I just received an email invitation to a webinar. It is promised that I will learn (quoted):
How B2B marketers and marketing budgets specifically have been affected by the worldwide recession
How much of marketing budgets are allocating their budget among digital media options
How to re-examine your own spending based on what the rest of the B2B world is doing
It struck me kind of funny that this was it. It wasn't the intro of the webinar, it was THE webinar.
Now, I don't mind knowing these things. In fact, they could be parts of a valuable baseline of information. But, if you are to become a B2B Marcom leader, then you aren't being paid to be average. You aren't supposed to emulate typical B2B Marketers - you're supposed to blow them all away!
The SMART voice in my head tells me that, when such a seminar is given, EVERYONE learns the info ... and the average shifts. Most people move in a pack and remain average. I am not paid to be average. So, it continually comes down to:
- listen to this "average" information - to know where the baseline is. Then, vow to step far away from it.
- cultivate your own "above average" practice with your trusted network of B2B Marcom experts. Implement it and distinguish your organization.
How do you identify leading-edge Marcom gurus, experts, and creators, so you can assemble your B2B Marcom Dream Team? I look for people who are in the trenches, actually implementing ideas and seeing the results. These people also have to be extremely curious, open-minded, and energetic. They also seek information and education constantly. And they are not afraid to stumble. They are comfortable with tripping and falling from time to time - and they never consider these events to be "failures" (watch a trick skiier or skateboard rider practicing. It looks like they are a mess ... far from it.). In fact, these people might actually scare you from time to time. They have far out notions, and try very "interesting" things. Pay attention! Sometimes these people crash, other times they invent something amazing. When they do crash, they are "failing forward". You'd think that no one wants to fail, that everyone actually prefers the simpler and less painful, "forward". Not true. True leaders need to know where the boundaries and borders are. They NEED to define the limits - and that requires the occasional crash.
So, be careful with these seminars and training opportunities. They clearly have a value, but they can lull you into a sense of complacency if you start believing that you've learned the golden nugget or been to the mountain top. Bottom line, "forward" is critical - but standing above the average is mandatory. So, "get" what everyone else is doing, but go far beyond.
Identify the opportunities to acquire "baseline" info - and use them appropriately. More importantly, cultivate your cadre of Marcom gurus and, together, get all messed up creating the new leading edge.