Certainty and stability have become two of the most important and rare commodities in the business world. This year, financial year end will occur in the midst of global upheaval – the recent tragic events in Orlando, an American election that offers two astoundingly divergent candidates, presenting starkly opposing views, and a local election that seems to be more about personalities than issues.
Add to this a global economy still battling to find stability since the Global Financial Crisis, and with far too many stakeholders, including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and various governments and non-governmental authorities such as the United Nations and regional regulatory bodies, and you find a highly reactive business community, adopting for the most part, a wait and see attitude.
Many are choosing to embrace the reactive nature of upheaval, as evidenced by the numerous startups who have entered the market quickly, gained a foothold and through this, presented reactive investors with a relevant and compelling offer. For large corporates or established businesses however, attempting to duplicate this model can prove detrimental, and many have become a disastrous illustration of the importance of knowing what the market expects, rather than what is popular.
‘Stability’ has become a decidedly unpopular word amongst marketers, who have come to dominate business planning over the last few years, as social media and low-cost engagement platforms have dominated initiatives at the expense of traditional methods such as mass media. The boardroom has undoubtedly embraces this new ‘reality,’ with popular opinion seeing it as the way of the future. But the real commodity for established businesses, is often the business itself and while reputational stability may not generate hits on social media, it will certainly mean long term relationships and continued interest from conservative investors – who statistically still control most of the world’s investment funds.
Perhaps then, it’s time for larger businesses to begin shirking social media and what’s ‘popular,’ and moving back to their traditional roots. Open platform marketing can certainly increase accessibility for clients and prospects, and allow unprecedented access to the organisation, but is this a good thing? Often organisations are too quick to leap on what everyone else is doing, in this case potentially putting at risk the very commodity on which their reputation has been built for years – a reputation of stability, even in the face of an economic and political storm.
It’s a strange scenario, when small businesses have come to dictate methodology for larger organisations, and this can largely be put down to the evolution of marketing moving from external providers to internal teams that are then given a mandate of ‘staying on the cutting edge,’ the result being excellent social media, video, mobile applications and so on – but the executive suite must eventually ask the question, “Why are we doing this?” The answer of course, is that everyone else is, and the fear of being potentially left behind is palpable.
Increased accessibility is a strategy, but it may not be the right one, and perhaps it’s time for larger, more stable businesses to reduce their focus on new technologies and get back to doing what they do best – selling stability, even with an element of mystery attached.