A few years ago when I was working in a corporation, our head of sales used to say, when someone was late to a meeting: "in conclusion", as they walked in the room.
It was a joke of course. If we look at it more closely, the discontinuous nature of our online meetings, make us all walk in the room late most of the time. So what feels like a repetition, something taken for granted, for the people in the room, is new to everyone else.
I feel I've been saying that to you for all these years by using the tagline:
Connecting ideas and people – how talk can change our lives.
Because that is an outcome, a desired one and hopefully one we achieved more often than not here. An outcome nonetheless.
Evaluating blog as an asset
When we stick long enough with closing the gap between the promises we make and those we keep, we we get the opportunity to make better promises.
That is good for a variety of reasons, and off the top my head they include:
- had we waited to start after knowing all the work and energy that we would need to expend, we would have probably not done it
- or worse, we would be still overthinking it
- or second guessing ourselves
- on the bright side, the act of sticking with it teaches us what it feels like to make this kind of commitment
- we learn a lot about our thinking by doing it out loud
- we test ideas, get feedback, build them, and community, iterate
- keeping to a regular regiment develops our stamina
- it also is an opportunity to be generous in giving
- while we continuously clarify our purpose
- we experience what it feels like to keep promises (and conversely how it feels when we break them… including both intended and unintended consequences)
- we wrestle with big issues our clients face like moral choices in our practice by making ourselves visible, thus accountable to our readers
- some of the unintended consequences taught us valuable lessons, others opened up larger opportunities than we had imagined
… and so on. Plus, writing 2 million words is good practice.
Content is a business asset, especially when you look at it as a tool to build and deliver.
What a difference doing makes
When you took the time to think first.
For the purposes of this post, I'd like to focus on the one skill that makes all the difference in business — and that is understanding how close the asset is to value.
Marketing needs to make business sense, and for it to do that, it needs to be a practice that involves all the assets that are up for trade.
That includes the levers marketers work with to influence results: product/service, price, place, and promotion (last in my view) as much as it does the people, process, and tools/technology employed to work on them.
Understanding the asset you intended to create and that you didn't intend to create and ended up with is probably the most underestimated skill in business.
Does a blog help you?
It does, provided the organization receives what makes it stronger, more resilient, and enduring in return. This goes to the quality of the trade.
So it's not just doing for the sake of doing or we would not be here. There are many decisions, interactions, and results that got us here.
Designing for "the way we do things here"
Which means we should be understanding and designing for "the way we do things here".
This opens up all kinds of possibilities.
One possibility is that nothing might be broken and need fixing. This speaks to me as I've often wondered about the other symptom of marketing that doesn't make business sense, which is where our "not invented here" bias engages.
Have you ever worked in an organization when a new management team came in (or outside consultants) and insisted on changing everything before gaining an understanding of how processes, people, and tools were put together to trade?
Madness ensues. It doesn't stick (or work).
More possibilities open up when you build on top of what works.
In simpler terms, it's the difference between wanting to "change the world" and designing to the way the world is, how we do things here.
Make sense. Make do. Make it.
Some of you may have noticed the change in the header. As I was reflecting a couple of days ago about engagement, soundbites belong to the promotional side of things and we're about seeing and designing to the whole thing here.
The new words you see up there are the simplest way to describe three fundamental questions that sit on top of marketing that makes business sense:
Why me? Why now? Why not?
You write to "the way we do things here" (your "here").
Conversation then comes in handy to build a context where we can design to that.
How we build and deliver speaks to our ability to make better promises by closing the gap between what we make and the experience of it.
To me, it makes sense to invest attention, time, and effort to support the whole system of why and how things work.
For a back story on relationships and thinking together see this conversation on modern virtues with Peter Tunjic.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.
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