Whilst it may feel as if the speed at which our lives operate couldn’t possibly entertain the thought of slowing down; there are times when we need to take a step back, remove ourselves from the ‘details’ we are immersed within and take a look at the bigger picture
And no, this isn’t a ‘time to assess where you’re at in life’ and ‘spend more time with your wife and kids’ type article, but rather an insight into a simple concept I was recently intrigued (and have since revisited and applied numerous times) by at a sponsors lunch for the V21 Digital Summit. Whilst I sat at the dining table occupied by innovators and entrepreneurs; one piece of advice stuck with me sub-consciously… You see, I didn’t think much of it at the time.
For those of you that know me personally, you’ll no doubt have heard me waffle on about my fascination with all things advertising and digital marketing. Having recently been appointed Digital Marketing Manager of our side-project ‘Careering’; I’ve had the opportunity to experience first-hand the challenges and joys of running a lean start-up. Unfortunately, however, (and I speak as one of many entrepreneurs out there that frequently commit this error); we are often far too focused on little steps which take us from A to B rather than where we’re really heading.
Let’s cut right to the chase!
“Take a step back and look at the big picture”.
I know, I know – there’s nothing innovative or brilliant about that statement!
However, let’s dissect it using an example.
Exhibit A – Electricity Company
I know exactly how I’m going to market this electricity company. I’m going to offer a discount over my direct competitors to attract new consumers. Seems logical right? Why shouldn’t I run a campaign highlighting the cost savings consumers can make with my company over others?
But wait. let’s take a step back.
What does signing up with this Electricity company mean to the consumer?
– It means the provision of light, warmth, air conditioning, security, the Internet, television, and so on.
You see, the real value proposition to a consumer in this scenario isn’t a minor cost saving, but rather knowing that their service provider consistently works. That they can enjoy the cool breeze of their air conditioning on a hot summer’s day, and snuggle up next to a heater on a freezing winter’s night. This scenario definitely holds true. Assuming your electricity company has consistently performed to expectations, have you taken the opportunity to switch providers because of a $20 a quarter saving?
So how do you take a step back?
Life’s busy, that’s reality. It can be tough to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture of a particular product you’re working on.
Here are some tips
- Notepad – I often alternate between my physical notepad and my iPhone’s ‘notes’, but I will have either on me at any one time. I often do my best thinking away from work when I’m not in action – frequently on the train home. Collate these thoughts and apply anything workable.
- Allot some time – Take some time out of your schedule to analyse the week that has just past, think broad.
- Attend an event – I was fortunate enough to be involved in the V21 digital summit this year, I was exposed to countless new ideas and enjoyed brainstorming with people in the field. There are various avenues online (such as Meetup) that can achieve exactly the same result.
Next time you find yourself caught up in the details; not really getting anywhere, take a mental step back and make a change. Take a moment out of your day to think about your current projects and your thoughts towards them; and start thinking bigger picture!
Written by Daniel ‘Digital’ Graziano