Change Is A Constant: Embrace It And Love It, Or Leave

The pace of change on the web has always been fast. Even frenetic. In fact change is one of the few constants these days in marketing, media and PR. If things didn’t change that would actually be more shocking than if they continue to.

When I talk to communications and media professionals lately, there are really just two reactions to this: excitement, which leads to inspiration or fear, which leads to a head in the sand approach. Because no one is ambivalent to change.

So if you’re in any facet of communications (on the media or marketing side) you have either already come to love the evolving, improvisational nature of how we connect or you haven’t. And if you haven’t it is past time you did, because if not you are going to be forever fighting the future.

But how to embrace change, stay at the edge and enjoy doing it?

Fear nothing: test, tinker and try new platforms, networks and tools

Really, part of our jobs as modern communications professionals has become perpetual beta testers for our organizations. You need to take that mindset with you and be unafraid to try new technologies as they emerge. Only by testing can you understand user behavior in each platform and clearly see how your company can best utilize it. This should really be fun for you if you’re as curious about human interaction as a marketer should be.

Plan for change: develop a digital strategy that is platform agnostic

There is absolutely no excuse for a modern company to lack a digital marketing strategy. And a smart one has long term objectives as well as an approach to leveraging existing and emerging channels. When a new platform emerges, by having a strategy you instantly understand how (and even if) it needs to be rolled into your tactical mix. Your approach to the web should be flexible enough to take advantage of changes, which can be accomplished by becoming platform agnostic so you’re able to fully integrate anything new. A simple and elegant way to do this is focus opt in at the source.

Don’t be static: foster a culture of experimentation and iteration

If you’re not the one pushing and trying to make things better, then you’re likely just trying to keep pace with those who are. It’s actually a lot easier if you make the decision to create a culture which thrives on experimentation and iteration. Now you’re the one pushing what’s next instead of always playing catch-up. If you are within a culture that can’t just do this, it’s even okay to create a structure behind how experimentation should be done so it’s tried in the first place. Then you can remove the boundaries when people get comfortable.

Get data-driven: don’t guess, use analytics to really understand

Are the current waves of change on the web affecting your business? To what extent? Do you even know? Everyone on your marketing team should at this point be using data to make decisions. Further, by keeping your finger on the pulse of your marketing analytics you can clearly see how valuable, conversion-oriented traffic sources are performing. Now you know what to adjust and why and can make confident choices about where to shift focus.

I know what some of you are thinking: yeah, we get it: embrace change. But is it really so obvious to everyone?

It still appears to me that the default for most is to cling to the past. It’s part of the lizard brain Seth Godin loves to describe. So while the intrepid of you are out there embracing a world in flux, most are not.

But what could anyone possibly gain at this point through fear? I think it is a always a better mindset to embrace what’s new and view it as  infinitely compelling rather than to fear it. Why would anyone logically not take this approach?

image credit: Shutterstock