Posted: January 13, 2014
Let Einstein transform your business strategies
Once a genius, always a geniusEsty Atlas
Born in Germany 134 years ago, Albert Einstein developed the special and general theories of relativity. As most people know, he won the Nobel Prize for physics. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. Yet, still today, his often-quoted philosophies can shed new insights to enlighten anyone’s current marketing approach. So, here are five perennial pearls of his wisdom, with updated perspective, to help transform your business strategies in 2014.
First, try something new.
Al said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
In fact, he also said, the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. He was always asking questions that stimulated unconventional thinking. That’s where smart minds enter. Clients often tell me their marketing isn’t working, but resist new methodologies. Einstein also understood, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” This year, embrace an independent perspective from an objective and experienced communications strategist. It can be game-changing.
Second, “If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.”
Equations are simply a balance of calculations. You need this in your marketing efforts. To attain successful customer interest, balance how much you speak to how well you listen. Think about this in the context of your content marketing and public relations: are you entertaining and informative? Do you really know what your customers say or think about you? Do you relate to their point of view?
Third, “Try not to become a [person] of success, but rather try to become a [person] of value.”
This quote carries the weight equivalent to winning a gold medal at the Olympics. When it comes to the services you provide, focus on the value (benefits) it gives your customers. Reputation speaks volumes and carries across all platforms. In other words (quoting Einstein again), “Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” People work with people they like and trust. It’s that simple. You don’t need to be a ‘know-it-all.’ In fact, that often backfires. If you can make the case for proven leadership and display a reputation that is held in high esteem by your stakeholders as well as your customers, your obstacles will become opportunities with the right public relations strategy.
Fourth, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Big business owners and executives need to realize how public mistrust is enhanced by lawyer-approved “corporate speak.” Consumers don’t buy it. Mission statements and “safe” wording is uninspired and makes little connection to the average consumer. You must also translate technical or complicated issues into understandable, benefit-driven, meaningful examples. Utilize your public relations opportunities to educate customers conversationally, not dictatorially, and certainly not technically.
Fifth, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
This was actually a sign that hung in Einstein’s office at Princeton. Understand that marketing and public relations is often the invisible, but highly impactful outcome that develops from effective and ongoing reputation management. This takes time. Einstein didn’t acquire his notoriety overnight. Pursuing opportunities (through resourceful marketing channels) to highlight smart leadership is always a good idea, as long as it offers direct, tangible benefits to your customers and stakeholders.
Use these strategies in 2014, and you just might discover a new genius in the making.