I admit it, I’m a Tinkerman. Not as much as Claudio Rainieri, but I still like to change the shape of my team at least once a year. That way we can adapt to market changes, align performances with skills as well as expand our horizons.
One key element of change is however clarity on the underlying concept and focus on the key tenets of, in this case, marketing. I split marketing into three key pillars: reputation, optimisation, innovation. All three are interdependent and feed each other and need to be on the mind of every single team member all the time.
Reputation: One’s reputation is incredibly important and in a world of social media, reputation goes a long way. It needs to be built carefully and boldly and is influenced by every single interaction with the outside world and with each other. I refrained from calling it branding as I want to ensure that everybody understands their impact, their rights and their responsibilities on a company’s reputation.
Optimisation: A key component of longevity and sustainability. We always strive to make everything smoother, better and more impactful and most of this isn’t the initial innovation, but the reiterative feedback and feedforward loops. Optimisation can also be incredibly refreshing, especially when new impulses come from outsiders.
Innovation: The key of success, but innovation without reputation can be a laggard, innovation without optimisation is unsustainable. At the same time reputation and optimisation can and need to be innovative. And while I agree with signature innovations, the little day to day innovations are often the more exciting and increase the impact of a business.
Just to be clear, I don’t split my team into these three parts, as I believe they are the undercurrent of every marketing activity. I use this framework of reputation, optimisation and innovation when assessing the marketing performance of other brands, but can also be used across other functions and as a framework for personal branding – with Steve Jobs being one of the biggest personal innovators.