Staying Relevant within Disruptive Industry Change
I often think back to when I started Red Sage back in 2006, and note how different the tools of marketing are today compared to back then. I started Red Sage in a traditional, well-established industry. While the internet had certainly made an impact and websites were a fairly new development but quite common, the other tools of marketing were largely what they always had been: print, broadcast media, billboards, networking, etc.
Help! A seismic shift just happened!
A seismic shift has been happening in the marketing industry over the past several years – the most disruptive change it has ever faced – even more so than the advent of TV or radio.
Web software has changed with the evolution of solid open source solutions. Social media was born and continues to mature. With social media came the birth of video marketing. The rules have completely changed for search engine optimization. And now the fast adoption of smart phones and tablets have changed completely how content is viewed, contributed to, shared, discussed, etc. The change is happening at warp speed and it is getting harder and harder for everyone in our industry to keep up.
The importance of being nimble
When I founded Red Sage, I made the commitment to hold no sacred cows (I really don’t like cows anyway.) I have tried to establish a culture that is open to change, where every employee has a voice in our direction and is very quick to say if we should be trying something different or responding to an opportunity. It is a dynamic organization that requires a leadership style of rapid response and rapid decision-making. As a company, in the past six years, we have changed our web software twice, and our e-commerce software at least five times. We have updated our services list at least once or twice every year. Our professional development consists of one national conference a year for our web team, and daily blog and industry article reading for the rest of us – on the fly – as we can. We read, quickly digest, find a nugget of value, share with the team, briefly discuss, adjust direction if necessary, and repeat. We regularly share knowledge or thoughts at staff meetings, by the coffee pot, through email or social media, and occasionally through the bathroom door. I believe it is our nimbleness that is innate to our culture at Red Sage that will ultimately be our saving grace to keep us viable and relevant moving forward.
Is your industry facing disruptive change? If so, how are you facing it?