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BLOGTransformational Thinking

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing, Strategy

Remember what it felt like going back to school in September? You’re completely energized, looking forward to a year when you do things, well, just that much better.

If you are a  leader, you may often think of September – or your fiscal year – or the calendar year – in the same way.  While it may in fact be refreshing, have you ever considered that your approach to marketing might be, at best, dated? That you might be following a strategy of incremental improvement, when a completely new approach might be what is really called for?  If so, you’re not alone.  But why?

It is much easier to use that new post-holiday energy to look for marginal gains using the paradigm you know and love. And it is far harder work to question the conventional wisdom that has delivered success in the first place.

Consider the following marketing initiatives, vs an alternative – and perhaps transformational – approach:

  • Improve conversion from 5% to 6%.  Instead, why not figure out a way to target the “other 95%”?
  • Spend time asking for referrals.  Instead, why not figure out a way to help referral sources build their business?  They’ll eventually reward you for it.
  • Spend more money on pay-per-click ads on Google and Facebook.  Instead, why not develop content that your prospects actually care about?
  • Update part of the website for a new service launch.  Instead, skip the website as an archival file cabinet, and re-charter the website in the context of lead generation and a tight connection to social, marketing automation, and CRM?
  • Refresh the logo.  Instead, refresh the brand by building a high-performance culture.
  • Enforce CRM data entry by staff.  Instead, figure out how to expose the CRM’s data using custom dashboards for leadership, middle-management, and front-line staff. Or maybe think about how Machine Learning and AI might be used with the data you already have. 


In your organization, is the new year’s energy squandered on incremental projects?  This week, use this energy on substantive “re-think” projects that can significantly move the needle.

Marketing insight #1:  There is absolutely nothing wrong with incremental improvement: in fact, it should be part of the day-to-day processes.  But when there is an inflection point – new year, new strategy, new staff in the role, new senior leadership, etc – it is a shame to squander the opportunity to make substantive, and possibly transformational, improvements.

Marketing insight #2:  When an organization thinks about Digital Transformation, too often the thinking sinks into incrementalism, or is rationalized by cost savings, rather than strategic leaps. Digital Transformation requires transformational thinking.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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Randall Craig

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