During a recent client workshop designed to familiarize a large organization with digital/social think_differentlymarketing, I noticed signs posted on the wall that said “THINK DIFFERENTLY”.

How does any organization, large or small, “think differently”?

We’re almost through the first month of the new year. I’ve been writing a post for Windmill Networking about 2013 trends, specifically related to SoMoLo marketing.

Through my research, I see a significant trend developing in businesses of all sizes; business leaders and owners are becoming more aware of the rapidly changing marketing landscape. The big question is “What will they do about it?” How will you THINK DIFFERENTLY this year, in order to attain the goals you’ve set before you?

I am not an advocate of New Year’s resolutions primarily because I associate these with failed attempts to change. I fully support the idea of reviewing the past, learning from it and trying new things. I don’t know about you but I am not always comfortable with change! Fear of the unknown can paralyze us. But you know what, I am discovering that there is an equal if not greater risk in refusing to change.

We all get stuck in the ruts of routine. It’s not easy to think outside of the box. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of that old adage, “I think, therefore I am.” Being aware of such tendencies motivates us to get out of our comfy, cozy habits and take intentional steps to make the moves to induce change.

And the reality is, often those moves are miniscule. It’s not usually the giant leaps that are going to forge us ahead. It’s thinking and intentionally taking routine small steps that’ll gradually get us to the end in sight. Incremental change offers the best of all worlds, it makes risk more manageable while still allowing us to adapt.

Breaking it down into practical, everyday examples for a marketing professional, here are a few examples:

  • An active social media strategy requires a social presence, so the discipline to go to your Facebook page (or LinkedIn, or Google+, etc.) and share insights a few times a week is critical. It’s not enough just to have the knowledge in today’s social age, it must be shared.
  • Relying on automated tools can only get you so far when you need to truly be customer-centric. Instead of depending on the auto-email to communicate with leads, pick up the phone or pull out your company stationary and send a hand-written note.

As I was reminded in Jon Swanson’s 8 Steps for the Best Monday Ever,

“It’s not the will to win that makes the difference, it’s the will to do the work that helps you win.”

What gradual steps do you need to commit to today that’ll help you win?