We’ve changed.

The business world has changed and it’s not changing back.

It used to be the loudest, cheapest or funniest that earned the sale. But now that everyone else is loud, cheap and funny – it’s no longer unique.

Now, and in the future, we need to connect. We need to make a connection that lasts and a connection that deserves a response.

That response, in a connected world, will be seen be more people. And the connection spreads.

A problem: it’s much harder to connect than to shout the loudest.

We know what the future looks like. It’s digital and it’s free. It’s honest and transparent. It’s human.

But do we believe it enough to take that step and focus on connecting? It’s scary and different, though it’s the future and we aren’t changing back.

Before and Now

Why the new Kmart Ad is simply brilliant.

Simple message, fun music and excellent execution – that’s what makes Kmart’s 2013 ‘Irresistible’ tv ad one of the best on tv.

On first view, there’s nothing remarkable about it. But so often brands over complicate the main point of an ad: to communicate a memorable message.

Kmart communicate their message and do it in a way that makes you tap your foot (and not forget which brand the ads for).

They use colour, music, dance and fun in a way that highlights Kmart’s key selling proposition; their products are durable, for real people and make you feel pretty fantastic that it doesn’t cost you half a leg.

I want to see more ads like it. A bit of fun goes a long way in connecting with the consumer.

The silver bullet

Since the beginning of time marketers have exploited every channel available. Newspapers, radio, TV and now social media.

The value of each channel, like most things, can be illustrated by a simple curve.

Social media is a valuable channel, no doubt. Yet it is not a silver bullet that will endlessly drive sales and solve a long term problems.

Where many go wrong is that they believe the curve of a particular social network will never drop off.

They invest hours and millions of dollars in perfecting a Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter strategy. But the return on investment, long term, will be minimal.

The idea of social connectedness will continue to grow, no doubt- but certainly not it its current form.

Just as we have moved from black and white tv to multi-channel digital stations in a relatively short time, social media channels will also be ever-changing.

By no means can we underestimate the role of social media as a communications platform.

Just as the past five years have brought us dozens of social networks, the next five will bring hundreds.

There is no silver bullet and we can only control how we allocate our resources. So don’t waste too much on the now.

Not just a game

People don’t go to sporting events to just watch sport. 

They go to experience something with their friends. They go because their partner wants to. They go for the food, the beer, the atmosphere and the chance to scream without looking like a lunatic.

When we promote an event we need to focus on the whole experience, not just the main attraction.  

How to sell

When we sell something we don’t sell the facts, the dimensions or the attributes.

We sell emotion, feelings, association and potential.

It sounds basic but often overlooked. Sporting codes get it wrong all the time. The A-League have been obsessed with attendance figures for a while now.

For now, numbers are irrelevant. The focus has to be on making the experience unforgettable.

Then the people who do show up will bring their friends next time and the numbers magically grow.

When writing a press release, copy or advertisement don’t start with the facts, start with the story.