Survival of the fittest. Adapt or die. Both of these sentiments speak to a truth that lies at the core of the business community, particularly when it comes to advertising and generating quality sales leads in 2014. True, these ideas are not exactly groundbreaking and they may in fact be somewhat cliché. But we often forget there’s a reason clichés are considered clichés; they are almost always true. Normally when one speaks about evolution it is coupled with a biological connotation, but the same principles are paramount to running a profitable business. Simply put, if a business does not embrace change, they are doomed to be left in the dust.
A fitting example of this would be Charles Darwin’s findings in his revolutionary book, The Origin of Species. Through extensive research of a large volume of different animal species, Darwin found that those species who could most effectively adapt to a changing environment were the ones who would survive. If there is ever an appropriate time to link biological evolution with smart business practices, this is it. To paraphrase Darwin a bit, it isn’t necessarily the smartest or the strongest who survived, but rather those who are most responsive to change. This idea should be ingrained in the mind of every business owner and CEO looking to run a successful enterprise.
There are simple steps you can take toward making your business more adaptable in 2014, and it begins in your own mind. You must make the mental adjustment and accept that digital marketing is simply an advertising medium that cannot be ignored. Think of your business as one of the species in Darwin’s book. The world around you is changing at an unprecedented and blistering rate. Adapt better than your competition or become extinct. Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing and it allows us to look fondly back at our past, but when it comes to your business, the past needs to be exactly that. A prime example would be Borders Books. They decided to ignore the Internet and outsource their online sales to Amazon.
Making this mental adjustment can be made easier by recognizing the potential effects these new revenue channels can have on your business. Everyone shops online. Even if the actual purchase of an item takes place in a physical store, that customer has almost assuredly done research on the product online, or possibly looked for referrals on a particular product or service vendor. To be successful and generate quality sales leads in 2014, having a strong and proactive Internet presence is the equivalent of saying humans need oxygen.
As the poet Robert Service once wrote: “This is the Law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall thrive; That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.”
The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital. Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.