So, after ‘radical transparency’ yesterday, today we tackle ‘embracing uncertainty’ as the next of Trevor Hardy’s five trends shaping the future of marketing and communications, as applied in a B2B context (the emotional economy, brands as educators and think long and slow to come through the rest of the week).
The world is a less certain place than it used to be. Brexit, Trump, and a whole host of geopolitical uncertainties mean that it’s not going to get better any time soon.
B2B marketers and communications professionals have always craved certainty in messaging. We try and drive messages around solidity, we emphasise simplicity and reinforce reassurance. But it’s now time for us to get comfortable with uncertainty, make friends with complexity and embrace randomness. Sounds like fun.
In part, this simply means accepting and reconciling the many opposing points of view – both within and outside any given organisation. But it also means rejecting reductionist thinking, because nowadays complexity has more currency than simplicity.
Essentially, it comes down to embracing marketing strategy – and in that a very flexible, emergent strategy that is constantly boundary-spanning to internalise and rationalise market and customer insight. Companies who under-invest in this area, or adopt more prescriptive strategies, are going to suffer. Lots of B2B organisations like to use the word strategy, but all too often these guiding principles live on a PowerPoint deck and rarely make it into the real world.
Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at Trevor’s third trend – and my personal favourite – ‘the emotional economy’.