Jul 18, 2016
To say the world is changing is a fairly obvious statement. The power of technology, the sharing economy and continued growth and popularity around mobile devices is reshaping culture and our day-to-day lives. They say “the one thing that is certain, is change,”. The best part about change is it’s driven by improvements to the norm; it happens for the better!
One of the reasons I studied innovation was to get a deeper understanding of what drives change and what causes innovator’s dilemma. We continually watch big companies, industries and even small businesses struggling to adapt to change. Why is it that some of Canada’s most prominent organizations never realized that delivering a heaping pile of paper to a door, day after day, would lose it’s appeal, relevance and followership? What happened?
Was it our new focus on the environment?
Was it the cost of distribution due to rising cost of, well, everything?
Maybe people are not interested in the news any more?
No, it was in large part due to one major factor: the internet was invented and then technology companies like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and others capitalized on it. All of a sudden, the “news” delivered to your door was about 12 hours late and in a less desirable format. Go to the door and pick up the paper, read the paper front to back, recycle the paper; this is a daily routine very few who will read this blog “online” could admit they ever do. Newspapers are suffering like the taxi industry and radical innovations like Uber and targeted mobile advertising will change these industries forever.
Radical innovation in an industrial sense, will change the way an industry operates and the value proposition for all of the stakeholders in it. Why would you EVER consider paying for a service that shows up consistently late and caters to those who do not actively influence your local economic community?
The power has changed hands. Why? Let me paint a picture for you. Picture the Captain of the Titanic: he see’s the iceberg straight ahead – but how does he adjust? Can he? If you were in a speedboat, the adjustment would seem easy. Now, imagine you head up a newspaper group with hundreds, or thousands of sales reps, and you realize, "it looks like newspapers are going to be a thing of the past.” You would certainly think that you need to drastically change your position and adjust your offering. But wait, how?
That’s how innovation happens: it’s the nimble and the quick who adjust to drive this radical change we’re talking about. By the time the big machine see’s the loss in readership and subscription, the innovators have already stolen their momentum, their eyeballs, their chance to transition or, even worse, survive.
This makes sense and I think we can all see why industries and large organizations struggle to adapt, but here is my question: why do the businesses small, medium and large also fail to change?
Ask yourself this, why do thousands of small businesses in cities across Canada consistently advertise in what we can all agree is an overpriced and under read local newspaper? I meet with advertisers every day. They say “print is dead” or “we all know that the paper has no readers these days”, but they still place ads, so why? I can only think of one thing: fear. It’s natural; everyone fears change and they like comfort. If you are a business and things are going well, you keep doing the same thing because, well, why not? The one comfort you can have advertising in a medium like a newspaper is you won’t be able to measure whether it worked or not anyways. So, buy the ad and hope you were right!
But let’s put this logic into perspective. If you love to catch fish (customers) and went fishing to the same river every year for the past three, five, 10 or even 20 years and when you came home your freezer was full, would you be happy? Quick answer – YES.
Now, imagine if you wanted as many fish as possible and you and your friends all knew the river had gotten a lot more shallow, the water was running a lot slower and there were hardly any fish left in the river. In fact, it was actually now a creek and only a couple of the older fish still swam upstream. Would you still go there to fill your freezer? Not. a. chance.
But when it comes to advertising, businesses of all sizes across Canada continue to purchase the same ads, in the same paper, at high rates, knowing it’s a creek with old fish. – I want this to change. It’s my job to ignite change, to introduce innovation and show businesses there are new rivers, full of fish, and they actually pre-qualify themselves.
Take this for example: what if your friends knew of a pond in your city where fish actually registered themselves and said “hey, I’m a fish, I’m hungry and I’m in a small pond. I dine out and or spend money regularly, come catch me, I am waiting.” Would you go fishing there?
Here is the good news: There is actually a pond like this for businesses and it’s called GetintheLoop. We have a database of buyers who have actively sought out our membership, registered themselves, downloaded our app and said '“hey businesses, I like to spend money and am looking forward to receiving your offers to gain my business and one day my loyalty.” Further, these consumers keep coming back to GetintheLoop because it is a marketplace that only has relevant information to them: the promotions from businesses they liked and signed up for.
What’s even more exciting? We are not small anymore. Why? Because people want information fast, in real time and right in the palm of their hands - on their phone! We have over 15 per cent of the buying population in many of our markets using our app to actively find new companies and services to experience. Don’t have your logo and your “ad” showing up beside some news story or in the classifieds. Have your call to action marketing campaign in the palms of buyers when they are looking to make purchases - seems simple.
Stop fishing in creeks and start fishing in ponds full of fish – Ignite a change in your advertising spend.