Maybe now it’s time to think about innovation.
Pivoting to grow
Being honest, if room44 had stayed wedded to its core business at the start of 2019, we probably wouldn’t be here today. When the pandemic shut the UK economy down, we had already opened a new venture that became our growth opportunity for 2020 and 2021. Since then we’ve also added a new ‘artisanal’ product stream to our portfolio and room44 innovation consulting has resurged.
This all came about from a reading of market trends that indicated strong growth in areas that we may not have leant into without an understanding of the probable impact of world events. We were deep into the Brexit transition back in Q1 2020 so ‘change’ was inevitable. All we had to do was take it seriously.
Old business clinging on to old ways
Since Lockdown #1, many thousands of people have seen huge shifts in their work lives. Lay-offs have released people to pursue their own dreams, as well as throwing others into the grip of financial despair. One impact of this is that the UK is doing better than ever at creating new businesses and poorly at letting old ones die naturally.
In Q1 2021 Companies House recorded a record increase in new company incorporations – up by 24%. According to Fathom Consulting, the UK now hosts @4.5 million privately owned companies and more Unicorns (£1bn+ companies) than France, Germany and Sweden combined.
So, the government has made it possible for new business to start, grow and thrive with more bounceback funding, including another £1.5bn available to support start-ups* but the same financial support has also allowed businesses that were struggling to stumble on for longer. Loans, grants and furlough funds have let companies reset. The downside is that some of them should have simply stopped being.
Hope as a strategy
An article by Matthew Lynn in The Saturday Telegraph a few months back argues that old business is clogging up the very system that should help new companies grow (Recovery depends on killing Zombie companies). It’s a good point. SMEs are a tenacious bunch and won’t give up easily, but hanging on and hoping isn’t a strategy.
Building a new vision based on new market dynamics, seeing a less-than-obvious opportunity and then acting on the vision is what will help old business survive. If you have any doubt, look at the current crop of start-ups – looking at things differently is exactly what they have done.
What is innovation?
If you’re a follower of Clayton Christensen, you’ll recognise the definition of disruptive innovation as being “a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”
In the context of re-imagining a business’s potential in order to survive, maybe a less ambitious definition is appropriate. How about something like – taking ideas that work in other places that we can make work here.
Business development asks you to grow your business. Innovation asks you to offer your customers something different than they can get today to satisfy a need differently, or to meet a new need entirely. This isn’t innovation in its truest sense but, if the process demands that a failing business changes what it does for the survival of the company and gives their customers something newly valuable to buy, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt.
If you’ve relied on government funding to get you through a tough patch and are worrying about how to cover the wage bill now that furlough funding is over, now is a really good time to think about a change in direction.
As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is today. If you’re an established business who wants to talk to an agency that has done exactly that, drop us a line.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.
room44 takes a sideways look at non-obvious trends currently developing and asks; who does this affect?
Chapter 1: Challenging questions:
- Politics in the UK.
- Cladding and negative equity.
- Interested party pacts.
Listening and watching news in June 2021 it feels as if life is good.
The UK is emerging from a year of COVID-19 lockdown, the summer is coming, pubs and restaurants are re-opening, the Conservatives have just had a landslide victory in local elections, with the implication that consistency at the top is what the UK wants. In the UK, at least, if we believe the news media COVID-19 might be a manageable problem.
Hooray, let’s go to the pub… and most of us did.
Then the hangover happened and with the cold light of day questions emerged.
To be honest, what you’re about to read is snapshot of what I’ve read, heard and seen since the euphoria of meeting people socially – and maybe you can help me join some dots together.
Politics in the UK.
The UK is one party state.
The UK is gradually regressing into its constituent parts. When Scotland votes to leave the union it’ll only take Cornwall and Yorkshire to declare independence for the everyone here to need a passport to drive from one end to the other.
Objectively, while the majority of the UK, apparently, all vote for the same political party, the place is pulling itself apart which seems a bit contrary to reason.
As a competent alternative to conservative rule, the Labour party has spent more than enough time kicking itself to death and has given us with great example of a brand failing to change with its audience. Becoming less relevant, they entered the last general and local elections without realising that ‘Labour’ is a moniker rooted in a forgotten era of industry and collective bargaining. Those days have gone and the red flag flies now over people who don’t remember what it meant.
Will Labour do the work needed to reinstate itself as a serious government candidate before the next election (and probably the one after that too)? No. Of course it won’t and so the electorate can look forward to an uncontested parliament for another decade.
With best will in the world, for Greens, Liberals or anyone else to make a serious dent in the UK Tory power base, something fundamental has to change. The signs are that they won’t despite the massive vote-winning assistance potentially offered by the biggest and most obvious crisis ever to emerge across the world – global climate change.
Cladding and negative equity.
We live in an odd period of history for all kinds of reasons. There’s always one reason or another but this particular moment in time has us sliding towards more central control, less freedom of movement, more censorship, less liberty…
Part of the conditioning that we in the UK are subject to is that home ownership is the pinnacle of achievement.
If you’ve never done this, try applying for credit and tick the ‘not a home-owner’ box and see what happens. If you want to know what it feels like to be treated like a second-class citizen this is a good way to start.
So keen are we to own property that some of us opt to buy a lease. Today, what happens when that property is found to be a serious threat to your life, because the structure of the place is significantly flammable, is a travesty.
You may need to research this but here are the bones of the issue. In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster it has been found that many properties of the same kind are at the same risk of fire.
Understandably, until the guilty cladding is replaced these properties have little or no value on the property market.
It’s a complicated area of law but the bottom line (in my mind) is that freeholders appear to be able to pass the cost of refurbishment on to leaseholders which, in most cases, far exceeds the leaseholders’ ability to pay.
So, despite buying a lease in good faith that the home is safe and fit for purpose, it transpires that when it is found not to be, the purchaser is liable. Caveat emptor to say the least and stalemate.
It isn’t the first time the ‘little guy’ gets the rough end of the stick or that politicking is used to wiggle out of paying for mistakes made in the past. Unfortunately, in a period when the country has to stay at home through an imposed lockdown, those people who already felt unsafe, also have this extra concern for their personal safety.
Threats to van life.
In a property market that already excludes a huge tranche of people, young and older, in the UK because of the consistent rise in house values well beyond inflation rates; and in the face of doubts over the safety of some more affordable options, people are turning to alternative living arrangements.
There’s a real buzz around tiny living and van life, at the moment. It sounds romantic – and can be, but there’s a threat to this non-conformist trend that needs understanding.
To want to live in a van takes some level of dissatisfaction with traditional arrangements – or an inability to be able to afford rents or mortgages – or a rejection of the price of doing so. I’ve got a mortgage and sometimes I wonder if it’s a good decision to keep it going.
Some say that when everything is counted, the capital gain from owning a house over the life of a mortgage do much more than match the outlay. Anyhow, If you live in a van and enjoy that way of life, good luck to you.
However, our conditioning is so strong that when a van parks up on your street there’s a temptation to be wary. The Lady in the Van movie made suburbanites wonder what they’d do in that situation and regular press coverage of alleged traveller misdemeanours could be behind another governmental move to restrict the liberty of an ‘alternative’ lifestyle.
A bill has been in development and on Tuesday 16th March, 2021 the UK government held the second vote in parliament for the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill*.
MP’s voted in favour by a majority, and the bill now goes to the committee stage, followed by the House of Lords before it becomes enshrined in law.
What is it?
This law enhances the Police’s power to confiscate the property of, particularly, van dwellers if they suspect that the occupiers may commit a crime in the future. The confiscated property can be kept for an indeterminate period.
So, we have a government supporting the removal of homes from people who have no other shelter, on the basis of nothing more than a potential complaint from another citizen and/or the suspicion that they may commit a crime someday.
Add this new law to existing wide-ranging surveillance, number plate recognition, banking and insurance monitoring networks and, even before facial recognition really finds its feet in the UK and we have a serious and insidious control of our civil liberty building in the background.
As a user base we’ve already given up our personal data to our mobile phone networks and we know our online footprints are regularly monitored so, it’s no real wonder that some of us are trying to find a bit of off-line space to live in.
News media and party pacts.
If you read and consume the same media as I do, we’ll probably have a similar view of the world. If you don’t, we won’t.
This is the reason I founded room44; to offer company teams different views of markets and market influences to reveal opportunities, not otherwise apparent.
It has always been the responsibility of the individual to search out your truth. You can doi this by consuming content from different media outlets that have different biases: political, commercial, cause or whatever.
So, a supposedly unbiased and independent media outlet is a good thing to know about.
Here, in the UK, it is widely believed that the BBC is that body but…
Where some stories get coverage, less headline-worthy items such as Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would, seem to get less. Personally, I can’t remember ever seeing it mentioned and I, for one, wonder why?
Media has always been available to support any specific idea/notion/belief and today is no different – except the number of outlets is huge, making it easier than ever to find validation of any and every idea with a few clicks on a keypad.
Consequently, people in business can avoid reading the other side of the argument with zero effort and so, a balanced opinion becomes less easy to arrive at.
The unofficial contract that is said to exist between the establishment and media outlets controls what is published on a daily basis. Media briefings have the effect of pushing content creators in specific directions. Effectively, this controls what news we are fed every morning.
While social platforms have made it easier to avoid only seeing propaganda published by ‘interested parties’, the establishment has got better at managing the news agenda which can be seen in action every day with the focus swinging from more contentious issues to more palatable ones without much logic.
Taking a consumer view of the factors, such as those described above, and making connections between them can be useful in informing your product strategy.
For example, consumers buying vans for conversion, camping equipment, hardware and conversion services, solar panels etc all buy their products from someone.
Camping space that closes for the winter are seeing year-round demand.
The companies that sell these products may want to look at the potential for the impact of new laws to affect what they sell and who they sell to.
It bears some monitoring. To be continued.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.
- The Bill contains enhanced police powers to deal with public order and wider offences and increased sentences for breaching conditions imposed on assemblies and processions by the police. These proposals have significant implications for the right to protest, an aspect of the rights to free speech and free assembly.
- The Bill contains a new offence targeted at persons residing on land without permission, coupled with powers to seize property. These have implications for the right to respect for the home and the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions, of both the landowner and the resident, and may have a disproportionate impact on particular ethnic groups.
- The right to respect for private life is engaged by the Bill’s proposed power to extract information from electronic devices.
- The Bill also proposes a number of changes to sentencing, including extending the use of ‘whole life orders’ and altering sentencing for children and young people, with ramifications for the right to liberty and the rights of victims. Changes to community sentences also give rise to concerns about respect for private life and the home.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]room44’s data-driven approach reveals hidden trends and new opportunities to help you create high-performing, sustainable product strategies. The result? A strategic vision that is actionable in the short, medium and longer term – increasing revenue, promoting growth and encouraging brand tenacity.[/author_info] [/author]
The last few months may have been tough for some of you because of the limitations on work and communication, but for others it has been a period of blessed relief.
Coming out of lockdown and back into a regular work pattern will fill some people with dread.
Uncertainty around what kinds of business will succeed, fed by commentary across all media, isn’t helping. If we aren’t reading stories about the amazing growth rate of lockdown start-ups, we’re being told that everything established will fail.
Don’t worry. Things are no more difficult than they always were – but they are different.
How to work it through
Getting serious about the questions is a start. Can you honestly, hand-on-heart, say you’ve interrogated the probability that you can continue as before?
Try listing ideas that you could pivot into right now. You’ve probably got a sense of a latent idea that could be developed to generate sales sometime. Write it down, and work out whether it’s something to consider immediately.
Try this every day for a week. Sit and jot down ten ideas. Do it again tomorrow and the day after, and it may surprise you how often the ideas you like the most will come to the surface.
What’s a scenario?
A scenario is an anticipation of what could happen to your business at any time.
Being brutally honest with yourself and your team is another hard exercise but hugely valuable.
We’d recommend you have a minimum of three scenarios in play all the time: everything stays the same, everything goes wrong, everything goes better than imagined. By thinking this through, you gain a sense of the external factors that are heading your way and start to look further out to see emerging threats and opportunities.
For example: what would the worst day look like?
When you’ve had that thought, what would you do to:
- Avoid it
- Use it
- Create a product/system/process/service to resolve the issue presented
Acting on #3 might prevent it happening at all.
Similarly, what would the best day look like: for example, what would you do if Google came knocking to make you an offer to buy?
None of this is brain surgery, but business leaders don’t record these thoughts often enough. You may have the thoughts in the shower, but your team can’t contribute unless you share them.
The customers you supply are changing their behaviours in response to consumer demands more quickly than anyone can keep track of, which means that your value proposition will also need to change.
If you’d like someone to work with your team on this kind of exercise, you know where we are.
Download our free guide to trend identification here.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.
From A to Z
Who takes decision-making responsibility?
Make ROI the driver
Innovation is doing new things
Expo 2020 posed 50 questions that were relevant when the organisers were planning the event.
Since then, Expo 2020 has been postponed by a year and many of the known knowns have become irrelevant or accelerated.
Take a look at the attached list of 50 questions (faithfully reproduced from the original) and consider how your perception of the world, viewed at the macro level, has altered in one short year.
This is the kind of stimulus that room44 uses in our scenario planning activities. After all, if you don’t know how your environment will change, how can you know how to fit into it?
Let’s discuss. Make a date here.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.
The next few months are impossible to predict and therefore difficult to plan, so think different. Blend specialism with generalism.
When I got my first job, the first thing my bank did was send me a credit card: instant debt. So I started to run my finances like many FDs run those of their company: manage borrowings by cutting the cost line and growing the top line.
It took me a long time to realise that I didn’t have to chase after every sales incentive I could see. All I had to do was stop using the card. In other words, see the blindingly obvious – work out a budget and follow it through.
What had made things difficult for me were the unexpected expenses, not least of which was a 15% mortgage rate. But this is what passes for financial control in more businesses than perhaps we all realise.
Q4 2020 – Q1 2021
The next few months are impossible to predict. We’re told that the world is falling apart and yet we’re still expected to keep businesses alive and kicking. Some sectors will inevitably find this easier than others; many are already feeling the squeeze.
So, are the unexpected things that could throw your plan off-course really unexpected?
Let’s have a look at that.
COVID-19 is expected to flare up again as the weather gets cooler. This will have consequences: international travel will dry up again, domestic travel will be harder as public transport has reduced capacity, online shopping will continue to grow – high street visits can’t recover when we can’t go out.
Don’t forget the flu either. The NHS always sees a winter spike in demand. This year could be exceptional.
These are real and present dangers facing most business sectors. Although we might assume that service industries such as accountancy and law might escape, no-one is immune. If contracts aren’t being signed or deals done, accountants don’t win clients. If courts aren’t open, solicitors can’t act for clients. And a similar story will play out elsewhere.
The massive shift to homeworking has shown us that commuting isn’t essential. As a result, people working at home have begun to move away from cities and into towns and villages. Rental values in cities are already dropping in commercial and residential sectors, while rental values and house prices in less populated areas are doing OK. These sorts of connections can be made across many industries.
How about some other big factors?
In November the US goes to the polls. In December the UK leaves the EU. Both of these events have direct impact on the UK’s trading future. Brexit is a turning point in the UK’s economic history that few are prepared to look upon as a good idea and, whatever the eventual outcome, this winter looks like supply chains are going to be stretched. Don’t forget, the Chinese New Year happens in February. Another bump in the road.
Then there’s the weather. More floods are forecast this winter than we saw at the beginning of 2020. Rising water levels have been a known phenomenon for years, but many flood defences still aren’t adequate and planners haven’t stopped granting development permission on flood plains.
The blindingly obvious is a bit uncomfortable to consider, and I know this is a list of possible doom and gloom, but the fact is that many of us choose to keep doing what we’ve become used to doing despite what common sense tells us.
What to do
Think different. Blend specialism with generalism.
Your specialism is what you do. Ours is what we do. What we do is everything you don’t.
If you want to explore why house rents and the numbers of commuters might affect you, as just one example, please pick up the phone or email to book an initial conversation.
It’ll cost you nothing and it may lead to a great partnership and a new strategic view.
Working together, you’ll benefit from ideas and insight that we will deliver in a way that helps your team plan a radical response to disruption.
The plan that will follow our process will not only make the radical completely reasonable, it will give you options to switch to if the unexpected events written into your strategy actually come to pass.
It’s a big promise and it’s a big job. Are you prepared to take it on? We are. Book a call now.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what we do.
Practically, the room44 innovation audit provides a view of your world that your customers see. Strategically, if you are beginning to think about divestment, investment, or retirement and succession, this will show you how your plans might be helped along.[/box]
Say ‘audit’ in any situation and watch the third eye drop and the other person focus in the middle distance. It takes a really buzzed up accountant to make ‘audit’ sound interesting. But we’re never put off by a challenge, and now ‘Innovation Audits’ are here to introduce some intrigue into the mix.
Here’s how room44 innovation audits work
Invite us to review your product plans and innovation strategy, and one of two things will happen:
- We’ll validate everything you plan to do as both appropriate and relevant.
- We won’t – but we will identify where things can improve and what needs work. In real terms, this is where we help you to train your weaknesses.
Innovation audits aren’t common. Traditionally-minded agencies, like those rooted in financial management and Lean processes, come at innovation from a fairly predictable starting point: where’s the money?
room44’s starting point is consumer-centric, on the one hand, and commercial on the other. Our testing covers four key metrics that start with, ‘who wants this?’ and end with, ‘are we allowed to do it?’ Combined, these metrics give you a comprehensive view of the probability of your plans succeeding.
We have a uniquely objective perspective to apply. The common ground we’ll stand on with you shows how relevant your product or service is, now and in the short term. Our use of Design Thinking and knowledge of developing markets will open up a landscape of opportunities. A new view comes from talking to each other and working it out.
Innovation audits take about a week to deliver. Working internally and collaboratively shows off your good points to maximum effect, and reveals the vulnerabilities that aren’t so obvious. We’ll see your dark corners and we’ll see through the personal agendas.
What we feed back at the end of the process is highly valuable insight and includes a discussion about what to do next, what to do after that, and what to plan for the future.
We stand your plans up to a mirror and show you how you look from the outside in. Effectively, this is a view of your world that your customers see. Strategically, if you are beginning to think about divestment, investment, or retirement and succession, the room44 innovation audit gives you a chance to see how your plans might be helped along.
History tells us that the likelihood of most companies surviving much beyond the founder’s involvement is slim. Many businesses get bought, absorbed into other companies or simply fail. In fact, according to John Elkann at Fiat, only 49 companies per million last beyond 100 years.
If you were able to audit your own probability of remaining innovative would you?
Unicorns, like Amazon, are big news today, but even they could fail to thrive once the founder is no longer involved. While Jeff Bezos runs Amazon. Larry Page and Sergei Brin guide Google, Howard Shultz is at Starbucks, Mark Zuckerberg sits at the top of Facebook and Yvon Chouinard runs Patagonia the new ‘normal’ looks OK. If they move on, then what?
Put into context, what’s your gut feeling about Uber and AirBnB lasting longer than their unicorn status? Recent market reports about saturation and financial results already suggest that Tim Cook needs to change something in The Valley if Apple is to maintain its unique consumer appeal.
As growth starts to get harder established companies need to consider their consumers more actively: i.e. to put innovation at their core. Often, they do the opposite. The tendency, after the visionary entrepreneur leaves and the money-men take control, is to respond to anticipated competitive threat.
Seeing competition developing and moving to defend a market position with a similar proposition is the sales target-driven, fast-follower route to product development.
Here’s a blog about that ‘Product trends trending. Competitor confirmation bias.‘
Established companies can’t bring themselves to put decision-making responsibility into the hands of one person and so creativity suffers. Whereas owner-operators won’t shy away from the big decision. If something needs doing to protect and grow a business, an owner will step up.
This particular skill is really hard to replace. If the culture that sits around Jeff, Larry and Mark has got the company to where it is, who’s going to do that when they’re gone?
An answer is for the founder to help the team to treat innovation as the driver of strategic decisions: make strategy about consumer experience more than ROI. Get this right and ROI is the net result. Make ROI the driver and consumers will fall away.
Tools are available for this process to be successful. Sometime external moderation helps. We offer to start by running an innovation audit.
Auditing the way your company regards innovation and how it pushes initiatives into the market can be a key indicator of business sustainability.
“Creativity is having new ideas. Innovation is doing new things.” – Theodore Levitt.
Book some time here and I’ll personally talk you though it.
Seeing it differently. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.
UK businesses have a little under two months to watch Brexit unfold and try to decide how to move forward. Conventional advice is to watch the pennies and mitigate the risk of getting caught out if and when rules change.
This is brilliant news for innovators.
Your colleagues have been working on Brexit planning for months, and they probably have a pretty good idea of the scenarios that could play out. So, let’s give them something new to do for the next few weeks.
You’ve still got time to dedicate to new and innovative projects:
- Time to build a plan that your company can focus on.
- Time to set a strategic direction that will carry the business into a new phase of growth.
- Time for interesting, creative, transformative work, while the supply chain servicing your current business worries about what new costs Brexit may send your way.
room44 has a unique perspective on business – your business.
We don’t believe the traditional way is the only way.
We don’t believe the only thing you can do is to wait for bad news.
Let us show your team the way to a new plan.
It’s a programme for change-makers. The ROI is clear and precise:
- Drive new products to market faster than ever before
- Increase sales from new products, current and new markets
- Have more ‘hits’ as a % of ideas started
- Balance criticism with market insight
- Develop an enquiring mindset
- Bring future profit forward to today
Traditional thinking vs Future Thinking
The table below compares what a well-known accountancy firm suggests you should do with Brexit looming, and what we say about that. You’ll have done most of what’s suggested in column 1* and now you can invest a few short weeks more profitably?
|‘What they say’.||What we say|
|Regulation and compliance
Maintaining compliance with changing regulatory frameworks will be crucial to enabling a business to continue to operate and trade across the EU and non-EU countries as they do now. For example, businesses will also need to consider how Brexit might impact their ability to access some tax reliefs and whether insurance provisions will still be appropriate.
|Good, pragmatic, conventional advice, but…
you’ve probably been planning this for ages, and you still can’t be sure you’ve guessed right.
Let’s not keep doing the same thing.
Now is a perfect time to see things differently.
|Financial planning and management
Forecasting the impact of decisions and price shock uncertainty will be crucial to maintaining business continuity. Equally important will be the ability to access finance to fund suitable working capital requirements.
|No matter how well you are planning and managing your finance…
…your buffer won’t last.
You need to grow. Innovation is the answer and it’s within reach, this quarter.
Can your supply chain withstand Brexit? Businesses need to consider the potential impact of increased customs duties, greater regulation causing delays to the movement of goods and services, and the effects on cash-flow. Have you made sure your suppliers have also considered this?
|Yes, it can.
Will you be affected by increased charges? Possibly. But if price rises are inevitable, you won’t stop them.
See it differently. Now is the time to start.
|People and talent management
Changes to UK immigration policy will have a profound effect and businesses should be thinking about how they will continue to recruit and retain the right people to maintain business continuity and make the most of Brexit opportunities.
|The skills shortage in the UK goes beyond access to EU labour resource.
Let’s focus on what we can influence…
…like how we see markets evolving and how you meet developing consumer need.
Avoiding disruption to core operations and maintaining business continuity will require careful planning and may involve restructuring the business or acquiring additional entities in different jurisdictions. This may also mean outsourcing key areas to increase efficiency and enable a business to focus resources elsewhere.
|…or be the disruptor.
If your competition isn’t planning to nail you while you’re fussing over Brexit, they’ve missed a trick.
Let’s assume they have. This is your big moment.
room44 is your weapon of choice.
- The programme is written.
- It’s adaptable precisely for you.
- We’ve even set some time aside to take on a small number of projects in February.
- The workshop just needs a room and a date.
Your next e-mail is where it starts. Click here over to you and the e-mail is set up for you/
Future thinking. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.
You’ve got a great website. You’ve got a switched-on digital team. You’ve got funky ads, and your consumer segment is buzzing every time the brand says something.
But sales aren’t so great, not really. You’re doing OK, but the cost per click is rising, so the budget is stretched and there’s a new competitor on the block…
…which reminds me of a scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, where the Messiah says: “Look, you’ve got it all wrong. You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody. You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals.”
And the crowd replies, “Yes, we’re all individuals.”
And Brian says, “You’re all different.”
And the crowd replies, “Yes, we are all different.”
And that brings me to PPC
Your team loves the idea of content-based marketing but, frankly, they don’t have the skill or the inclination to write effective content. Your market personas are set in stone because the marketing team says so. So, content creation got farmed out to writers. The contract got you 500 words a week from a Sixth Former who can optimise for search, but doesn’t know one end of your customer from the other.
It hasn’t worked, so your budget’s been diverted into pay-per-click (PPC). Suddenly, you’re first in search for a term you aren’t quite sure you’ve ever heard before, and site traffic is up.
OK, the dwell time is down and the bounce rate is up but they’re coming, right?
Brian: “You’re all individuals.”
Crowd: “Yes, we’re all individuals.”
Brian: “You’re all different.”
Crowd: “Yes, we are all different.”
Single person in the crowd: “I’m not.”
PPC can keep you at the top of search results. It may pull people in and show visitors what you do – today. What it can’t do is meet your need for differentiation; it won’t future-proof you.
In our blog ‘The business return on intellectual investment in innovation.’ we make the case for stepping back from the routine of daily business. Instead of increasing your online budget, why not consider the root cause? Why not divert a bit of the budget away from PPC and on to creating an innovative view of your business?
room44 is rooted in the belief that innovation, creativity and consumer-centricity set brands apart from their competitors. It takes some compartmentalising at the top of the management pile to trust Marketing to carry on as usual, and take some team members to build out your future vision.
That’s why we’re here:
To introduce a process; to moderate it; to create a roadmap; and to drive the process so you see a plan emerge. A plan that provides you with visibility of a new revenue stream and the strong possibility of generating a return on the investment by:
- Increasing sales through a quicker time to market.
- Increasing sales from having more ‘hits’ as a % of ideas started.
Your choice is to be one of the crowd and do what they do – or be that, while you work on the new innovation.
You can get a copy of our free guide to ‘Seeing it differently – How to sell innovation into your own company‘ by replying to this e-mail address.
Future thinking. Future-proofing. It’s what we do.