To survive (and enjoy) the world of B2B communications, learn to live with change.
At a client’s office opening on Monday, we met a bunch of old friends/colleagues who were all ex-IBM. These were the first people I worked with when I joined the B2B industry back in 1997. There is nothing like old friends – there really isn’t. The shared experiences, late nights working on launch plans, preparing for media events, writing articles about OS wars . . . those were good days.
If those days were good, these days are great. Allan and I are blessed with three great kids, a business that we have built together without killing each other – a miracle in itself – and a team that we wouldn’t trade for the world. It is a good life and I am grateful.
There is one thing I want to achieve in 2013 and it is this – learning to embrace change.
I have a structured soul and change always means having to cut new grooves in my mind. I am capable of it and have done it many times before but it is never easy for me.
2013 has been and will continue to be a year of change. And I am determined to enjoy it this time round. While we are still very much a B2B communications agency, what we offer our clients – both on the marketing and PR sides of the business – will require us to come up with new ideas, try out new approaches, get to know new partners and acquire new skills.
Growth is change
If you think about it, growth is change. While we work with some blue chip companies, we also work with some really exciting fast-growing companies, especially in the enterprise technology space. For them, the challenge isn’t trying to grow – as it is for larger companies – it is managing the growth and scaling effectively in terms of getting the right resources and infrastructure in place.
Change is a way of life for them and we are more than happy to be on the ride with them, showing them how others have done some things and figuring out other ways with them along the way.
New ways of doing the important stuff
At a conference yesterday I met the regional marketing lead for another client and she asked about how we think digital media can and should be employed to help get new conversations going and build stronger relationships with their clients. It is a big question but a very relevant one.
The key here is remembering what the ultimate objective is, which for our clients is basically to make that additional dollar in sales. We believe that our role is to help them achieve just that.
We have been trying out new communication approaches with our more adventurous clients and we are learning something new every day – both from the failures as well as the successes. Sometimes it is as “simple” as not sending out press releases (when there is no news) although some clients find this the hardest thing to do. It can be about bringing in lessons from one B2B industry to another. Or it could be something completely new and therefore, takes a braver client to try it out.
This year, we will see changes on our end, too. Our business has grown, our team has grown, plus we will be shifting to a new office in the next quarter. Change is definitely in the air, and I am breathing it in deep.