Month of Learning

Please enter email and password to continue

Let’s ‘Not’ Party Like It’s 1999 – Becoming Influential

Become Influenital_The ID Group

Companies own the spaces that are rightfully theirs by looking forward instead of concentrating on where the world currently is.

This is not a post coming all ‘Napoleon Hill’ on you, but we all have to adapt as people who consistently learn, as when others become aware of you, you start becoming influential to the influenced.

I Owe This Article To A Quote From A Film

Gangster Squad_The ID Group
A good way of demonstrating this is a film I watched recently, Gangster Squad (starring Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin). In one scene, the ‘squad’ are taking part in target practice where one of the team is failing miserably to shoot a moving target, when up steps a wisened older head (played by Robert Patrick, blimey I feel old after seeing him in Terminator 2) who shows how it’s done with aplomb and turns to his younger student and says:

“Don’t shoot at where it’s at, shoot where it is going son.”

This is the lesson for us all. We can’t sit comfortably with where the world is now, as the end result is that we become the same as everyone else. We have to find a place where learning is heading, so well before everyone else catches up with you, you have moved on. One of the most notorious examples of not being able to understand the direction where a marketplace is heading and eventually resulted in the demise of a company was when Netflix offered to sell to Blockbuster.

In 2000 the fledgling company looked to build a dialogue with Blockbuster to form an alliance and become the streaming side to the business. This also meant that a 49% stake in the company would be sold (so it would still be called Blockbuster). The amount offered to sell was $50 million (today’s valuation is around $20 billion with over 36 million subscribers), but was flatly refused. Ten years ago, Blockbuster believed that customers loved the experience of walking into a store and browsing what to watch with a real tangible quality to it. We all know the ending to that film.

There will always be companies that will keep their feet firmly fixed to the way they have always done it and not realize that the world is changing. We only need to look as far as Woolworths and their stance to sell pretty much everything and with massive competition (from CDs to birthday cards) and not really having a firm grasp of their target market while Wilkinson, The Pound Shop and The Card Factory got to grips with theirs. While the world of pick-n-mix may not ensure a sustainable marketplace, businesses cannot look to be everything for everybody while technology and consumption habits change.

Something On LinkedIn That Doesn’t Represent 2014

Ford Quote_The ID Group_content marketingIf we keep our heads in the now, everyone else’s eyes and ears are shifting to new places. I have seen this quote (from Henry Ford) and associated image doing the rounds on LinkedIn at the moment and whilst I preferred a world where it was a lot easier to propose and schedule an ad campaign, work on relevant printed work to promote a message/company (from large format print to brochures) it’s not as prominent as it once was. A quote from a man who died 67 years ago, is now out of touch with reality and the places where consumers actually are. Lets market in the year we live in, rather than thinking it’s 2004 shall we?


The principals of the 4Ps will always stay true, but we all now consume content and messages in a completely different way from the 20th Century. To be more specific we now consume on our own time. The days of sitting and watching TV in real time are long gone. When I watch TV, it’s via ‘catch up’ even to the point where I use the TV to watch YouTube (which gets me thinking are we now watching TVs or computers?). The consumption of media today, is in a completely different hemisphere than it was 60 (no make that 15) years ago, where heavy thinking, planning and implementation was a staple process to broadcasting a message. In 2014 speed allows us to control and story-tell in the real world and adapt to the different platforms and techniques that we use.

The Shift In Engagement

We are currently living in a cultural shift where authentic engagement has superseded product promotion and interruption. The old way of battling for attention is still rife on the social channels that we use and the places that we own (web, blog, email), but platform mentality is slowly changing. We are now learning to respect our audiences a lot more with real intent and also consider the spaces that we use. This is the world we are now starting to embark upon, where storytelling and the creative freedom to act normal with authenticity is the place where we are all heading as businesses and as people. Coming back to the quote at the beginning of the article, we can’t keep with what we’ve always been used to but need to know the places where our respective industries are heading.

To maintain our lead, businesses have to re-learn and adapt. Many others will be happy to regurgitate what has been handed down to them and the way they have been told to act and implement by others who have not been part of this seismic shift that has happened within the world of marketing and business over the past ten years.

The second you stop becoming an enthusiastic learner, give it 12 months and businesses will start catching up with you. The opportunity we now have as businesses to study how to influence a marketplace and become influencers ourselves is something we now have the ability to achieve.

Image: courtesy of Flickr

Get the
Thursday newsletter

The YATM Weekly helps you build a loyal audience so you become the leading voice in your marketplace. All yours every Thursday.

Find out more

    ‘You Are The Media is powered by We Are The Media. We turn your expertise into clear, compelling messages, then build those messages into the kind of content people value —and come back for.

    Visit We Are The Media