We’ve never seen a business environment like this before. How will your mind choose to approach it?
I started this day by listening to a playlist I hadn’t heard in a long time on the way to the office this morning. Two or three songs in to the mix, I heard something mind blowing. It was a song that’s been in my collection since its album was released in 2001. Ten years ago. Today, I heard it again and something clicked in my head. The entire song only has 7 lines, but that is enough to completely encompass what I believe it’s like to be in Marketing now that the world has embraced social media & communications.
The song is ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ by Daft Punk, released on the ‘Discovery’ album back in October 2001. Here are the lyrics that made me smile:
Work it harder.
Make it better.
Do it faster.
Makes us stronger.
More than ever
hour after hour
work is never over.
Read that a couple of times, then continue on to the rest of this article.
Let me break down what those words mean to me, line by line:
Work it harder. – We used to have a handful of channels. TV, Radio, Print, etc. Each had very set, defined rules that were dictated by the owners of each medium. We had to play ball by their rules, or go home. Now, you’ve got all those, plus Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, Google+, and many more. The rules are no longer defined, and the way you approach them is in a constant state of flux. You have to work harder in the world of social media just to stay relevant.
Make it better. – I feel a bit silly in even trying to explain this one, as it should be pretty obvious. However, ‘better’ is a subjective term, and what’s better to one of us could be considered awful by the next. In my opinion, ‘better’ means meeting our promises every time. A quality product that does what we say it will. Customer service that responds when we say they will. Constantly finding ways to deliver more of what they want, and less of what they don’t.
Do it faster. – Immediate response is no longer optional. It’s essential. If you’re not catching every issue, every question, every problem immediately, you leave the door open for one of your caring, thoughtful, helpful competitors to do it for you. There is no time-delay in the world of social communications. You can’t hit the ‘bleep’ button before the message broadcasts to your audience. You have to be faster than you’ve ever been.
Makes us stronger. – We learn from others. From their successes, like Zappos and Starbucks, and from their failures, like Kenneth Cole and Chrysler. Social communications allows us to communicate to more awesome people than ever before. The communal library of knowledge that is now available to all of us is incomprehensible in scale. We have the ability to connect with the great people, and completely ignore the poisonous ones. By choosing to surround ourselves by awesome people, and shutting out those who prove to be toxic, we all get exponentially stronger.
More than ever, hour after hour, work is never over. – I combine the last three lines because they form one, thunderous message: SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T STOP. It doesn’t shut down at 5pm EST. It’s not confined within the pages of a magazine. It’s not crammed in to a primetime TV slot. It’s not a few days in Vegas at the convention center. It permeates everything we do now, and if you choose to only view it as a Mon-Fri, 9-5 activity, you’ll be left in the dust.
What does all of this ultimately mean? To me, it’s quite simple: The emergence of social communications has created a more challenging environment for Marketers. An environment that demands better products and services. An environment that requires immediate response to every query. An environment that enables the great people among us to become greater, and creates fossils of those who refuse to adapt and evolve. An environment that never stops changing.