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An Era of Unintended Consequences = An Era of Amazing Opportunity | Sell Smarter. Sell Faster.

An Era of Unintended Consequences = An Era of Amazing Opportunity
Amanda Meade
An Era of Unintended Consequences = An Era of Amazing Opportunity

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What little changes have you noticed taking place in the world over the last year?

Mark Schaefer, a globally-recognized author, speaker, podcaster, and business consultant talks about just a few of the little changes he’s noticed and discusses how to strategically maneuver a time of unintended consequences (through marketing and sales efforts) to bring amazing opportunities for companies to sell smarter and faster.

About Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer is a globally recognized keynote speaker, educator, business consultant, and author. His blog{grow}is hailed as one of the top marketing blogs in the world.

Mark has worked in global sales, PR, and marketing positions for more than 30 years and provides consulting services as Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions.

Mark has advanced degrees in marketing and organizational development; holds seven patents and is a faculty member of the graduate studies program at Rutgers University. For three years, Mark studied under the late Peter Drucker (a world-renowned consultant and author, known as the founder of modern management).

He is one of the world’s most popular business-related keynote speakers, taking the stage at some of the largest industry and corporate conferences including SXSW, Dell World, the American Bar Association Annual Conference, and many others. He has spoken in 35 different countries.

Mark is also well-known for developing corporate marketing strategies and marketing workshops. His clients range from successful start-ups to global brands such as Adidas, Johnson & Johnson, GE Life Sciences, Pfizer, The U.S. Air Force, and the UK Government.

What IS AN Era of Unintended Consequences?

How understanding your target person affects your bottom lineMark has written about this concept of the “Era of Unintended Consequences” – a new concept that many are not familiar with. During the interview, Dani asks him to tell listeners a little bit about what this concept means.

We’re in one of the most tragic eras of our global history, but from marketing and business perspective it’s fascinating to see how things are changing and evolving very quickly,” Mark states. “This phrase, or concept, characterizes the type of business environment we’re in today.”

Mark explains how going into the pandemic, everyone guessed wrong about everything. “We could have never forecasted all the complex interactions that had to take place to create these unusual scenarios.”

As we move to new normal, his guess is we’ll guess wrong again. And to help combat this, he’s collecting weird observations and statistics that happened during pandemic. For example:

  • Before the pandemic, 20% of Americans said they suffered from chronic sleep problems. Today, that’s 60%. This is due to new habits, new schedules, accumulation of stress, grief, and anxiety. “What does it mean when 60% of customers and employees are irritable because they’re not getting enough sleep,” Mark asks.

  • 15% of customers will switch brands if it’s more sanitary and cleaner.

  • 55% of all online purchases are impulse buys. “People are trying to soothe themselves. Plus, they have more money bank because of stimulus checks. This is also why there’s a great resignation happening,” Mark points out.

“There are going to be millions of complex interactions that are going to create unexpected customers behaviors, needs, and wants,” states Mark. “It’s going to take a decade or more to accurately see everything that has happened because of unintended consequences.”

We need to pay attention to these little changes and how they impact business and customers.

What is the Impact of this Era of Unintended Consequences?

“This is a time when everyone in sales and marketing needs to be humble,” Mark explains. “Forget what you thought you new about sales and marketing before pandemic. Connect with customers, talk, listen, survey, and see them. Figure out what’s going on with them.”

Mark says he doesn’t pay attention to any data before March 2020. “It’s the new beginning, a new first data set. If we don’t have that mindset, then we’re not allowing ourselves to look at impact of unintended consequences. Don’t bring in old data that’s irrelevant.”

Something we’re seeing right now is that businesses are trying to force the old ways back, but the data needs to be completely reevaluated.

“When you see something in the news or data points that doesn’t make sense – don’t pass over it, go down rabbit hole and see what’s going on,” advises Mark.

As an example, he points at a headline he recently read about Hallmark getting out of e-cards. “Why would they get out of e-cards when everyone else if going to e-commerce,” he asks.

He explains that it’s due to Hallmark’s demographics – senior citizens and Gen Z. “New unmet consumer needs – this is an unintended consequence,” he states.

As a piece of tactical advice for leaders listening, Mark advises them to start looking for little changes and do new research by talking to employees and customers. “Marketing isn’t about Facebook ads and TikTok videos – it starts with research and trying to create the man. We need to embrace a new mindset that the world is new right now, how do we take advantage of it.”

Classical marketing theory says there are seven portals of opportunity – that people are creatures of habit, and they keep buying same stuff. However, there are Except seven times when those decisions are interrupted. For example, when you leave home, when you get marries, and when you have a baby.

“These are when opportunities expand and you begin to look at the world in a new way, and your old habits are broken,” states Mark. “But there’s an eighth portal – pandemic. This is the biggest opportunity for sales and marketing because every habit is changing, and everything is being renegotiated.”

Speed is important – and paying attention is important. Mark points out that the biggest mistake you can make right now is having the same strategy you’ve used for years. “You’ll lose,” he says.

In his book, Cumulative Advantage, he talks about a new idea of strategy. You look at things that are your strengths, such as talents, location, technology, and education. And ask yourself, “how do we apply these advantages to the shifts happening right now?”

As a last piece of advice, Mark tells listeners that the most human company will win. “If you have sales and marketing tactics people hate, then stop. Find what people love. This is a time of opportunity. Don’t overlook the fact that a lot of people are really suffering. People appreciate you showing up in human way – not lending a hand, but being a hand.”

 

Don’t miss another episode of the Sell Smarter. Sell Faster. where Dani Buckley, VP/GM of LeadG2 speaks with experts and thought leaders across a variety of industries and learn how they implementer of some of the most proven sales enablement and inbound marketing tactics and strategies. Visit SellSmarterSellFaster.com to learn more.

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Amanda Meade

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