts into your practice:

A. Focus on the bright spots any existing digital efforts are providing and leverage them to do more similar things. Put your efforts on the things that are actually working rather than expending effort or money on the things that are struggling to show results. The best managers know they get better overall productivity by supporting the brightest staff members rather than expending efforts on the low performers; why not treat marketing efforts the same? Your boss is sure to appreciate a more accountable use of resources.

B. Think of things from an emotional perspective and put yourself in your audience's shoes regarding what they truly value. We're all tired of traditional marketing methods so stop taking the "spray and pray" approach of bombarding people with promotions and feature upgrades. You are more likely to find success and promote change by appealing to emotional drivers rather than ration and logic.  The fact of the matter is that people buy "why" you do something not "what" you do. Many studies have shown that companies with more passion and mission often outperform competitors that have considerably more funding but less passion. The digital channel allows for engagement and relationship building more so than many of the traditional channels. Make an emotional appeal to both your boss and your customers so that change can take hold.

C. Adjust your environment so that switching to more digital efforts is necessary. Quite often the biggest impediment to implementing change is resistance from management or other staff members, so mitigate this by rewriting the rules of engagement. Marketing plans are just ink on paper so when it comes time to evaluate things on a quarterly basis start chopping things that are difficult to measure in favor of digital efforts that can be tracked much more accurately. It's tough for people to argue with results. After a few quarters you will find that many of the traditional methods have been replaced with new approaches.

My next post will explore the insights of Mitch Joel, Canada's leading authority on digital marketing, regarding what approaches should be considered when developing a digital strategy based on current trends.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below OR send me an email OR give me a call at 306 229 9437 OR do nothing.  One more option, I offer an email subscription for receiving new blog updates.



Harley Rivet - Blog Author - Deep Dish Digital


I know what you’re thinking – “What can a guy from Saskatoon know about online marketing? Also, that picture is a bit self-indulgent, buddy.”

But, just give me a chance. I’ve been working in the online space for twenty years, and promise the articles you find here aim to be informative and entertaining.