By Robert Craven, MD at Directors Centre

I have chaired several conferences and workshops over the last month and a set of common themes is emerging:

1. Interruption marketing no longer works
None of the traditional marketing activities work so very well, if at all.

2. Tons of noise about social media
Way too much time is being spent discussing the whats, ifs and buts of various social media and the tedious parasite industries that measure or aggregate or gamify the activity. Wrong discussion. Figure out what your message is and where to find your targets. Talk to them using the media they prefer to use. End of.

3. Five-year-old-itis
Too many businesses are still running on a model of the world created on five-year-old assumptions about competitors, customers, how and why people buy, pricing and marketing. Most of these assumptions are hopelessly out of date and irrelevant.

4. Partnership
The main limit on growth is access to relevant resource and potential clients. The quickest way to accelerate your opportunities is to partner with other, complementary businesses that will give you access to their database. Who should you be talking to about a new joint venture or partnership?

5. Thought leadership
One way to force your way to the top of the attention ladder is to have something to say. There are too many mediocre, run-of-the-mill players out there. Do you really want to be associated with their mediocrity? If so, fine. Otherwise, start putting together and implementing your plan to be seen to behave like an expert. See The Expert! model in my ‘Grow Your Service Firm’ book.

6. Self-management
People are endlessly searching for the universal solution to their time management nightmares. Get organised and look for ways to maximise and leverage your activity. No short-cuts here, just plain common sense. Buy yourself a diary, commit to using a simple prioritising To Do list.

No rocket science when you break the themes down under simple headings. Yet somehow we feel we are missing something, that there is some magic silver bullet that we just can’t find. I am afraid it is back to basics. However, the whole debate must start with your product or service. What problem is it solving and why should people bother to buy it? More importantly, why should they bother to buy from you?