Author, speaker, and thought-leader Tom Asacker always has stimulating things to say. He’s spoken at a couple of our Summits and knows how to work a room.
In a recent blog – “Are You All Mad?” – Tom does it again, questioning why organizations are so slow to recognize change and make the necessary adjustments.
Brand managers and company leaders often stop asking questions once they’re established. The same curiosity that helped launch the entity in the first place goes missing when brands mature.
Here’s how Tom ended his blog, and how we’ll start ours:
“But instead of developing models to explore the mysteries, most established brands are moving into the madness phase as they place more and more emphasis and pressure on their worn-out methods.
Successful brands will continue to come and go. But the great ones will discover answers to the new marketplace mysteries of our time. Will you?”
Part of the challenge is that companies and brands could go a long time in past years without having to rethink a whole lot about their operations. That was most certainly the case for radio. Aside from the advent of MTV or the development of the CD and more sophisticated music scheduling systems, most stations simply were repetitive motion machines – often for decades.
And it worked.
But today, the pressure to explore those new mysteries are at the forefront of where companies need to go. The problem is that they have ongoing, day-to-day operating pressures, while being cast with the assignment of reinvention and discovery.
No one said it would be easy.
But for every mystery and challenge, there’s opportunity. If you choose to view it that way. Let’s explore:
Creating Facebook fan pages and re-teaching and re-training a staff can be daunting and difficult.
But the upside is that your fans have their own followings, providing stations with the ability to tap into their own audience’s communities. This cume growth was never possible in the analog world.
Diving into the world of Twitter can be a confusing morass of different opinions, celebrity worship, non-sequitors, and drivel.
But Twitter also provides access to a real-time feedback loop that can connect stations, shows, and personalities with fans – a la “The Backchannel” here in Detroit. Audience access and instantaneous feedback offer new content and material, as well as new listeners.
Yet, mobile is the most important breakthrough via the smartphone that perhaps we’ve ever witnessed. Local radio brands can co-exist right next to Facebook, Google, Pandora, and yes, even iFart – if their apps are worthy. And mobile makes radio portable again, allowing station brands to offer a new experience to mature audiences.
You get the idea. Tom Asacker is right that brands often are victims of their own arrogance, and often fail to grasp the opportunity that exists as you move from mystery to method.
It starts with asking those questions and moving to strategies that can help address them.
Or is it better to start with an established, solid, long-term existing brand like many radio stations have – and build on that reputation, history, track record, nostalgia, audience, and reach to seek out new worlds and new opportunities?
I’ll take the latter any day.
Thanks to Dave Martin for tweeting about Tom’s blog.