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I just read this (again from legendary Seth) and it reminded me of something I know but lose track of in day to day activities.

– There are measurable (in $ terms) marketing investments for driving revenue and sales

– There is also a portion of investment for building a brand and shaping perception of the brand, which is sometimes forgotten or at times ignored

They are both important (although not always equally, as it varies for each brand and business). It is easy for a CEO or CMO to say we want both, but a lot of thinking and planning need to be done to come up with strategies, priorities, roadmap, transformation plan and timeline. We are also not living in a world where things happen step by step like in a chess game, everything is happening in a thousand miles simultaneously. So focus on the goals and objectives, keep moving fast but always find time to take a step back and think and revaluate.

A Singapore prime minister once said “we must get away from the idea that it is only the people at the top who should be thinking, and the job of everyone else is to do as told. Instead we need to bring about a spirit of innovation, of learning by doing, of everyone each at his (her) own level all the time asking how he (she) can do his (her) job better”.

What he said could be summed up by “Kaizen” in Japanese, which means “continuous improvement”.

In today’s fast changing digital marketing field where the core competencies required for success are ever evolving, embedding the concept of Kaizen in the corporate culture of digital agency workplace is simply business critical.

A business process reengineering exercise performed by a few key senior executives is not Kaizen.

Kaizen strategy calls for “NEVER-ENDING efforts for improvement involving EVERYONE”.

It is a daily process. It is a long-term cultural change.

“We are very experienced in making X, we are very good at making X, we working very hard in making X; and now, all the clients care about is price”

They are only seeing price because they believe “X” is a commodity.

If what you do has turned into a commodity, don’t take it personal, it has nothing to do with how good you are at making X, if they believe X is a commodity, all they want is the cheapest.

You can try to change their belief or you can re-invent what you do instead, how about making “X 2.0” or “Y” or “Z” or “xyz”?

We have a surplus of similar brands, with similar brand positioning, similar marketing messages, making similar brand promises, selling at similar prices, with similar quality.

AND

There is a surplus of similar agencies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, working in similar jobs, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar ads, with similar prices and similar quality.

*Inspired by Kjell Nordstrom