The short-term chase versus the long-term tale

Do you believe you’re working harder than ever before, and yet feel that the business is just not advancing as much as you would like?  Baby and big shoes, The Myndset Digital marketing and brand long-term strategyMany executives similarly express bewilderment about the current state of affairs.  Some, mistakenly, are blaming the economy.  Others are blaming the younger generations.  It’s like these bosses are using worn screws to fit new holes – the edge is missing. {Click to Tweet}  The new world requires a new mindset, which involves a certain de-programming and redefining one’s relationship with one’s customers, much less employees.  As hard as we are working for today, it is harder still to carve out the time to plan for the future, to create a long-term strategic vision.  This is a painful dilemma for many companies.

There are two flagrant paradoxes that face executives, especially for marketing departments and digital marketers, specifically.

Real-time versus long-term strategy

Out of Time, The Myndset Digital marketing and brand strategy

The first is that we must operate in real time and yet think long-term.  That is to say that customers want immediate answers, yet not to be hard sold to.  In essence, we must be patient, authentic and strategic in our communication plan and business development, all the while being on the ball and able to reply within an hour on Facebook or Twitter, etc.  It is a complicated position to hold down for most organizations.  For all the merits of storytelling, content-based marketing — which require an investment over the long haul and an editorial calendar — the very same consumers wish to be treated individually and instantly.  This is particularly the case when it comes to customer service.  It is not just about the long tail {cf Chris Anderson], but the long-term tale that you recount to your customers on a daily basis that will come to define your success! {Click to Tweet out!}.

Data versus Results

The second big paradox is that, while data and measurement have never been more accessible than in the digital world, results are harder than ever to achieve.  Too much data seems to be killing the data and the digital results are not meeting expectations, for most.  {Click to tweet, if you agree}  Where has digital marketing been breaking down?  I see two areas:

  1. Some expect digital to do things that were not achievable offline.
  2. There is a continuing obsession to make a direct link between an online activity and a $1 in real sales.

Expectations for digital to “fix” the business are wildly disproportionate to the need to revisit and re-engineer the overall business strategy.  In order to act with success in real-time, there are a number of massive shifts in culture and business priorities that must be undertaken to enable the employees and to free up the necessary resources.  It is a strategic, long-term issue to be able to operate in real-time.  {You can click to tweet this out, too!}

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