Changing direction has to be a path taken in order to stay true to what you believe in.
You can either carry on regardless or make tweaks and refinements to make something better. ‘Developing gradually’ is key. This is also the definition of ‘evolve’ in the Oxford dictionary.
Developing gradually comes down to having a purpose to what you do and a focus on whom you do it for.
Even Darwin’s theory of evolution in his book ‘On The Origin Of Species’ in the 19th century, has truth today for businesses that are looking to build their owned media space.
Darwin stated that organisms alter over time as a direct result of changes in physical and behavioural circumstances. This allows organisms to adapt far better within its environment to help them survive.
This is true in today’s business world. We can apply old models of communication and become meaningless or we can adapt within the marketplaces we are part of. The wise head of modern marketing, Philip Kotler in his latest book, Marketing 4.0 highlights that ‘consistently communicating brand identity and positioning in a repetitive manner – a key success factor in traditional marketing – may no longer be enough.’
Changing A Podcast
The Marketing Homebrew podcast is having a mini hiatus at the moment and Ian Rhodes and myself are scheduling new shows from February.
We have had to work out and figure where we want to take the show and think deeper about whom we create it for. There has to be a reason for someone to listen each Friday.
If you haven’t listened, 2016 was focused on 48 shows centred on our Growth Schedule. The intention was for people who were looking to create something new. It was to give confidence for them to take control of the media that was theirs.
We had created four central elements (preparation, process, results and review) and broken this down with key themes from each element.
However, that was 2016 we need to move on.
This year is our third year of the podcast and has to be better than the previous two.
One thing that we lack are more people raising their hands and saying “I’m here.’
Our purpose is that we provide direction and assurance for marketers (or anyone responsible for selling a product or service).
Ian and myself create Marketing Homebrew for others; we are effectively an audio brewery. Anyone that consumes we want them to take away creativity, courage, confidence and to be challenged (Ian gets full credit for the four ‘c’ framework).
The point I am trying to highlight is:
- to build momentum you need a purpose for what you do
- to gradually develop you focus on who you do it for
Let me break this down:
PURPOSE – Marketing Homebrew becomes a weekly podcast resource that helps others to become better marketers.
FOCUS – anyone that has a responsibility for marketing their product today, lets show what works, businesses who are doing it well, what doesn’t work and observations from what is happening today.
According to Ian, it’s about creating an affinity with our audience. I asked what he wanted out of the podcast. Ian explains, “To do something unique isn’t about standing out. It’s about standing shoulder-to-shoulder.”
“That’s context. An understanding of the challenge your audience faces, recognising the value of your perspective upon that challenge and then facing it head on. It takes creativity. It takes courage. It takes confidence.”
“That’s what I want to see us accomplish through the Marketing Homebrew podcast in 2017.”
Proof Of Taking A Change Of Course
The need to change direction is clear from others that have chosen a new path.
Since 1977 to two years ago the decision to buy a Pot Noodle was everything about ‘a change is as good as a rest, and I’ll have a rest.’ It’s cheap (for a dinner) and whilst the equivalent of heated crisps, there was at least a sense of preparation whilst I was at University. This meant boiling a kettle and added variety to a side of scrambled egg on toast.
It seemed that 10 years ago, no one liked Pot Noodle. According to Marketing it was the UKs most hated brand (second was QVC).
Then Pot Noodle recognised they needed to change direction.
In 2015, what was an easy snack for lazy students became a message centred on people who were busy. The slant focused on people chasing their dreams rather than daydreaming and the Pot Noodle:You Can Make It activity began.
Pot Noodle even scratched the surface by taking the role of a content brand by helping launch the career and dreams of others. An unknown rapper called Raylo who provided the music for one of the Pot Noodle ads and was signed up by US label Ultra Records.
For years the message of being lazy and a quick snack paved the way for targeting ambitious young people. A change of direction happened from changing the message and a focus on a core audience of 16-24 males. It is now the UKs most popular hot snack with a 47% market share.
PURPOSE – become the heart of youth culture where people are driven by their dreams and not cutting corners. Success is the key, not the epitome of a deadbeat week.
FOCUS – target a specific audience (16 -24 year old males) to generate a loyal following and exclude a mass audience. Activity is currently centred around their #YouCanMakeIt message
From the development of a podcast to Pot Noodle achieving a sizeable market share all comes down to the evolution of an idea. If there is a corny link between the two, I guess it’s to serve an audience in a way that satisfies them.
Here are six key points when it comes the role you play and the responsibility you have to build market share:
- Create something that you want other people to be part of and feel associated with. This is in a totally different space of asking others to share your story.
- Market what you truly believe in by selling the means and not just the result. The world is still full of get rich quick motives and gaming the system, why not build a community around a cause and share the journey with others.
- You can’t do something the way that everyone else does it. You can still exclude markets and achieve a significant market share.
- The answers are not always in front of you and in the easiest place. Finding the answers are when you create something with an audience in mind.
- There has to be a reason to invest time and effort in a channel. Central to that is the ability to build community, otherwise it just becomes self conceited posturing.
- Experiment to find out what works, but it always has to lead back to what you believe in and the strategic focus for your business.
Even if an approach is proving successful, there is still the need to evolve and take a step back.
Lets Round Up
With the podcast, the adjustments that are being made, they are not huge. What is being encouraged now is the ability to measure more and to generate feedback. The risks aren’t significant, it’s just about creating a better podcast for people to listen to and take things away from to apply to their business.
For all of us, business is not continually stable. It fluctuates, it gets wobbly, people fall off, people become irrelevant, people maintain a balance. We have no control over where things are heading within our marketplaces. However, if we can create, control and communicate that ties back to our overall business objective, then you become two steps ahead of everyone else.
If you don’t adapt and evolve an idea, you don’t grow. If you don’t grow you don’t become a key resource to others.