I recently got into a conversation with a fellow marketer about why an online campaign didn’t move forward. He then explained that his client’s offline campaigns where doing good enough to try something new.
Despite the new online campaign represented (probably) less than 5% of their offline spending, the client decided to focus those resources doing what best practices of marketing spending suggest (which by the way consisted on sending trash over the mail).
“Best practices are the antithesis of innovation*”, you can’t expect to get different (or better) results if you do the same over and over again, that is Einstein’s definition of insanity.
Innovation today is what will dictate the best practices of tomorrow; innovation is what will give a head start against your competition.
Why should they try something new if what we are doing right now is proven to be successful? Well, if you don’t search for new ways to do things, your competitors will, beware if they find something before you do.
And now the question is: How is your competition innovating? Is it with new technology, new processes, new markets? How do you know when your best practices have become old practices?
So, are you following best practices or creating new ones?
To finish this post I leave you with a quote from Machiavelli’s The Prince:
“…And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new. This lukewarm temper arises partly from the fear of adversaries who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who will never admit the merit of anything new, until they have seen it proved by the event. The result, however, is that whenever the enemies of change make an attack, they do so with all the zeal of partisans, while the others defend themselves so feebly as to endanger both themselves and their cause.”
What do you think?
* This blog post was inspired by a presentation by Christian Haas, a group creative director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, at OMMA Global San Francisco, the premiere online media, marketing, and advertising expo.