No Shortcuts - Are You Paying Attention?

I read the book Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova.  She was a journalist and entered the world of power to see how good she could get.  She worked with several stars in the field.  The biggest piece of advice given to her about the game was: PAY ATTENTION. 

Poker is a game of odds and understanding of people.  It's a good parallel to business, which is why I thought the piece of advice as being so good.  The advice was more so about the need to pay attention to EVERYTHING.  Not just your hand.  It's about the competition.  It's about what you have done to prepare.  It's about the dynamics of the situation.  It's about how you physically feel.  It's everything.  

I think self awareness is a key to success.  This piece of advice broadens that to being aware of everything around you.  I think it's spot on and a great reminder for people.  I see a lot of people with their head down working away.  They're working hard and thinking their going in the right direction, but are they paying attention to what's around them.  Are others doing the work better?  Is there a big industry change coming that could impact them?  Is their team happy? 

You need to make sure you are aware of everything around you and adjust.  Here are a few things I see coming that people in my industry need to be preparing for. 

AI & Machine Learning:  This capability is already here and will only get better.  Many professions (including marketing) will be impacted.  Are you educating yourself on this and putting yourself in a position to lead? 

First Party Data:  This is a big topic and I am trying to upskill myself in it right now.  So much data is able to be collected and analyzed.  It can be called Big Data.  This data can help you learn on your consumer and be more targeted with your advertising.  That will increase effectiveness and result in more sales.  If you think traditional linear TV has the same power as it did 10 and 20 years ago, then you could be in for a wakeup call coming up.  I like TV, but it has to be part of a broader plan that is led by first party data.  

eCommerce:  COVID has accelerated eCommerce penetration by 10 years.  50% of sales in China are done via eComm.  We are in the low 20% range in the US, but it is growing rapidly.  If consumer won't be coming into stores as much, then brand blocks and # of facing won't be as critical.  Physical distribution was where brands are made.  You see an ad and then go to the store and pick up the product.  That is now getting totally changed.  You will now be ordering your groceries online and either getting them delivered or picking them up.  You will not be walking into stores like you did before.  Skills in eComm are going to be very critical and table stakes to keep up.  

There is a lot going on, which is very exciting.  With change comes opportunity.  You have to pay attention to see where that opportunity will be though.  Don't let the coming wave crush you.  Ride it to success.